January 2018


Alumni Spotlight: COMBATTING FOOD FRAUD WITH BLOCKCHAIN

Kristoffer Just works to apply blockchain technology in the fight against food fraud.

There have been a number of stories in recent years about contaminated and tainted food both here in Denmark and around the world. In fact, last Spring, through testing, the Ministry of Environment & Food of Denmark found out that just six of every 35 bottles of the extra virgin olive oil on Danish shelves fit the classification of extra virgin, which is the highest quality you can buy, as advertised.

From DIM Student to Start-up Project Coordinator

“It was during the course Process Innovation, that I had the opportunity to explore blockchain within food fraud,” Kristoffer Just says. “I investigated the current supply chain to then qualify a blockchain supply chain as a process innovation.”

This led to Kristoffer’s master thesis where he focused on the journey falsified bottles of extra virgin olive oil made on its way to Danish supermarket aisles and examined whether blockchain technology could prevent such food fraud as a means of contributing to the raising the level of traceability in our food products.

Upon obtaining his Master’s in Digital Innovation & Management, Kristoffer was able to leverage his passion and his research to land a job as Project Coordinator at the start-up, BLOC, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration, where he continues to pursue research opportunities in Digital Supply Chains and Food Systems.

Advice for Current ITU students

Kristoffer relies heavily on the competencies he learned throughout his time at ITU, including critical thinking and the use of digital tools, “I continue to use the data scrapping and visualization tools I learned about in Navigating Complexity as a part of my work.” Kristoffer shares, “But I also reflect on the technology that we are promoting and working on as well.”

He encourages students to engage, “with people from various backgrounds, both from other academic tracks at ITU, but also your classmates. You can learn more than you would think from listening to other people’s perspectives.”

The Start-Up Life

For students looking to jump into the deep end after graduation and pursue a career at a start-up like BLOC, Kristoffer suggests you prepare yourselves for the fast-paced nature of the start-up environment, “things can change dramatically over the course of a few hours, so if you work best within a sound structure, a start-up may not be the best environment for you.”

But for those willing to take the leap, “you will build a network very quickly through participation in in events and conferences, as well as the co-working spaces many Copenhagen-based start-up are located.”

This post is the first in series on ITU alumni and their work post-graduation.

STEEMIT – THE FUTURE OF THE BLOGOSPHERE?

With the advent of facebook, the idea of social media as we know it today was born, now over a decade later this frontier, some would argue, is losing its novelty. This post explores some exciting innovation in the realm of social media, where users are monetarily incentivized to engage with the site and its users powered by blockchain technology.

Yes, users get paid to post in a currency known as Steem, which can be cashed out or reinvested in the form of Steem Power or Steem Dollars. Although Steem is similar to Bitcoin in that it is also a cryptocurrency, the primary method of earning money is not mining, which is dictated by the amount of computing power you have, but rather engaging with the community through producing and/or supplying content.

Is this the future of social media? Want to know more before jumping in a posting? Or is it the novel application of blockchain technology that has piqued your interest?  Either way, let’s jump into a brief overview of steemit and its social networking site, steemit.com. Links to other, more in-depth, resources will be provided if you’re interested in learning more.

We hope you find this to be a good starting point.

What is Steemit?

We’ve heard talk of the blogosphere for years now, and these days it seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. And why not? We all have passions, curiosities, and a sense of adventure now and then; sharing that with others via the internet is becoming – dare we say it –the norm.

But steemit.com, the social networking site associated with Steemit, is different.

Instead of the platform reaping nearly all of the non-commercial benefits of its users’ content generation, like facebook, for example, steemit passes these earnings onto the individual users, via its cryptocurrency.

Like many communities surrounding cryptocurrency, users are very concerning with verifying each other’s identities, this is usual done through an introduce yourself post where new users share their personal story starting with a current picture of themselves holding up a hand-written sign as proof of identity.

How does one get paid?

Steemit.com is a reddit-resembling social networking site where content creators and content curators get paid for producing and providing the best content and it’s completely free to sign-up.

So how do users get paid you may ask? Through what they refer to as Steem and there are three different Steemit currency units: Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.

Steem are tradable units of the currency, much like bitcoin or stocks on the stock market.

Steem Power cannot be sold for two years so in that way is something like a long-term investment in the currency. Holding this unit of currency is favoured by the platform and these types of ‘investors’ are rewarded for their loyalty – 90% of the daily newly generated Steem Currency is in the form of Steem Power, with the rest going to content creators and providers. Half of content provider’s/curators’ pay is in the form of Steem Power.

Steem Dollars are the most stable unit of the currency and can be sold at anytime. The other 50% of the pay popular content creators/curators receive is in this unit of the currency and this portion can be immediately cashed out.

Steem and Steem Power represent the value of Steem digital assets, while Steem Dollars are something like loans taken out based upon the value of these digital assets. Sceptical that such digital assets can retain ‘real world’ value? Then look to the world of multi-player video games where on numerous occasions players are documented to have paid ‘real’ money for a digital game item.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Not only does steemit.com empower its users through paying for high quality content in many ways such a system also inevitably leads to the suppression of low quality content. (fake news anyone?)

Although the social networking site has not reached the size or influence of the mainstream social media site we know so well, many bloggers and youtube stars that have already gone viral or made a name for themselves on these conventional social media sites are complementing their success with the adding themselves to steemit.com as well.

As we see in many industries, consumers are demanding more transparency, traceability, and accountability – steemit.com provides all of these and on top of that it is the users that reap the benefits of their posts… not the platform.

 

Image Courtesy of steemit.com

CONTEST: Write a short blogpost and win a ticket to Day of Play 2018 — a hands-on workshop and networking opportunity

BuILD’s first contest of the year is now officially underway. Write a short blogpost and win a ticket, worth over 2.600dkk, to A Day of Play 2018  — a hands-on workshop on the future of work with networking opportunities with the leaders of Scandinavian’s top companies.  

What You Need to Know

The Task: Write a 300-500-word blogpost on the future of either leadership, change, or learning and the winners in each category will win a ticket to attend A Day of Play 2018.

The Prize: Day of Play is a conference/workshop on February 5th at the National Museum in Copenhagen where leaders, decision-makers, and practitioners filled with workshops and knowledge sharing.

How to Enter: This contest is open to all ITU students. Simply send your blogpost to build@itu.dk

Submissions will be accepted until 14.00 on Friday 2nd of February and the winners will be announced that afternoon.

There will be three keynotes given at the event:

 Future of Leadership by Marianne Dahl Steensen, CEO Denmark & Iceland, Microsoft

 Future of Change by Anders Buchmann, Chief Intrapreneur, Bang & Olufsen

 Future of Learning by Nina Uller, Vice Dean of the Royal Danish Defence College

Networking and Gamification

BuILD is offering this unique opportunity to students because this conference is not about the emergence of new technologies in and of themselves but rather a look at how these technologies will shape the future and the ways in which organizations must react. With participants from Scandinavia’s top companies this will be an excellent opportunity to network in an informal setting.

More than this Workz, the host of the event is a change management consultancy located in Copenhagen, Denmark that believes in ‘Change Through Involvement’ a mantra that manifest itself in some very interesting ways including gamification, story-telling and role playing.

If interested check out this short video below on Workz.

Remember submissions will be accepted until 31st of January and winners will be announced on Friday 2nd of February.

What it Means to BuILD

As our name suggest we are in the business of creating, of building. We call ourselves BuILD but it is really just an acronym. We are the Business Innovation Lab here at IT University of Copenhagen and we are constantly evolving.

It is our members, both students and faculty alike, that define us.

So if you want to know what it is we do here, all you need to do is explore our competencies. We are a network of like-minded individuals passionate about Process Innovation – including Robotic Process Innovation – inspiring today’s leaders in tackling the challenges and opportunities of digital innovation, and providing the tools and strategic partnership necessary to implement distributed ledger practices across all of Europe.

Given these competencies, collaboration is in our DNA and we take very seriously the opportunities to co-create and innovate together with our industry partners. Research with a practitioner focus is our speciality and through it we set out to create value through the use of IT for students, business partners and outside organizations.

If this sounds like a community you’d like to be a part then what are you waiting for? You can contact us, send us an email at BuILD@itu.dk, or connect with us on facebook or LinkedIn.