Early in the fall of 2017, Associate Dean Andrew Gemino came to our very first Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) meeting to pass along some ideas for the year. One of those ideas was partnering with SFU Public Square to put on an event that covered the topical subject of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it. As the newly elected President of the GBSA, I made a note to start thinking about it for the spring semester, after the Holiday party had occurred of course!
SFU Public Square is an initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections by creating inspiring dialogue within the wide-reaching community of Vancouver. The theme for 2018 was Brave New Work and more specifically, how do we thrive at work when technology is changing every day? The subject of blockchain technology fit in perfectly with this theme, as it has the potential to be a major disruptor to everyday work. The event was planned to be a panel discussion with industry experts to further explain the technology beyond Bitcoin.
As the GBSA was the main planner of the event, we sent out a survey to all Graduate Business students to get a sense of the areas they were interested in. Unsurprisingly, many students were interested in the disruption of the financial sector, along with the effect on supply chain and potential legal implications. This set the tone for the panel speakers that we reached out to. An important goal for me was to ensure that the panel had equal representation of males and females. Our panel in the end was 4 industry experts (with a 50-50 gender split!) that had expertise in finance, supply chain, law and technology.
The event was fantastic, with SFU School of Communications Professor Dr. Peter Chow-White kicking it off with an introduction to blockchain and how it may eventually impact the future of work. The event then turned to the panel that was moderated by Dr. Chow-White. Once the panel discussion was complete, the audience was able to ask the panel questions to further their understanding of blockchain. Finally, the event ended with a networking session, where many students and members of the public were able to interact with the speakers.
The blockchain event was timely for the full-time MBA students, as we were studying Managing Information Systems (MIS) at the time. Those of us who attended the event were able to bring in new knowledge into the classroom and open up further discussions as to how blockchain can shift MIS and the future of work.
Lauren is a full-time MBA candidate at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. She is originally from Aurora, Ontario and completed her Undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She spent four years living and working as a Production Engineer in the oil fields of Northern Alberta and British Columbia. Lauren is currently the President of the Graduate Business Student Association and a Beedie Student Ambassador. She is looking forward to new opportunities in operations and analytics upon completion of the MBA Program. Find out more about Lauren through her LinkedIn or contact her via email at email@example.com.