Sunday May 13th, is a day to honor a special woman in our life. Many of us from all over the world, including myself and my mother, will be headed to the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, New York to spend Mother’s Day showing up for ourselves and for future generations at the first Women on the Block Conference (www.womenontheblock.io). Welcome to Mother’s Day 2018!
The Women on the Block Conference (WOTB) is the brainchild of Alexandra Levin-Kramer, ESQ., a partner at CKR Law who also heads their Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency group. Levin-Kramer was frustrated by the male-dominance of blockchain panels and events (see these NY Times and Bloomberg articles), especially given how many impressive women in blockchain she knew and knew of. Cindy Chin, CEO of CLC Advisor, a NASA Datanaut and fellow blockchain expert, was also concerned about the burgeoning crypto landscape. Together, their annoyance compelled them to be the force for change.
Armed with a shoestring budget and a handful of dedicated volunteers, they organized WOTB, a one-day blockchain conference featuring all-women panels. This first-of-its-kind event boasts another first: an on-site educational children’s program focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Additionally, all proceeds will be donated to support women in technology.
The response to WOTB from the global community has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only are women flying in from across the United States, but also from more than ten countries, including the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, China and Australia. They will speak and attend the conference, which kicks off the much anticipated Blockchain Week New York City.
Such global enthusiasm makes sense to Ada Jonuse, co-founder & CEO of Lympo. Jonuse has organized many blockchain events around the world and reports that having women-only panels results in a 40% female audience compared with the usual 5-10%.
What should participants expect from WOTB? I corresponded ahead of this weekend’s conference with some of the speakers, and here are three themes I see emerging around women in the blockchain space.
1.Blockchain touches nearly every industry
The speakers at the conference represent an incredibly diverse range of business experience and industries. My quick analysis finds these female blockchain experts are involved in shaping and applying blockchain technology to anything and everything! Their industry expertise and influence includes food supply chain, investment advisory, state and governmental policy, advocacy for emerging economies, advancing humanitarian technology, decentralized marketplaces and exchanges, consumer data ownership, regulatory bodies and storytelling.
Bottom line: If you’re wondering if WOTB will be relevant to you and your industry, I think it’s safe to say the answer is a resounding yes.