Austin Forum Blockchain


Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | Galvanize | 6:15pm

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Ashish Gadnis

Richard Hurley
Governance Chain

Christa Clark

Jeremy Drzal

119 Nueces St.
Downtown Austin

5:45pm Doors and Bar
6:15pm Presentation, Q&A
7:30pm Reception

Parking information:
$5 after 5pm: Discounted Parking at Galvanize courtesy of LAZ Parking.

What is blockchain? How does it relate to bitcoin? How can blockchain tools be used to transform lives and empower people all over the world?

There’s more to blockchain than Bitcoin! Real-life blockchain programs are being used today to transform lives around the world, enabling people to gain a new level of dignity and economic empowerment.

Blockchain is an utterly incorruptible ‘truth ledger’ of records that operates as an independent, permanent, and transparent database coexisting in multiple locations and shared by a community. This technology has the potential to be used for a wide variety of applications, such as recording land ownership documents, cryptographically secured health records, tamper-proof voting records, vehicle registries, and disbursing fraud-proof government benefits or digital identities for refugees lacking government documents. Blockchain banking services enable disadvantaged earners around the world to secure currency in a format that is easily transferable, but not easily stolen. Document security removes power from corrupt businesses and bureaucracies and prevents deeds and other documents from being stolen or altered without consent. From pottery makers and farmers in developing countries to Austin music teachers for children with autism, people are using blockchain technology to support themselves and provide critical services.

Join these four experts to learn more about what blockchain is, and which tools and applications you can begin using today to empower yourself and change the lives of others.

Check out this related Austin Forum event.


Ashish Gadnis Austin Forum

Ashish Gadnis

Richard Hurley

Richard Hurley

Christa Clark

Christa Clark

Jeremy Drzal

Jeremy Drzal

Ashish Gadnis is the Co-Founder/CEO of the award winning blockchain application BanQu. BanQu is the first ever blockchain Economic Identity platform (patent pending) and network that creates long-term economic resilience/independence for refugees and people living in extreme poverty across the globe. He is also currently, a senior strategic advisor to multiple global organizations on the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda.
Prior to his current engagements, Mr. Gadnis was the founder and CEO of multiple technology startups, the last one of which was acquired by a $1.5 billion global consulting firm in 2012.
Over the past 25 years Ashish has been recognized for his private/public sector contributions with awards such as – MIT Innovate for Refugees (Syrian refugees) award, Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum), Minority Business Leader (Twin Cities Business), 40 under 40 (Business Journal), Change-Makers Innovator Award (Coding Schools in Refugee Camps in East Africa) and Battery Ventures Innovation Award – Democratic Republic of Congo (for Asili: a mobile/cloud-based business focused on reducing infant child mortality, improving maternal health and increasing livelihood in conflict zones). Ashish has a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from Bombay University, MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Carlson School and Executive Education in Global Leadership and Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.
More on Ashish

Richard Hurley runs Hurley Piano, where he teaches children with autism to play piano and develops technology tools to bring music to children with autism. Born in Ireland, he has degrees from University College Dublin in liberal arts and BSc in architecture. He is involved in a number of start ups addressing tech and the needs of the autism community. In his role as Chief Business Development Officer at GovernanceChain, he has particular interest in blockchain technology and its potential to streamline the administrative burden on the community with special needs.
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Christa Clark has always been passionate about technology, finance, and entrepreneurship. Initially, she channeled her passions into educating children in financial literacy: an endeavor that culminated in conceptualizing an app to highlight the value of financial literacy in everyday life. Ultimately, this ignited her interest in money: particularly with regards to how it flows back-and-forth between consumers and institutions. Subsequently, she co-founded her first startup: a Fintech company whose goal was to build a plugin that enabled browser-based payments, with an emphasis on Bitcoin. With a newfound appreciation for crypto-currency and a number of connections within the industry, she co-organized a day-long conference on Bitcoin & Blockchain at SXSW in 2015. Next, Christa began initial development on her brainchild: Heartworthy, a web design and development agency whose mission is to rescue professionals from outdated websites and rehabilitate poor user experiences.
Christa later joined SkunkworxLab, a technology think tank and development shop, as their lead UX/UI and Web Designer. Today, Christa remains a key member of the SkunkworxLab team and is working on enterprise projects involving AI/machine learning, big data and analytics, transaction processing, payments, and Blockchain.
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Jeremy Drzal of BLOCK 512 is an innovative leader experienced in identifying and executing growth strategies for secure and smart connected commerce. His experience spans many verticals including Fintech, RegTech, Retail, and Smart Cities across a network of clients and partners in 50 countries.

Jeremy founded BLOCK 512 in 2016 as a way to bring a platform agnostic consortium of experts together to provide Insights, Advisory, and Acceleration services for blockchain optimized solutions with viable business models. BLOCK 512 works in close collaboration with clients to develop their Blockchain Readiness™ strategy supporting innovation and transformation across the organization. BLOCK 512’s Acceleration services include alternative capital and corporate governance through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

More on Jeremy

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