FIT-Blockchain901 Seminar Series

FIT Logoblockchain 901

The FedEx Institute of Technology and Blockchain901 are excited to present a virtual series on the current and future state of blockchain technology. Tech leaders from Microsoft, IBM, IEEE, ConsenSys Health, and more will share their real world experience and provide insight into what lies ahead in the blockchain world. Topics will include blockchain governance, platforms, tokenization, and more. To find more information and a list of upcoming talks, see below:


Upcoming Sessions



Previous Sessions

Series Kickoff: Webinar #1 | December 3, 2020 | Radical Decentralization: The Key to Realizing the Vision of the Internet’s Founders? | Speaker: Yorke Rhodes III, Director of Digital Transformation for Blockchain at Microsoft

Yorke Rhodes guides us through blockchain technology, its implications, and how it fits into the innovation journey.


Webinar #2 | April 20th, 2021| NFTs beyond digital art and collectibles | Speaker: Michael McCoy, Associate Director of Emerging Technology at Humana

The ERC-721 non-fungible token (NFT) standard is used to represent digital scarcity and ownership. Mike McCoy explores examples of potential NFT use beyond the more well-known use cases of digital art and collectibles.

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Webinar #3 | May 11th, 2021 |  Decentralized Identifiers, Verifiable Credentials and Blockchain-Based Healthcare | Speaker: Michael McCoy, Associate Director of Emerging Technology at Humana

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform many areas in health. Mike McCoy discusses decentralized identifiers, verifiable credentials, and blockchain-based healthcare.

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Webinar #4 | June 4th, 2021 | Blockchain Business Models: From Private Clubs to the Token Economy | Speaker: Andy Martin, Blockchain Value Design Worldwide Leader at IBM 

New business models are needed for companies to remain relevant and thrive in the token economy. Andy Martin navigates this new landscape and explores ways to design innovative models to build value.

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Webinar(s) #5, #6, #7 | July 13th; July 20th; July 27th, 2021 | Blockchain: Enterprise Applications | Speaker: Kirsten Pomales & Thomas Cox

"Blockchain: Enterprise Applications" is a three-part event, hosted as part of the FedEx Institute of Technology Speaker Series. During the first event, taking place on July 13th, participants will learn about the implications of blockchain technology for enterprises.  On July 20th, viewers will take a deep dive into why governance will play an integral role in the success of blockchain applications and networks.  On July 27th participants will engage in a workshop on preparing their organization to ideate on, evaluate, and adopt blockchain technology.”

Watch Replay (July 13th)Watch Replay (July 20th)Watch Replay (July 27th)

Webinar #8 | August 26th, 2021| Decentralized Finance (DeFi) – A Quantum Leap Into A Self-Sovereign Financial System | Speaker: Alim Khamisa, Adjunct Professor in the Blockchain Development Program at George Brown College

Sitting at the intersection of financial products and decentralized blockchain networks, DeFi (decentralized finance) is about unbundling the financial stack into a permissionless system, open to anyone around the world. The ultimate goal is to disintermediate the middlemen and abstract away the ‘trust’ layer from centralized institutions, allowing for better access to financial products and services, and more fluid movement of value. Total Value Locked (TVL) is the key metric used to measure the general level of DeFi adoption. TVL in DeFi protocols now exceeds $80 billion, a tenfold increase in just the last 12 months. In this talk, we’ll break down DeFi into its major categories – stablecoins, exchanges, credit, derivatives, insurance, and asset management – and discuss key trends and drivers of growth.

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Webinar #9 | September 17th, 2021 | dexFreight: A Blockchain Powered Solution for the Logistics Industry | Speaker: Rajat Rajbhandari, Ph.D. Co-founder and CIO of dexFreight

The logistics industry faces a multitude of obstacles - empty trucks, fragmentation, lack of liquidity. Rajat Rajbhandari, CIO and co-founder of dexFreight, will join us to describe how dexFreight leverages blockchain to improve the workflow of shipment processing for freight brokers/shippers and carriers to move ground freight. Rajat will touch on how they use smart contracts to unlock decentralized financing to provide inexpensive liquidity to small carriers. dexFreight, in collaboration with several logistics technology companies, is leading the development of open-source logistics protocols to facilitate cross-company collaboration and unlock innovation such as shared identity, shared operational reputation, and expanding asset/load visibility across companies.

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Webinar #10 | October 28th, 2021 | Blockchain Standardization Landscape

Webinar #11 | November 18th, 2021 | Blockchain Ecosystem Overview

Speaker: Ramesh Ramadoss, Co-chair of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative & Expert Panel Member for the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The FedEx Institute of Technology and Blockchain901 are proud to host Ramesh Ramadoss, Co-chair of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative & Expert Panel Member for the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, as he speaks on the current Blockchain Standardization Landscape on Thursday, October 28 @ 10 AM CST.

Watch Replay (Oct 28)Watch Replay (Nov 18)

Webinar #12 | January 27th, 2022 | Blockchain & The Space Economy - Understanding the 5th Industrial Revolution | Speakers: George S. Pullen, Chief Space Economist and Co-Host of The Space Economy; Samson Williams, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in NYC and University of New Hampshire School of Law 

What is the Space Economy and why is it valued at over $485B dollars today and headed to $4 Trillion by the 2030s? More importantly, what does Blockchain have to do with Space and the 5th Industrial revolution? 

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Webinar #13 | March 29th, 2022 | Why is credentialing relevant for DSCSA compliance? - An introduction to OCI | Speakers: David Kessler, co-owner and the President of Legisym; Dr. Christiane Wirrig, Product Manager at the German start-up Spherity.

The Open Credentialing Initiative (OCI) is a collaborative non-profit pharma industry collaboration formed in April 2021 by a group of trading partners, solution providers, and standards organizations to support the pharmaceutical industry in adopting credentialing and digital wallet technologies to enhance supply chain security.

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Webinar #14 | Thursday, October 20, 2022 | 10 AM CST (11 AM EST) | The Global Impact of Blockchain | Speaker: Dale Chrystie, Business Fellow, Blockchain Strategist at FedEx, and Chairman - BiTA Standards Council

Dale Chrystie is business fellow and blockchain strategist for FedEx, based in the Memphis area. He also serves as chairman of the BITA Standards Council, is a member of the Blockchain Research Institute in Toronto, and is also an Executive Advisory Board member of the University of Arkansas Blockchain Center of Excellence. In 2019, he was awarded the inaugural Enterprise Blockchain Award in Enterprise & Industry Leadership and is a global thought leader on the business and strategy aspects of Web3, blockchain, and emerging technologies. His focus on ‘coopetition’ in the blockchain space continues to challenge conventional wisdom and typical corporate and regulatory culture, and his perspective in that space is well documented in academic and other publications. 

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Webinar #15 | Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 10 AM CST (11 AM EST) | Career prospects in Blockchain | Speaker: Marc Lijour, VP Capacity Building and Innovation at ICTC, and IEEE Blockchain Chapter Chair in Toronto, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Blockchain is an emerging technology that is going through an intense period of adoption across industries. According to LinkedIn data, the US ranks #1 for global talent in blockchain, growing at 60% behind Canada and India that are seeing over 100% in growth. Job postings in Canada grew sixfold in 2021. This talk will cover the adoption of blockchain across industries, the job demand that creates, as well as the career perspectives for diverse audiences. 

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Featured Speakers

Yorke Rhodes

Yorke Rhodes | Microsoft | Blockchain @ Microsoft 

LinkedIn Profile

Yorke is Director of Digital Transformation for Blockchain at Microsoft in the Cloud Hardware Supply Chain group. He co-founded Blockchain at Microsoft in 2015 and is currently focused on supply chain strategy and transformation. He has a keen eye for recognizing the impact of new technologies early on. Yorke has been deeply involved in technology innovation for over 20 years in large enterprise, startups, and the open source community. He is a board member of Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, founding team member of Baseline Protocol, and CoinDesk columnist. Yorke is an adjunct Professor of e-commerce Marketing at New York University.

Mike McCoy

Mike McCoy | Humana

LinkedIn Profile

Mike is Associate Director of Emerging Technology at Humana. He builds new software, hardware, technical systems, and methods on the cutting edge to enhance experiences in health care, life science and public sector use cases. Previously at Accenture and ConsenSys, Mike has worked in technical strategy, development, integration, and growth to use and scale emerging technologies to industry standards. Mike is an Adjunct Professor at Thomas Jefferson University's Institute of Emerging Health Professions as a lecturer and course developer for their graduate certificate programs. He also chairs The Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group and is an active member to IEEE, HIMSS, ACT-IAC, Frontiers, Blockchain in Healthcare Today, and other technical and social working groups.

Andy Martin

Andy Martin | IBM

LinkedIn Profile

Andy Martin has built IBM’s Blockchain Value Design capability from day one and is now rolling it out across Global Business Services (GBS), Sales and the Garages Worldwide. He is a chartered accountant by training but has spent 20 years in IBM from SAP consulting in GBS to leading European middleware Business Value Assessments teams in Software Group for integration and business process management. Andy received his Engineering Degree from Bristol University. He has been a guest lecturer at KEA University in Copenhagen and the Strategic Management Society on the business value of technology such as blockchain.


Alim Khamisa | George Brown College

Alim is an Adjunct Professor in the Blockchain Development Program at George Brown College, where he also sits on the Program's Advisory Committee. Alim's research interests lie at the intersection of Web 3.0, crypto networks, and decentralized finance (DeFi). In 2019, he co-founded the DeFi Toronto community meetup which hosts monthly events featuring high-profile speakers from around the world. He is an active member of the global blockchain community as an avid speaker, startup advisor, and angel investor. In 2018, he worked with a team of blockchain leaders to launch one of Canada's first industrial-scale crypto-mining companies from inception through to a public listing on the TSXV (via RTO) and subsequent M&A. Alim is currently advising several blockchain startups including notable DeFi projects Atomic Finance (Bitcoin x DeFi) and Sacred Finance (Privacy x DeFi).. He recently authored a chapter titled 'Token Economies' in The Emerald Handbook of Blockchain for Business (published March 2021) which focuses on Web 3.0, token fundamentals, cryptoeconomics, and token engineering. Alim holds a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) from the University of Waterloo and is a designated CPA.

Kirsten Pomales

Kirsten Pomales 

Kirsten Pomales is a consultant specializing in stakeholder strategy in blockchain ecosystems - how parties come together, make decisions, and scale Web 3.0 platforms and networks. Kirsten is a passionate community educator who has lead and moderated discussions on blockchain technology alongside International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), Hyperledger, Saintgits University, Blockchain Acceleration Foundation, Kerala Blockchain Academy, and other institutions. 

Thomas Cox

Thomas Cox

Thomas Cox is a systems integrator of the best ideas in the world for solving the problems of cooperation at any scale – from workplace teams to global collectives. Thomas helps enterprise clients working on blockchain cooperation through DLT Governance Solutions (DLTgov.io). He helps individuals and workplace teams through Eudae LLC via his Becoming a Best Boss training and coaching practice. Thomas graduated from the University of Chicago, earning his four-year degree in three years with honors. He’s worked with or for IBM, Oracle, PwC, Intel, and dozens of other firms large and small. He lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with his wife Tess.

Rajat Rajbhandari

Rajat Rajbhandari, Ph.D. is co-founder and CIO of dexFreight where he heads the development of machine learning applications for the logistics platform, decentralized protocols, and other special projects. He also leads the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) vehicle identity and supply chain working groups. In that capacity, he works closely with several Fortune 100 companies such as Ford, Honda, GM, BMW, AWS, Denso, USAA, AWS and others to develop blockchain standards and reference architectures for a variety of mobility applications. Prior to dexFreight, Rajat worked at Texas A&M University for over a decade as a research scientist. He holds a doctorate degree in transportation. He recently authored “A Book About Blockchains: How Businesses Can Use Public Blockchain”, a comprehensive playbook for enterprises to implement blockchain. It is available globally in major online bookstores. His interviews on the topic of blockchain and logistics have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, FreightWaves, Journal of Commerce, and more. He also writes blogs in Medium about the use of blockchain and machine learning in logistics.


George S. Pullen

Chief Space Economist and Co-Host, The Space Economy - Your Destination for the Business of Space
Adjunct Professor, University of New Hampshire School of Law - Blockchain Program, Economics and Social Impact of Technology
Adjunct Professor, Columbia University - Summer Programs, Blockchain, AI/ML and Space Economics
Guest Lecturer, Eisenhower School, USA War College - Rare Earths, Blockchain, Derivatives, Commodity Markets and Financial Analysis
Subject Matter Expert and Risk Advisor, Global Association of Risk Professionals - Energy Markets, Risk Analysis, Financial Instruments and Valuation & Structuring
Partner and Chief Economist, Milky Way Economy, LLC. - Forecasting and Strategy for the 5th Industrial Revolution of the Space Economy 


George is a free-market economist, who for the last decade has been refining his economic philosophies as a Senior Economist at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, DC. He is driven by a curiosity and passion for convergence, connecting people and ideas across diverse disciplines and finding new questions that need answers. 

Prior to joining the CFTC and launching the Milky Way Economy, LLC, George learned his craft serving as an executive as a banker, broker, hedge fund trader, economist and lecturer. His areas of market expertise, research and publishing include: healthcare finance, energy speculation, blockchain policy, rare earths, derivatives trading, defense innovation, AI/ML, risk modeling, fourth industrial revolution tech, equity crowdfunding and Space Economics.

George splits his time between DC and Maine. He was once and is always a US Marine and is an alumni of the University of Maine and Johns Hopkins. He has a beautiful wife and four wonderful kids.  

Follow George on Twitter/Instagram @Pullen4Maine, catch his newest episodes and analysis on The Space Economy or reach out to him on LinkedIn to follow the latest insights in his economic, finance and market Space research.


Samson Williams

Samson Williams is a serial entrepreneur and accidental investor. When not starting business with his enemies (“Entrepreneurship is hard. I only recommend it to my enemies.”), Samson is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in NYC and University of New Hampshire School of Law where he teaches on blockchain, cryptocurrencies and the Space Economy. Samson is also President of the Crowdfunding Professional Association and investor into investment crowdfunding platform GoingPublic.com. For more information on Samson visit www.SamsonWilliams.com and follow him on social @HustleFundBaby. 

David Kessler

David is a co-owner and the President of Legisym, the leading provider of SaaS-based compliance solutions for pharmaceutical companies in the United States. He has a diverse background with over 28 years of experience in technology and business management.

Christiane Wirrig

Chris is a Product Manager at the German start-up Spherity, which builds decentralized identity management solutions. She, too, has a very diverse background entering the software world with a background in biomedical research, scientific consultancy and financial audit.

Marc Lijour

Marc Lijour

Linkedin Profile

Marc Lijour is the Vice-President leading Capacity and Innovation Readiness initiatives at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). Marc started his career as an Educator, teaching Mathematics and Computer topics in several countries. He played a leading role at the Ontario Ministry of Education during the revision of the Technological Education curriculum and the launch of the Ontario e-learning Strategy in the ‘00s.

In recent years, Marc worked in the private sector for IT companies leading the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as Cisco Systems, Savoir-faire Linux, and ConsenSys. He works closely with startups and large organizations alike to create exponential business value driving economic and social growth. Marc is passionate about new technologies and helping people and organizations innovate.

He contributes to several industry program advisory committees (PACs) for leading postsecondary institutions in Canada. In particular, Marc chairs the PAC for the Blockchain Developer Certificate he was instrumental in designing and launching at George Brown College. He enjoys teaching about industry applications of blockchain, as well as Agile and DevOps. He co-founded the DeFi Toronto meetup group.

Marc holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Management (MBA in Technology and Innovation). He serves on the board of multiple not-for-profit organizations in the Tech industry, such as La French Tech Toronto, TechConnex, and DeFi Toronto.