Keynote Address

Vinay Gupta, “The Cities that Will Walk Away”

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Presented in collaboration with the Penny Stamps Speaker Series with support from the Dissonance Event Series.

Vinay Gupta is an engi­neer, strate­gist, dig­i­tal vision­ary, and future-builder. Lon­don-based and Scot­tish-born, Gupta has worked to address a wide range of some of the most com­plex chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties fac­ing the 21st cen­tury. Cur­rently the CEO of Mat­tereum, a plat­form that har­nesses blockchain to auto­mate and stream­line the sys­tems of global com­mer­cial law, Gupta has played a mas­sively influ­en­tial role in the devel­op­ment of the blockchain indus­try. Notably, in 2015, he coor­di­nated the launch of the neu­tral, open-access inter­net and native cur­rency sys­tem Ethereum. He has also served as strate­gic archi­tect at the lead­ing crypto ven­ture Con­sen­Sys, designed Dubai’s blockchain strat­egy, and serves as the Blockchain Fel­low at the UK government’s Dig­i­tal Cat­a­pult. Gupta also applies sys­tems-think­ing to issues sur­round­ing envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and resilience. A pre­vi­ous mem­ber of the Rocky Moun­tain Insti­tute, one of the world’s top energy pol­icy think tanks, Gupta advo­cated for solv­ing oil sup­ply issues through new tech­nolo­gies. In 2002, Gupta designed the hexa­yurt, a pub­lic domain dis­as­ter relief shel­ter eas­ily con­structed using four-by-eight sheets, the com­mon indus­trial size of ply­wood. Intended for use by cli­mate refugees, the hexa­yurt is also omnipresent in Black Rock Desert every year, iconic in the Burn­ing Man counterculture.