A lecture about blockchain technology and a particular application thereof, tokenization of assets, was probably new to everyone who attended: students, business people, teachers, and walk-ins.
That afternoon, we all learned some things about security tokens, but also about lectures on new trends and innovations.
In this post, I will categorize 5 important points I learned from giving a guest lecture about security tokens which will help you to comprehend the dynamics between new technologies, such as blockchain, and Universities.
Actually, I learned 4 new things that afternoon; I already had one in mind, which was confirmed at the beginning of the lecture.
1. No one is an expert
I started the lecture by making this clear: No one is an expert, we are all students.
“ Hey guys, I want to let you know, I am here to learn from you as well. No one is an expert — neither am I.”
I said this partly because I wanted to take away the potential awkwardness that the students and I felt because we are the same age, but I was standing in front of the class trying to teach them about security tokens.
However, I also genuinely mean that: No one is an expert in tokenization of assets at this point If I see someone on Linkedin or Twitter claiming they are a “blockchain expert” I tend to burst out in laughter. Expertise comes with years upon years of experience and practice. A good benchmark is the rule of 10,000 hours, which claims you can only be an expert at something once you have put 10,000 focused hours into the subject. For now, the application of blockchain technology in funding and finance is too early for anyone to have reached that threshold.
+8 years from now, when the implementation and application of blockchain technology have somewhat matured, people may call themselves experts. Until then, we are all exploring and all of us are students.
2. Students are knowledgeable about blockchain technology
When I was studying at the University of Amsterdam, I loved interactive lectures in which you can interact with the lecture via your phone or pc. Therefore, I opted to do an interactive guest lecture with the students of the Hague University by letting students answer questions through an interactive platform. The first question students could reply to was:
I was impressed by the number of students that rated their knowledge with 4 or 5 and their ability to link different concepts, build sensible business logic and write corresponding smart contracts.
This might be huge untapped potential for companies; they tend to hire overpriced tech people while there are hundreds of bright minds right at their feet in the educational facilities. I bet there are numerous cases or internships which can be built around challenges these blockchain companies face.
Students gain knowledge in online and offline communities, just like tech entrepreneurs do. They like to engage in these research activities when the matter interests them.
3. Educational systems must be renovated
I believe that the energy and drive the students displayed during the lecture was related to the importance of the subject.
The potential impact of Security tokens in the future makes sense to them and therefore they are eager to learn more about it, even in their spare time. The ability to trade assets instantly, at low settlement costs, e.g. shares from a Dutch start-up for a piece of Marina Mall in Dubai, affects them directly.
Having said that, I think it is time we should realize that the educational system needs to be renewed entirely.
The educational systems should be agile with regards to innovation and new market trends, enabling students to dive into subjects they believe are relevant to them.
The current structure of different modules and specialization has become obsolete with regards to the professional landscape. Additionally, it is too slow: It takes roughly 4 to 7 years for a new module to be admitted in Universities. At the current pace of developments, there will be too much that has changed in that short period.
A possible alternative, I fantasize about, might be a system whereby students spend 20% of their time acquiring fundamental general knowledge, and 80% of their time diving into new trends.
4. You can use students as a “thinking machine”
Perhaps, taking “learning from students” too literally, I decided I could also leverage the students’ minds to help me.
I gave the students a particular challenge to solve. This challenge was indirectly related to a security token offering, but honestly, I was just trying to solve the following issue:
As a marketing manager for VMC.AI, I face vast challenges regarding organic community growth. There have been so many lousy advertisements and community initiatives in crypto-land, that it has become difficult to position yourself as a genuine company/community.
Why not leverage 40–50 bright minds to come up with ideas for this challenge?
So, I set up a “community growth initiative challenge” and asked the students to make pairs and come up with their best idea.
The winners received some VMC merchandise as a sign of gratitude.
5. I love the art of teaching
This is something I did not expect to learn from my first experience as a ‘teacher’.
I have stood on stage quite often: Pitching my “next big idea” in a start-up contest, convincing companies to invest or selling a product to potential clients. These were hardcore selling experiences I did not dislike per se. However, I was always fed up with this feeling you are forcing the audience to believe something you do.
In my first teaching experience, I learned that I like to engage with a large group of people about subjects I am excited about. In that respect, I feel the energy can come mainly from the crowd and I am solely standing there to coordinate the conversation and ask triggering questions.
I felt like this might have been the first time I experienced the “flow state” about which you will read in any self-development book.
Maybe, giving workshops or teaching students is something I am genuinely talented at. The future will tell…
For now, I hope you liked my story about teaching University students about a subject I am passionate about, security tokens.