Impressions from 2022


Blockchain technology is regarded as one of the most promising technologies for the future. At the same time Blockchain technology is one of the fastest moving technologies we see now. The International Blockchain Forum Rotkreuz 2022 (IBFR 2022) focused on Blockchain Education. Our goal was to discuss what Blockchain Education should look like in the future. Together with our partner countries Great Britain, USA, and Canada as well as with the Blockchain Education Certificate provider DEC Institute, we brought together some of the best researchers, most promising start-ups and successful, established companies from these countries. The event took place in a hybrid form on February 3rd at the Lucerne School of Computer Science and Information Technology in Rotkreuz, one of Switzerland's leading Blockchain research centers.

In the morning, the exciting program started with a presentation from Prof. Kristi Yuthas, Portland State University, about their Blockchain program, the didactical concepts, and challenges Blockchain education is facing. These challenges mainly include the novelty of the technology and therefore the lack of universal models and educates faculty, as well as the immense speed of change that counteracts the protracted processes of curriculum development.

Subsequently, Katriona (Kate) Stewart from University of British Columbia showed the way of Blockchain@UBC from a first Summer Institute in 2017 to one of the top three initiations for Blockchain in Canada. Kate gave a brief insight into UBCs Three-Layer Model and shared experiences from students of UBCs Blockchain Micro-Certificate. Both Kristi and Kate participated online and took part in the panel discussion late at night despite the big time difference.

Juan Ignacio Ibañez from UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, London, participated on site. He showed the universal interdisciplinary approach of UCL in Blockchain Education, their Master program and online Blockchain MOOC.

All three speakers were joint by Dr. Andrea Bracciali from University of Stirling to discuss how different universities address the challenges and opportunities that Blockchain Education presents to them. Our professional and eloquent moderator Douglas McKevett once again managed this hybrid panel in an outstanding way.

After the panel and a short break, the participants got a chance to connect through the discussion in the Bar Camp where there were 5 topics to choose from:

  • Blockchain training materials
  • Blockchain skills
  • New training formats
  • More women in Blockchain
  • Blockchain certificates

On site participants as well as online participants discussed the topic at specially set up Zoom stations.

After the lunch break the start-up and company session started with a presentation from Arno Pernthaler from DEC Institute who showed the high relevance of a comparable and standardized Blockchain certification. Especially in such a fast-changing environment as the Blockchain technology where a lot of career changers enter, a comprehensible proof of the capabilities and skills is crucial.

Juhee Lee from Emoji Games showed different applications of Blockchain in the gaming industry. Especially NFTs open up a new possibility to interact in the virtual world. For her Blockchain brings this uniqueness and the associated payment process into games.

Sandra Ro, CEO from GBBC presented various initiatives from the Global Blockchain Business Council. It was impressive to see cases their over 350 institutional members worldwide are involved. Also, the number of more than 22.000 open positions in the Blockchain and crypto space is remarkable.

Finally, Iwona Strzępka and Guido Schmitz-Krummacher form Lisk Foundation fostered the discussion of how Blockchain education should look like from a industry perspective. They stressed the factor that Blockchain is a decentralized and interdisciplinary technology which requires a decentralized and interdisciplinary education pathway. In their opinion networked thinking and a basic academic training combined with the ability to think fast and efficient is essential. 

As in the morning, the afternoon presentations where rounded up by a panel discussion where in addition to the speaker Dr. Atefeh (Atty) Mashatan, Director of the Cybersecurity Research Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University joined.

The panel, again hybrid, discussed what skills are important for future blockchain employees and how to acquire them efficiently. It was stated that it is important to show a career pathway in order to give candidates an impression of what a job could look like. This requires new and innovative ways of learning paired with standardized ways of proving knowledge.

The following 10 takeaways summarize the conference in a condensed way:

  • There is a high demand for Blockchain education
  • Blockchain is changing at a rapid pace (more than other technologies)
  • Blockchain is heavily driven by industry (and comes from industry/open source, not academia)
  • Blockchain education needs to be interdisciplinary and application-oriented
  • Teaching of fundamentals and interrelationships is important
  • There is a high demand for micro degrees and online learning
  • There is a great opportunity for career changers
  • Industry is demanding certification of blockchain skills
  • Career paths need to be demonstrated
  • Train network thinking, global thinking, and creativity

The IBFR 2022 was a complete success despite the difficult framework conditions due to Covid. A small but interested group of participants had very lively discussions and developed on further cooperation. We would like to thank again our sponsors:

  • DEC Institute,
  • British Embassy in Bern
  • Embassy of Canada in Bern, and
  • U.S. Embassy in Bern

for their contribution and support.

Agenda

3. February 2022

8:30

Registration

9:00

Academic Session
Presentations of renown teachers about their concepts in Blockchain Education.

Kristi Yuthas - Portland State University
Kate Stewart - University of British Columbia - UBC Extended Learning
Juan Ignacio Ibañez - UCL - Centre for Blockchain Technologies

The session will be concluded by a panel discussion with the speakers and Andrea Bracciali from Stirling University, UK.

10:30

Networking Break

10:45

Bar Camp
Discuss suggested topics in an open format.


12:00

Lunch Break

13:00

Start-up & Company Session
Presentations from start-ups and comanies about their requirements for blockchain talents.

Arno Pernthaler - DEC Institute - International Blockchain Certificates
Juhee Lee - Emoji Games - CH/UK based start-up
Sandra Ro - Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)
Iwona Strzępka & Guido Schmitz-Krummacher - Lisk Foundation

The session will be concluded by a panel discussion with the speakers and Atty Mashatan from Ted Rogers School of Management, Canada.

16:00

Networking Apéro





The event was moderated by
Douglas MacKevett


Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Speaker


Kristi Yuthas

Portland State University, USA

Kate Stewart

University of British Columbia - UBC Extended Learning, Canada

Juan Ignacio Ibañez

UCL - Centre for Blockchain Technologies, UK


Arno Pernthaler

DEC Institute, Switzerland

Juhee Lee

Emoji Games, UK and Switzerland

Sandra Ro

Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), USA and Switzerland


Iwona Strzępka

Lisk Foundation, Switzerland

Guido Schmitz-Krummacher

Lisk Foundation, Switzerland

Atefeh (Atty) Mashatan

Ted Rogers School of Management, Canada


Andrea Bracciali

Stirling University, UK

Sponsors




The International Blockchain Forum Rotkreuz is organised by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

This event is only possible by the generous sponsorships of the embassies of Canada, Great Britain and United States as well as the DEC Institute.