You know that feeling when you go to see an amazing speaker, and the energy just stays with you for days? That's me, multiplied. I cannot get over the energy and thought inspired by the blockchain event I attended in early August. There's a pivot happening, in industries where men reign supreme... women are taking the stage more than I've ever seen before.
This CXC event was a surprisingly female packed conference - full of powerhouse speakers. And these women are breaking the "story" about a lack of women in tech and lack of women seeking funding. They have found a place where the value of your innovation is rewarded and who you are can be race and gender blind, which is downright amazing.
Female Consumers Need Their Voices Heard
The female half of the population must participate in the technological advances we are making into the future, otherwise Artificial Intelligence and blockchain controls will be put in place without our voices. With women controlling most of the commerce decisions, this would be detrimental to our economy and would create a deeper gender divide in terms of access. As rapper and actor Common said, "You have to be in proximity to something to be a part of the change."
Molly Bloom Spoke Up In A Big Way
If you aren't familiar with Molly Bloom, she is an American entrepreneur, speaker, and author of the 2014 memoir Molly's Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World!. Molly trained for years to become an Olympic skier, but was injured during qualifications. In 2013, she was charged with running a high-stakes poker game that originated in the Viper Room in Los Angeles for wealthy individuals, sports figures, and celebrities. In 2014, after pleading guilty to reduced charges, she was sentenced to one year of probation, a $200,000 fine, and two hundred hours of community service. Aaron Sorkin turned her book into a film which debuted in 2017.
Reinvention + Perspective + The Big Picture
A self-identified big fan of well intended disruption, Molly spoke about maintaining the ability to take risks or to stay in the game for future good, regardless of failure or setbacks. This messaging, coming from a woman who lost it all and came back, is the backbone of this tech AI, blockchain revolution.
Building the Future
Blockchain is welcoming a brave new world, one of transparency, shining the light on corruption and will be the future's platform for global good. So for someone like Molly Bloom, or even myself, who is taking the long view now, who is wishing and building towards greater things for the greater good, this is the platform that also makes the most sense, and the one we want to see thrive. And women do this well, take the long view, and I believe that is one of the reasons this conference was so moving, and also one of the reasons we need more female involvement.
Not Your Typical Stoner
Another female we heard from, who nailed her messaging and won the audience over, was Jessica Versteeg, the CEO of Paragon. Paragon is revolutionizing the cannabis industry, with a suite of blockchain based solutions designed to provide stability, verification and legitimacy. This is a path I never considered until I heard her speak, which again, proves out the need for participation.
But Wait, There's More
Then there was Nina Nichols, Founder of Global Women in Blockchain and Pamela Norton of Borsetta.io , and Monika Proffitt, author of Blockchain 101, and Tricia Martinez of Wala, and Denise Roberson who asked brilliant insightful questions. Look for more to come on these women in Blockchain as I use this platform to push for future platforms and the women (and men) who are acting as the building blocks for the next industrial revolution.