Morne Olivier

Freelance Writer Specializing in Blockchain Technology

Women in Blockchain | Changing the Status Quo

I have this unexplained urge to write. I sometimes feel it’s the only way I can express myself. But this has been a recent development, 2 years in the making. What gave it depth, was my unknown, self-drive to find out more about Blockchain Technology.
I struggle to pass an article and not read it, I must say a lot faster these days and sometimes skimming to get the gist to assess where I can use or store it. Added benefits, of course, has been an improved vocabulary and to my wife’s happiness improved spelling 😊
Not something I planned and certainly not something friends and family expected from me. Building up the knowledge base gave me the power to write about a subject I am passionate about — Decentralization.
 Blockchain is the vehicle that will drive this concept and as I continue learning about the subject, find it has a resounding effect on a borderless network of possibilities forward.
Before you think this article is about me, my point here is, don’t wait for something to come to you, don’t think someone owes you something, don’t think about the money you should be earning for all the hours you put in.
Rather think about the contribution you want to make, like a friend said, “think about what you can bring to the table”. I can carry on with cliché’s and I’m not a ‘feel good quote’ kind’a guy, but it really is about how I think business ethics will change and how up and coming generations should embrace this opportunity, this gap they are being given to change the status quo.

“This way the money will follow you”

Women suddenly have this upper power… yes, the young generations coming through the ranks have an incredible independency value to them and this challenges all the perimeters. The knowledge that women need today to be equal to ‘men (if you know what I mean) is equally accessible and the job requirements are no longer fixed, (rather, remote…, and will become more so as automation evolves).
This series “Women in Blockchain” is to uncover just that, open up seemingly difficult to reach career area’s and explaining a new industry that will see a career path into a very bright future.
My first interview then is with Jillian Godsil
Q&A
Give us a summary of your background and how you got into Blockchain & Digital Currency / Cryptocurrency?
“For the first time in my working career, my age and gender is an advantage. I’m a woman and I’m in my fifties (early :) in charge of my destiny for others.”
Hi, I’m Jillian Godsil co-founder of Blockleaders.io and Editor in Chief. I have managed some great achievements with EOS in Dublin, named in the top 50 Women in Blockchain Technology and in general busy with my passion, the media.
I am a freelance journalist for the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and many more broadsheets and business publications.
I am an advisor for a number of companies working in the Blockchain industry and travel the world speaking and chairing Blockchain conferences.
I host two weekly terrestrial radio shows, DubinCityFM and East CoastFM, and was nominated for a national radio award, an IMRO, in 2019.
It wasn't always like this, a few years ago I lost everything and had to start from nothing with my two girls. I had to crawl my way back into society, but with a redefined purpose. I remember fighting for my rights in the constitutional court and winning!
By doing so, I ran in the European Parliamentary elections in 2014 and while she did not win a seat I earned 11,500 votes. This is where blockchain started for me. By September 2017 she was travelling the world, speaking and chairing at blockchain conferences, not just for me, but for humanity.
2) Tell us about your current position, responsibilities and some day to day activities that you look forward to?
I am co-founder and Editor in Chief of Blockeladers.io — and have been awarded the 2019 AI and Blockchain Journalist in London last month. Here I do video and written articles/profiles on all things blockchain-related.
I do a weekly podcast for EOS Doblin. I work as a consultant and PR adviser to a number of projects in this space. I chair, moderate and keynote at blockchain events around the world — love this side to my career
I have two terrestrial radio shows here in Ireland that has nothing to do with blockchain — although I do manage to sneak a lot of blockchain data into them lol — DublinCityFm and EastCoast FM. And this year I was nominated for a national radio award from IMRO.
3) If you had to be critical about yourself, which part of your career would you like to improve on?
Well, my kids might say the financial side — it’s taken me 12 years to turn the financial corner but finally, finally it is happening as I start to earn money again. Hurrah!
4) What advice do you have for children/youth (10–18 years ) today especially young women about the Blockchain world? How do we nurture interest in this new Technology?
It doesn’t matter what you do — blockchain is like the internet — it is going to be pervasive in all our lives but to young people I point to the thinking in the blockchain which is exciting in this very broken world of ours. The thinking is disruptive, the thinking is innovative and the thinking is based on making a better world. So it doesn’t matter what a young person or woman wants to do — blockchain will be in their future. My only exhortation is for young people to own this — like they now do with climate change — and make sure the old fools don’t screw it or the world up.
5) What kind of skill set would you be looking at in job applicants?
Same as any other industry — enthusiasm, intelligence, creativity, problem-solving skills — all laced with kindness and a concern to make the world a better place.
6) Blockchain to me is a forward-thinking force of snowballing Technology, but where I’m from a lot of people still see Bitcoin as a scam. How do we bridge the gap between the Technology and people that are skeptical about it?
We just keep showing up and talking. That for me is what I am put on this earth to do — talk and communicate endlessly about blockchain. And have fun too — much easier to persuade people to look at new opportunities if the people involved are enjoying the new world.
7) Can you please provide the details of an educational facility that is in your area or country if anyone reading this article desires to find out more about Blockchain.
Well it’s actually over in the UK but two companies to watch are Cointelligence which runs an Education Academy and CoinBurp that are doing education videos featuring Calum Best (George Best’s son and influencer)
In terms of reading — please visit my website http://blockleaders.io/
Or EOS podcast — https://eosdublin.podbean.com/
Or my new ICO SOFA channel https://www.icosofa.com/channel/jillian-godsil/?view=about
Or my DublinCityFM radio show https://www.dublincityfm.ie/shows/making-a-difference/
8) What is your current opinion on the Digital Assets, ( Cryptocurrency ) market and share with us your opinion on where you think this technology will take us?
Tokenise everything! Digital Assets have existed for a long time but now they are moving into blockchain technology which is very exciting. It’s the future from property, DNA, music etc etc
9) What new exciting projects are you currently working on or planning?
I am working on a very serious project called Europechain which offers GDPR compliant blockchain — really cool project.
10) What is your favorite Blockchain project and why?
CoinBurp — they are great guys but they have recruited Calum Best as an ambassador. I have to admit to having a girl crush on Calum. So that makes CoinBurp my favorite project.
What an amazing story and again it shows to me what humans are actually capable of when they are confronted with difficult circumstances or when they follow their passions. Either way, for me #havefunwithit is my ‘take-home’ and you know it becomes easy to talk about something we enjoy, that energy is contagious and in the Blockchain community at large a contagious Decentralized network is spreading because of woman like you Jillian.
My next guest is Maria Grazia
Cybersecurity Expert, Blockchain, Audit of Smart Contracts, Author “The Executive Guide to Blockchain”
Q&A
Give us a summary of your background and how you got into Blockchain & Digital Currency / Cryptocurrency?
Thank you for this question. I have studied Computer Science and I have Ph.D. in Computing from one of the most prestigious Computing Departments in the world: Imperial College London. I carried out exciting research at Imperial on both cybersecurity and cryptography, and it was a small step to learn about blockchain in general. In short, I could see how with my set of skills I could positively influence the technology.
2) Tell us about your current position, responsibilities and some day to day activities that you look forward to?
There are not many women in technology, so in 2017 I decided I wanted to make a mark and I set up my own company, Sandblocks Consulting. At the same time, I started to work on an extraordinary start-up Gradbase, that inserts academic qualifications on the blockchain. Both companies have grown enormously, and that has given me the time to write a book on Blockchain “The Executive Guide to blockchain”, which will be published by Palgrave in February 2020 -see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Executive-Guide-Blockchain-Contracts-Currencies/dp/3030211061 The goal of the book is to explain blockchain technology to everyone who does not have a technology background, but an interest in understanding the principles and the applications of blockchain.
Going back to my typical day at work, because I run businesses, I do not have a typical day. Every day is different, and I personally love it. Some days I meet customers to understand what they need, or I lead my technical team to ensure deliveries of projects. I also participate in meetings, conferences to deliver thought leadership on blockchain. I run training sessions for executives and technical teams. I always need to make time to plan future activities to keep the companies afloat and understand where the market is going to remain relevant.
3) If you had to be critical about yourself, which part of your career would you like to improve on?
When I started my career, I wish I had more confidence and I had been more assertive about advancing my career. Women tend to be overcritical about themselves and do not put themselves forward. We are making disfavor to ourselves and to other women: there are fewer role models and mentors that will help women to advance. Advancing the career does require to ask for promotion rather than waiting to be recognized. One needs to feel confident that promotion is deserved. Women mentors can help other women to increase the confidence and to find ways to ask for promotion.
4) What advice do you have for children/youth (10–18 years ) today especially young women about the Blockchain world? How do we nurture interest in this new Technology?
My best advice is do not be afraid to try something new, even if it feels alien. Technology will become part of your life one way or another, learn to understand it now and you will be in a great position to make it work for you at a later stage.
I also would encourage young people to have a look a free resources where they can learn technology in a way that suits them.
Have a look at some amazing free resources:
https://studio.code.org/courses — This website is full of interesting courses that if I had the time, I would take myself. It has been done with the help of great engineers, and it only requires an internet connection!
https://www.raspberrypi.org — This is a fantastic project where young people can learn to build their own computers. It requires to purchase some hardware.
http://appinventor.mit.edu — Another great online resource for young people to learn about coding from MIT.
It does not matter where they start: what matters is, that they start now!
5) What kind of skill set would you be looking at in job applicants?
Beyond the specific skills of the job, the most important skills we are interested in are good communication skills and independence. Being able to clearly communicate with others eliminates friction and makes work more enjoyable. I do not micromanage people, I expect people to be able to sort out problems or to come back and tell me what they need to sort out the problems in their job. That is independence for you. In my view, these skills must be part of every employee to become a successful company.
6) Blockchain to me is a forward-thinking force of snowballing Technology, but where I’m from a lot of people still see Bitcoin as a scam.
 How do we bridge the gap between the Technology and people that are skeptical about it.
I think the best way to gain a balanced view of the technology is to learn more about it and deploy it in some way. Let’s consider a similar problem in a different situation. If you only have used a horse to travel, any modern city could look scary and dangerous. But once one learns how to drive a car, and what are the rules for driving on the road, then the perspective completely changes. Similarly, learning about cryptocurrency and blockchain will help people to understand how technology can be used, and skepticism will disappear.
7) Can you please provide the details of an educational facility that is in your area or country if anyone reading this article decides to find out more about Blockchain?
I teach about blockchain at TechUK (https://www.techuk.org) in London, which is an organization with 850 companies from around the UK. I offer a one-day overview about the technology and its deployment. There are several online courses that people can take, and some of them are also free, for example, https://www.edx.org/professional-certificate/uc-berkeleyx-blockchain-fundamentals.so a great place to start.
8) What is your current opinion on the Digital Assets, ( Cryptocurrency ) market and share with us your opinion on where you think this technology will take us?
The cryptocurrency market is overcrowded at the moment, according to Coinmarketcap (https://coinmarketcap.com) there are over 4904 cryptocurrencies at the moment. I believe that similarly to the Dot-com bubble, in the next five years, we will see what projects will survive and these will shape the future market.
9) What new exciting projects are you currently working on or planning?
Currently, I am working on ensuring more women take part in blockchain projects. I am working on creating training for those women.
10) What is your favourite Blockchain project and why?
I have two favorite projects: are Algorand https://www.algorand.com and Elixxir https://elixxir.io. These are two projects that deploy blockchain in a way that is useful to society, and they are very robust from a technical point of view.
Thank you, Maria, what a wealth of information. I’ll be sure to look into the courses and sharing more information on them and I like your analogy of the horse and car, (I think of it as a wheel, it still stays round, but we improve the rim and tires or change them to suit the road conditions), educating yourself beyond what is expected of you, will define your pathway into the technological future. I still think there will be some great power struggles between up and coming students, women and the current upper-level C-Suites, unless they take to book and adapt, (fast).
from Morne Olivier LinkedIn
Writer | Marketer | Blockchain Consultant


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