The Blockchain: Enabling a Distributed and Connected Energy Future

MON, FEB 22, 2016 (1:40:20)

Bitcoin’s underlying protocol, called “the blockchain”, is a distributed consensus-driven infrastructure enabling trust between connected assets. While currently considered only a financial tool, the blockchain’s actual capability is extremely broad. Just as advances in TCP/IP created vast opportunities for the internet, the blockchain is enabling us to rethink the basic infrastructure of how energy is distributed, accounted for and secured.

Bonus Demo: Be sure to watch at the end of this talk, as a Bitcoin transfer from Cambridge in real time buys electricity for a small school in South Africa.

+ BIO: Scott Clavenna

Scott Clavenna has 20 years experience in high-tech market research, company leadership, business development and world-class team building. Greentech Media focuses on leading information services company for the emerging greentech/cleantech market.

+ BIO: Joichi Ito

Joichi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab and Chairman of the Board of PureTech Health. He is on the board of The Sony Corporation, The New York Times Company, the MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, The Mozilla Foundation, The MIT Press, MIT Tech Review and co-founder and board member of Digital Garage an Internet company in Japan. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Flickr,, Kongregate, Fotonauts/Fotopedia, Kickstarter and other Internet companies. He is the Guild Custodian of the World of Warcraft guild, We Know ( He is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, an Emergency First Responder instructor and a Divers Alert Network instructor. Ito was named by Businessweek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011, Ito was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan and by Foreign Poicy Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers”. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world’s leading advocates of Internet freedom. Ito received the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from The New School in 2013 and a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Tufts University in 2015. Read his article, “Why Bitcoin is and isn’t like the Internet”, Linked In, January 18, 2015.

+ BIO: Paul Brody

Paul Brody has spent more than 15 years in the electronics industry doing extensive consulting work across supply chain, operations, and business strategy. He currently leads technology strategy for EY. His client experience in the past has included companies like IBM, HP, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Apple, Canon, Toshiba, Sony, Panasonic, Ericsson, Nokia, Alcatel, FIAT, Honeywell, and Raytheon. Paul is a member of the open linked-in network and he enjoys hearing about new ideas and technologies that will re-shape our industry or create opportunities (and challenges) for EY.

+ BIO: Ewald Hesse

Ewald Hesse leads the GridSingularity venture, rooted in his extensive experience in the energy sector and acute interest in distributed business models. Hesse has served as Regional director for business development and strategy in Southeast Europe at Andritz Hydro, a global supplier in renewable (hydro) energy technology. Earlier in his career, he explored technology transfer and joint ventures in China and European automobile sector at Metzler and ABB power and automation technologies group. Ewald holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Project Management from the University in Konstanz, Germany. GridSingularity is a new venture that facilitates an Internet-based decentralised energy data management and exchange platform built on the most advanced blockchain technology.

+ BIO: Lawrence Orsini

With more than ten years of experience in all aspects of commercial energy efficiency programs – design, management, implementation and marketing – as well as a strong understanding of the Energy Efficiency policy and regulatory environment, Lawrence is well versed in the inner workings of the efficiency industry. Lawrence’s broad industry experience runs the gamut, from field auditing to managing relationships with Fortune 100 utility and corporate clients, affording him a unique ability to draw connections between policy driven utility energy efficiency program requirements and bottom line driven business spending.

MIT Enterprise Forum Cambridge