Top image: Dr. Tomicah Tillemann (left)
Blockchain—a technology which serves as the backbone of the digital currency Bitcoin—has become a very hot topic in its own right within the tech community. Even if your company is unlikely to be directly impacted by this rapidly expanding innovation, how can your board and management best prepare for the numerous effects blockchain will have on your company's strategy and business model?
That’s one thing. But what IS blockchain? Is there anyone out there who can explain it in a way that a fourth-grader could understand? And why SHOULD we care?
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, director of the Bretton Woods II programme at New America, certainly believes in the potential of blockchain – and understands it enough in a way to make it understandable to others, even those who don’t know much about computers, finance, or anything not related to what brand of breakfast cereal goes best with skim milk and strawberries.
In New Zealand for the Institute of Director’s annual Leading Edge conference, Tillemann also happens to be the co-founder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator, chair of the Global Blockchain Business Council, and a member of the advisory board of the BitFury Group, a leading full-service Blockchain company. And that’s not all: between 2010 and 2014, Tillemann served under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as the Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies. Tillemann led a team of experts that operated like venture capitalists in translating promising ideas and technologies into successful foreign policy. He also established and chaired the State Department’s Global Philanthropy Working Group and the State Department’s Federal Advisory Committee on civil society. Oh, and he also used to be a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton, joining the State Department in 2009 and before that spending four years four years on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as an advisor to Joe Biden and John Kerry, and first went to college when he was 14.
Dr. Tomicah Tillemann
Summary: Tillemann knows a thing or two about what he’s talking about – and how to talk to people.
He graciously took some time to chat with Idealog about blockchain, including what it is, why we should get excited, and how it can help New Zealand businesses of all sizes compete more easily in a global marketplace. Have a listen below.
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