Coding Girls Manila has brought blockchain education to the youth. A successful two-day event organized by Alenna Dawn, ambassador of Coding Girls Manila, took place on August 28-29 at the iAcademy Nexus campus in Makati. The Blocklab 1.0 Initiate event provided talks, seminars, and workshops about blockchain and how students can be a part of this technological change.

Alenna is a graduating student of Mapua University. She is an active participant in various blockchain/ fintech meetups. It was during one of these events when she invited BitChikka to speak for this event. Her passion for technology and blockchain continues to amaze people. She proposed blockchain as her thesis subject but her professor was not familiar with the technology and was first hesitant about it. However, due to her strong interest in the topic, she was able to convince her professor to approve it. This motivated her to organize such an event. This young lady has successfully brought industry leaders together in an event to spread awareness about blockchain through education.

Here is a sneak peak on what transpired during the event.

Day One
Students freely roamed around and visited the booths and exhibited their eagerness to learn from each.

Photo credits to NEM Philippines

The program started with an introduction to blockchain through a talk given by Kris Kucharzyk of PDAX. This was followed by a showcase of products by companies like Tagcash and PearlPay. Both are fintech companies that provide digital wallet services. Blockchats founder, Lina Seiche, inspired and encouraged the students to contribute their skills to the blockchain community. She emphasized that one does not have to be technically inclined to contribute to the community.

“You take what you are good at and blockchain it,” said Lina.

Photo credits to NEM and CEstates

The fireside chat discussion gave more insights about how blockchain works, and how the hype around it has affected the curiosity of the people which subsequently resulted in a significant growth in the community. They encouraged the students to take the leap and be proactive.

It is amazing how a person can simply make a difference by educating. One can see the effect of mentoring and the way it can inspire people to make their own developments in the platform. One great example was when the co-founder of PearlPay, Sparky acknowledged Erica Valerio of SCI as one of his blockchain mentors when he was still starting on his own.

Kris also gave a sound advice that while blockchain is a great tool, it is not to be used in everything because concededly blockchain is not the solution to every problem.

The discussion ended with a few takeaway quotes from the panelists. Rich Hahn encouraged the students to participate in events. PearlPay co-founder, Sparky Perreras, said,

“I just have four words, don’t miss this chance.”

Day Two
NEM gave an overview of their blockchain. CEstates Co-founder Elixes Becislao talked about how they are utilizing the blockchain in their real estate tokenization project. Rachel Luna, COO of SCI, gave a brief but empowering talk about women in management and in technology by emphasizing on asking for what you deserve. Tagcash Founder Mark Vernon talked about non-fungible tokens and the manner it can be utilized in the gamification of marketing.

Photo credits to Dana Alyssa Abad

Blockchain Space founder Peter Ing gave a very lively and enlightening talk. He started with a question and answer activity, and proceeded with an overview of what a co-working space is and how it is being used as an event meetup place by the community and as offices by blockchain startup companies. When Christopher Verceles of Lifemesh gave a brief talk about how to develop blockchain-based games in Ethereum, the excitement from the students grew because most of them are into game development.

Photo credits to Elixes Becislao

BitChikka also held their talk that day. This was delivered by Tracy, one of the founders. Blockchain is a challenging topic to explain, especially to a young crowd like this. To get these junior and senior high school students more interested about the topic, Tracy decided to engage them in a short activity emulating how a blockchain works. She then proceeded to discuss Stellar blockchain and the tools that are available for them to use as software developers.

The Ripple team also did an activity to demonstrate the difference between transferring money via the banks, and transferring money using Ripple.

What made the event even more appreciated by the students was the freebies. When the program ended, they flocked Tagcash founder, Mark Vernon to claim some free tagcoins.

Photo credits to Tagcash

During the two-day event, the students, also called as the game changers of iAcademy, were given an introduction to blockchain, cryptocurrency and different blockchain platforms like NEM, Ripple, and Stellar. Usually, people think that the students are lucky and privileged to have the industry leaders mentoring them in their school, but in reality, it is the other way around. It is a privilege for the industry leaders to make an impact by teaching, and BitChikka co-founder Tracy is one of them. She is proud to be one of the speakers who were able to impart knowledge to these young and inspired individuals.

As the world enters yet another phase of technological change driven by blockchain, education will be the key to a successful adoption. As Nelson Mandela said,

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Coding Girls Manila will hold a series of events in universities which will be similar to the BlockLab 1.0 Initiate event. Make sure to check out their facebook page for further announcements.

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