Summer in Copenhagen Part 5: Blockchain Workshop at CBS

“The Fintech Lab often threw events, inviting outside companies and representatives to come in and participate. Among the ambiance was the crack of beer cans opening, both at events and around 3 p.m. on Fridays for Friday bar. We even enjoyed Blockchain and Copenhagen Fintech Lab branded beers – a bottle of which I’ve smuggled home with me and have sitting on top of my refrigerator now…”
(Excerpt from last week’s “Summer in Copenhagen Part 4: Fintech lab”, a co-working space
To see the first post in the series, check out: “Summer in Copenhagen: Introduction“)

“Let’s meet tomorrow morning at 8.35 am on the platform at Frederiksberg Metro Station” my professor and new boss Karim Jabbar said. It was my first week in Copenhagen and I hit the ground running, jumping in on a blockchain workshop led by BLOC for a class at the Copenhagen Business School.

Much of Denmark outside of Copenhagen is rural, like my familiar home state of North Carolina. In NC, we don’t have a particularly integrated transit system, so trains and metros were new to me. After accidentally going the wrong direction for one stop, I quickly learned Denmark’s system and managed to get myself to the correct metro station. Copenhagen Business School was just a short jog away, and there I joined Karim and a fellow BLOC intern, Samuel. After grabbing coffees in the CBS cafe, we shuffled into the classroom.

Our client was a class at CBS that had traveled from Texas to study sustainability in the business world from a Scandinavian perspective. The course was co-taught by CBS adjunct professor John Robinson, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Al Gore in 2007 for being a Lead Author in the last three assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hailing from his professorship at the University of Toronto in the Munk School of Global Affairs and the School of the Environment, and honorary professorship at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Dr. Robinson is known globally for his roles in urban sustainability, building sustainability, community engagement processes, and university sustainability programming. Having the opportunity to meet him and listen to his opening lecture was an exciting surprise to kick off my summer abroad.

After Dr. Robinson’s introduction, Karim led a captivating seminar on blockchain technology and it’s potential applications, and then the students were invited to engage in a lean-thinking ideation session.

Chatter slowly filled the room as small groups formed, bouncing ideas around and asking follow-up questions. Karim dropped in on group discussions, answering blockchain questions, and I was able to assist with some topics- including those related to renewable energy.

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Karim Jabbar provides insight and feedback to student groups during a blockchain ideation workshop


Over the next 15 minutes, each group informally designated someone to capture their jumbled (and at times wild) ideas into a quick, sleek PowerPoint presentation that would showcase their proposal for a blockchain based sustainability solution.


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Student groups present their ideas for potential applications of blockchain technology in meeting sustainability goals.


While recording the session, I gained a deeper insight into the untapped potential for possible applications for blockchain technology in meeting sustainability objectives – Blockchain was very much still in its infancy. I also witnessed the ideation and workshop process as one that engages participants in contemplation of local and global challenges, and inspires them to explore solutions to meet common goals together.


Karim Jabbar & BLOC lead Blockchain workshop at Copenhagen Business School. Students present sustainability ideas with feedback from John Robinson.

For BLOC, education is an important cornerstone in bridging the digital and the physical divide to solve global challenges; in addition to applied research and development, and advisory services, BLOC offers seminars and workshops. During my summer in Denmark with BLOC, we’d continue to refine this offering, and set up and integrate a hands on technology component via our own network of nodes, for future clients to play with…

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