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Don Tapscott is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at the Blockchain Research Institute and bestselling author of 16 books.

His most recent book is Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World.

Don has been on the Thinkers50 list 5 times, most recently in 2017 when he was ranked #2 on the list. He also wrote the afterword for my 2012 book, The Collaborative Organization.

At the Blockchain Research Institute, Don and his team study hundreds of cases and stories within 15 industries in order to document the strategic implications of blockchain. Because of this research they are able to help leaders in business and government navigate the blockchain revolution.

Why do we need blockchain? As Don explains up until now we have had intermediaries such as banks, brokers, credit card companies, governments, etc… in order to make sure that assets are safe. But these intermediaries are getting hacked and they sometimes have processes that are outdated, lengthy and costly. That is where blockchain comes in.

The intermediaries will not disappear altogether, but the value will change. He says, “I think the opportunity to create new value, may be bigger than the old disintermediation. I mean, look at… Barnes and Noble suffered, but look at Amazon, it’s the most valuable company in the world now. It’s in the middle, right in that space. So I said, “The problem is, the leaders of the old middle are not typically the ones to create the new middles.” So what happens to these people? Well, we’re of the view the future is not something to be predicted, it’s something to be achieved. It depends on what they do. And traditional people in the middle, I’d say Western Union, I wouldn’t think that they have a huge chance. I don’t know the company very well, but I don’t see a lot of signs that they’re trying to innovate a whole new model for remittances globally, using this technology. So it’s really up to you.”

Blockchain still has a long way to go, it’s still, as Don says, “relatively immature”. It’s going to take a while to fully implement it, but it is still a profound advancement and it is definitely going to impact the way we live and work.

Don’s advice to individuals and leaders is to be curious and look into blockchain to learn what you can about it. He says if you run a large corporation it doesn’t matter what function you are in–whether you are the CEO, in HR, even in marketing–you will be affected by blockchain and there will be big opportunities to utilize it.

What you will learn:

  • What is blockchain and how is it impacting the future of work
  • Don’s advice for the younger generation currently in college
  • The implications of AI–will they be positive or negative?
  • A look at specific trends that are forcing organizations to take blockchain more seriously now
  • Don’s advice for both non-leaders and leaders on what we should be doing about blockchain