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Hyperledger Global Forum

Looking ahead to Hyperledger Global Forum 2020: A preview of key topics and themes

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

It’s 2020 and blockchain is well and truly in production. If you have any doubt, take a look at the schedule for the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020.

Whether you are a seasoned developer, business executive or relatively new to the world of enterprise blockchain, you will be well catered for in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 3-6. The conference features an exceptional range of keynotes, case studies and workshops. 

Here are a few key themes that the Hyperledger Global Forum schedule reveals about the state of blockchain in this new and exciting decade…

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is here to stay

Self-sovereign identity technology removes the tireless friction of maintaining multiple digital identities and empowers users to control the data they share across platforms. Hyperledger Indy, Aries and Ursa provide enterprises with the tools and libraries required to create meaningful business and humanitarian solutions using this powerful technology. 

At the Hyperledger Global Forum you will learn how SSI is 

  1. Reducing the cost of KYC compliance across a consortium of banks across South Africa.
  2. Enabling the Province of British Columbia, Canada, to ascertain the provenance of Greenhouse Gas emitting energy resources in their efforts to modernise their energy grid and support their decarbonisation efforts.
  3. Enabling non-profit Kiva and the Central Bank of Cambodia to issue digital identifications to unbanked populations, creating better opportunities for credit for traditionally underserved communities as well as helping developing economies grow and better align with the larger global economy.

Innovators are realising the value of blockchain in supply chain 

Blockchain or distributed ledger technology is arguably best described as a database architecture that enables trust between multiple parties. Verifying provenance within a supply chain is therefore one of blockchain’s most natural applications.

A wide range of Hyperledger technologies – notably Hyperledger Sawtooth – is being implemented to harden global supply chains and develop new relationships between customers, suppliers and vendors.

Learn how…

  1. Unilever is leveraging Hyperledger Sawtooth to trace the provenance of pork meat so that millions of customers can scan their food packaging using a mobile app to learn the end-to-end provenance of their meat from farm to vendor.
  2. Quantum Materials Corp uses Hyperledger Sawtooth and DAML smart contracts  to bring their nanoscale quantum dot technology to market to ensure absolute product identification within critical and high value supply chains.
  3. Volvo is tracking the provenance of cobalt to develop a more environmentally responsible and efficient supply chain for the manufacturing of their EV batteries

Blockchain interoperability, both public and private, is evolving…

Open source technology is essential to ease systems integration and drive digital transformation. The interoperability of blockchain technologies is an important challenge that needs to be solved to unlock its full potential. 

Hyperledger technologies are principally permissioned, or private, blockchain technologies. The permissioned space has often been characterised as distinct from, and even adversarial to, public blockchain networks, such as Ethereum. 

A much anticipated panel discussion featuring representatives of ConsenSys, Microsoft and IBM will discuss how both Hyperledger and Ethereum can collaborate to achieve their common goal – the global adoption of blockchain.

Summary

This is just a sample of the sessions on offer at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020. In addition to compelling keynotes, there will be more than 50 sessions covering business and technical topics as well as case studies and demos during the first two days of the event. These are followed by two days of workshops where you can deep dive on topics of specific interest, for example, Accenture and the World Economic Forum are jointly leading a half day session aimed at business leaders to help them understand how to properly evaluate blockchain use cases for their organizations.

For more information or to register, visit the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 website.

The Value of Attending Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

We are a community working together to build tech that will ultimately impact industries all around the world. Of course, we all have our own individual motivations, many of them commercial and many of them underpinned by specific technologies incubated by Hyperledger. Fundamentally, however, we are all sold on the value of blockchain technologies. 

At the Hyperledger Global Forum in 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, the community was still responding to the conflation between blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In July, the Member Summit in Tokyo showed that the market has come a long way. As Gartner describes it, the hype has dwindled and we are now in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ – terms that may sound discouraging but actually signify the period when meaningful technological adoption begins. 

Across Hyperledger, blockchain projects are increasingly moving into production and generating genuine business value, from the recent announcement of Salesforce’s low code blockchain platform to Walmart’s leveraging of blockchain to build a food traceability system. 

At this stage, it is an excellent time to engage with the community and showcase the progress we are making. While many of you are seasoned road warriors with your feet barely on the ground before being whisked off to the next conference, I want to explain the value of attending the Hyperledger Global Forum in Arizona 2020.

1) The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.

2) You always come away with a new perspective and a new market to explore. With over one thousand attendees from all over the world, Hyperledger Global Forum really is that – global. We came back from Basel with new leads from markets as far flung as Russia, Singapore and Israel – connections that, as a start up, have shaped our direction

3) Hyperledger Global Forum generates real outcomes. Conferences are not an insignificant investment, particularly for a start up. However, the relevance of the tracks and the relationships we developed meant attendance was absolutely worthwhile. Whether this be a collaborative effort with other contributors to solve a common problem within a project or an introduction to a company whose problem we are trying to solve, Hyperledger Global Forum always generates actions.

Many in the community are equally as enthused about Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 and the value this extended, global conversation about all things Hyperledger:  

“The Hyperledger Global Forum is a great event for professionals working in the business of blockchain to participate in. I was proud to represent SecureKey at the event last year and to stand alongside some of the most notable technology professionals. We look forward to our continued work with Hyperledger and highly recommend like-minded organizations take part in this excellent event.”  Dmitry Barinov, CTO – SecureKey Technologies

“The Hyperledger Global Forum attracted leaders from around the globe last year and allowed us to have a number of face-to-face meetings with clients, colleagues and, for me, as the co-founder of the Social Impact Special Interest Group, an in-person meeting with group members from Mexico to Timor-Leste. The global make-up of the conference is just one more reason why Accenture will be the diamond sponsor again this year.” Alissa Worley, Global Marketing Director – Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies at Accenture

“The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.” Dan O’Prey, CMO – Digital Asset

Hyperledger Global Forum 2020: The Content Line-Up

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

Winter is coming, but we can’t feel the chill. Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 is keeping us busy and excited. Arizona’s calling, as is Camelback Mountain for those of us who hike. But enough about location, let’s talk about the content!

In a recent post, we shared the process of selecting the talks. Now it is time to tell you about the content. To keep it simple, we didn’t create multiple tracks. The job was to select 21 technical talks, 21 business talks, 18 product demos, and 8 workshops. Only 23% acceptance rate! That is harsh. On the other hand, we were very excited to  see proposals from more than 40 different companies as well as a good representation of universities, governments and non-profit organizations. 

The Program Committee, led by Tracy Kuhrt from Accenture and Hart Montgomery from Fujitsu, did the hard work and made the hard calls. They spent considerable time discussing the submissions and choosing the talks that were not only ranked highest but also came from new or under-represented voices in our community. The discussions were quite intense: many people were passionate about a different area.

Most of our Program Committee members are experienced reviewers for other industry and academic conferences. To make sure that we were all on the same page, guidelines on general CFP scoring guidelines and best practices were published as part of the CFP progress and the program committee developed the criteria we talked about in the previous post.

To make our program clear and easy to follow we created five tracks: Keynotes, Technical, Business, Demos and Workshops. We wanted to balance it out so that attendees wouldn’t have to choose between talks on going at the same time. 

Of course, no agenda is finalized without keynotes and so we are really excited to share with you the confirmed ones. We will hear from Sheila Warren, head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger at World Economic Forum; “Blockchain Revolution” co-author Don Tapscot and our Governing Board chair, Robert Palatnick. 

In addition to these keynotes, we have a great line-up of talks. In the technical track, Alfonso De la Rocha Gómez-Arevalillo from Telefonica will talk about “Going into Production! Performance Best Practices in Hyperledger Fabric,” Swetha Repakula from IBM and Tracy Kuhrt from Accenture will tell us about building diverse ecosystems in their presentation “All Are Welcome Here: Creating an Inclusive Hyperledger Community” and Nathan George, representing Sovrin Foundation, will present on “Standards and Interoperability for Identity.”

In the business track, there will be quite a few case studies including ones by Julie Esser from CULedger and Ron Amstutz from Desert Financial Credit Union, Alan Krassowski from Kiva and John Jordan representing Government of British Columbia. We wanted to talk about collaboration, so you will find many talks on Hyperledger Besu and connections with the Ethereum community, including a panel “Competition, Collaboration, and Connection: How Hyperledger & Ethereum Communities Thrive.”

Did we succeed? Probably not – we can always do better! That’s why we are sharing the agenda with you so early. If you think we missed something or feel like it is not balanced enough, drop us a line at hgf@hyperledger.org. See you in Arizona!

Setting the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 Agenda: The Speaker Selection Process

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

Can you feel the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 buzz? We sure can! We are finalizing the fine details of the agenda, and today we wanted to give you a peek behind the scenes on how the process worked. Similar to our inaugural forum, this year we decided to open the program agenda to the full community issuing an open call for talk submissions via our formal Call For Proposal (CFP) process. And, as expected, building up on the 2018 momentum, we sure got a lot of submissions!

More than 300 submissions competing for 66 session slots, coming from every corner of the world and touching on a variety of topics flooded our CFP portal from June 7 to October 4th.

At Hyperledger, we believe that all good things in life are free (to participate in) and open (source), and everyone should have the opportunity to participate and contribute. To ensure the process of selecting talks that would shape the agenda of the event was as community-driven as possible, we put out an open call for a Program Committee (PC) on August 22nd. Unlike 2018, Hyperledger staff was excluded from participating in scoring and selection this year. Eleven experienced community members stepped up, led by program chairs Tracy Kuhrt and Hart Montgomery,  two members of Technical Steering Committee and contributors to Hyperledger codebases. 

Given the number of submissions and the diversity of topics, the Program Committee decided to split responsibilities, according to their expertise: some reviewed the business proposals, some took on the technical ones, a few looked at both. The committee did a blind review (no speaker names or company name) of the talks, rating them on a scale of 1-5. The ratings were then averaged to come up with a score by which the talks were ranked. To make sure that we were all on the same page guidelines on general CFP scoring guidelines and best practices had been published as part of the CFP progress. 

Additionally the Program Committee added some of their own criteria:

  • No product pitches allowed. In the CFP proposal how to’s, it clearly suggested that speakers should “Avoid sales or marketing pitches and discussing unlicensed or potentially closed-source technologies when preparing your proposal; these talks are almost always rejected due to the fact that they take away from the integrity of our events, and are rarely well-received by conference attendees.” 
  • Make sure we are talking about real implementations and research that is relevant to the community. “No Hype, in Hyperledger.”
  • Hyperledger Global Forum differs from Hyperledger Member Summit. Every year we organize an event where we bring our members together to network, discuss ideas, challenges and solutions under Chatham house rules. Hyperledger Global Forum, on the other hand, is an open event inclusive of everyone. This means that everyone had to have an equal chance of getting accepted. Member affiliation didn’t matter – the content was what drove the choice. 
  • We heard the feedback from HGF18 loud and clear. Prioritize talks over panels. During various conferences we attend and our own events, there is a tendency to cram in many speakers into a panel. The Program Committee decided to change it. Yes, it means fewer speakers, but hopefully there will be more valuable content.

The Program Committee had one month to evaluate the submissions on their own. Then, they met as a committee over two 3-hour long calls to discuss the borderlines and outliers. It was not easy. Many talks were great, but overlapped in topics. This was the tricky part: choosing talks that were scored highest, came from new or under-represented voices in our community and represented all the projects within the Hyperledger Greenhouse. The process was blind until those last stages. 

We hope that you will join us at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 and will find the agenda as exciting as we do. None of it would be possible without our great events team, lead by Shannon Jessee, and the Program Committee: 

  • Hart Montgomery, Fujitsu [Program Chair]
  • Tracy Kuhrt, Accenture  [Program Chair]
  • Grace Hartley, ConsenSys, PegaSys Team
  • Jon Geater, Jitsuin
  • Nathan George, Sovrin Foundation
  • Bobbi Muscara, Ledger Academy
  • Mark Wagner, Red Hat
  • Fernando Cezar Herédia Marino, CPQD
  • Todd Taylor, GenBloq
  • Morgan Bauer, IBM
  • Arun S M, Walmart Labs (formerly with Intel)

We will be publishing the agenda soon. Stay tuned!