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Omaha blockchain event returns during Berkshire Hathaway weekend

2017 event from the Global Blockchain Business Council and Greater Omaha Chamber

Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), in partnership with the Greater Omaha Chamber, are bringing Blockchain: Let’s Get Real to The Mastercraft on May 4.

The second annual blockchain event will take place during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting weekend, and will focus on applications for blockchain technology in the agricultural, supply chain, payment and insurance sectors.

“As we continue to bring together stakeholders from across the globe, we look forward to returning to engage with the results-driven, forward-leaning business leaders in Omaha on how blockchain is being deployed to create more resilient and secure systems,” explained Sandra Ro, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Blockchain Business Council.

GBBC is the global trade association for blockchain technology. It represents organizations and thought-leaders from more than 35 countries committed to advancing understanding of blockchain technology.

Mercina Tillemann, Executive Director of the Global Blockchain Business Council, said the GBBC officially launched in 2017 at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Since then, they’ve seen a progression of the technology around the world.

“We’re seeing huge companies announcing pilots, consortiums and labs in the [blockchain] space,” said Tillerman. “I spoke recently at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and crypto and blockchain were pivotal pieces of those conversations.”

While last year’s event focused on bringing awareness of blockchain to Omaha, this year’s event will focus on real-world use cases and pilot programs for the emerging technology.

Marco Floreani, Manager of Business Development for the Greater Omaha Chamber, said that a number of local startups are doing pilot projects related to agriculture in Nebraska, as well as finance and payments.

“Now, we’re starting to see major companies dedicate staff to learning more about the technology,” said Floreani. “We really want to see companies large and small start developing a strategy and committing members of their teams to understanding blockchain and its applications within their industries.”

Floreani said that since the event last year, multiple blockchain meetup groups have emerged, as well as a local hyper ledger group with over 300 people involved.

“Within one year, it’s been a night and day difference in the number of people and companies coming out to blockchain events,” said Floreani. “That was really our hope from the get-go; that if we partner with an organization with the global reach like the GBBC and build a relationship with them, that would then seep into the thought process for innovation in Greater Omaha.”

Tillerman said the event is geared towards a traditional business audience not just those with IT backgrounds. The GBBC wants to educate corporations and regulators on blockchain and how it can benefit what they’re doing.

“We’re so grateful for our partners at the Greater Omaha Chamber because we’ve been able to gather a really exciting roster of speakers who come from traditional businesses, but are still anticipating deploying this technology or are actively deploying the technology,” said Tillerman.

Floreani said that the theme of Blockchain: Let’s Get Real is a perfect fit for where the Greater Omaha Chamber hopes to take blockchain.

“We were thrilled that the GBBC was proposing this theme of the real, tangible use cases,” said Floreani.”It’s important for [Omaha’s] companies to hear stories about how other companies are using blockchain. We want to encourage them and get them familiar with the technology.”

Event information

Friday, May 4
1-4 pm

The Living Room at Mastercraft
1111 N. 13th St.

Speakers for the event include:

  • Hadley Stern, Senior Manager, Fidelity’s Blockchain Lab
  • Tobias Disse, Blockchain Manager, Shell
  • Dante Disparte, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Risk Cooperative
  • Douglas Miller, Origin Product Manager, Energy Web Foundation (EWF)
  • Rachel Pipan, Senior Communications Manager, Bitfury Group
  • Lee Brenner, Chief Partnership Officer, Global Blockchain Business Council
  • Lauren Roman, Project Delivery Manager, Everledger
  • Marco Floreani, Manager of Business Development, the Greater Omaha Chamber
  • Mercina Tillemann, Chief Operating Officer, Global Blockchain Business Council.

Register at omahachamber.org.


Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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