Keynote Speakers

Professor Nir Kshetri

Professor Nir Kshetri

Professor at University of North Carolina-Greensboro & Research Fellow at Kobe University

Talk Title: The opportunities and challenges of blockchain-based solutions to improve access to entrepreneurial financing for the poor

Nir Kshetri has authored nine books, one of which has been selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine. He has also published about 140 articles in various journals. He has provided consulting services to Asian Development Bank and various UN agencies. Nir’s paper “Can Blockchain Strengthen IoT?”  was the winner of IEEE IT Professional’s Most Popular Paper Award in 2018. In January 2019, his paper ” Blockchain-Enabled E-voting ” was awarded by the 2019 Blockchain Connect Conference as the top eight winners of the Most Influential Blockchain Research Papers.  Nir has been quoted/interviewed and/or his work has been featured by hundreds of media outlets worldwide such as Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Scientific American, Bloomberg TV, Public Radio International, CBS News, TV Mundo (Peru), ABF TV (Brazil), Fortune, Time, Christian Science Monitor, SF Gate, Fast Company, Forbes Africa, U.S. News & World Report, New Boston Post, Slate, Observer and Salon.  In 2018, he gave a TED Talk about the potential roles of cryptocurrencies in fighting poverty.

Abstract: 

Various ICT-based solutions have been developed to improve access to and affordability of financial services for the poor. In the past few years, numerous blockchain startups have launched platforms and applications to expand entrepreneurial financing opportunities for the ultra-poor. This study extends the research on ICTs’ impacts on entrepreneurship and financial services by studying how blockchain can provide new entrepreneurial financing opportunities. Through case studies of four start-ups, it demonstrates how blockchain can facilitate disadvantaged entrepreneurs’ access to finance with the creation of secure identity, aggregation of trustworthy and relevant information to enhance creditworthiness and stimulation of impact investments. The article also suggests that blockchain could make entrepreneurial finance more affordable with its micrometering feature, low marginal costs of investment and ability to foster disintermediation and decentralization. Theoretically investors are able to track indicators that are linked to the goals of a project. Blockchain-based solutions enable disadvantaged groups to control and manage their personal data and information and use them to increase creditworthiness. In this way, these applications seek to bring economic empowerment to microentrepreneurs. Blockchain can thus make it possible for poor people to obtain credit with dignity. The case studies indicate that various difficulties may be encountered in translating these theoretical ideas into practical strategies on the ground. To this end, organizational, institutional and social challenges in realizing the potential of blockchain-based solutions in extending financial services to the poor are discussed.


Dr. Yoshiyasu Takefuji

Dr. Yoshiyasu Takefuji

Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University

Talk Title: AI’s role in Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Applications

Dr. Yoshiyasu Takefuji is a tenured professor on faculty of environment and information studies at Keio University since April 1992 and was on tenured faculty of Electrical Engineering at CWRU since 1988. Before joining Case, he taught at the University of South Florida and the University of South Carolina. He received his BS (1978), MS (1980), and Ph.D. (1983) from Electrical Engineering from Keio. His research interests include neural computing, security, IoT, inventions. Awards: Docent and medal from Jyvaskyla Univ., NSF/RIA in 1989, Distinct service award from IEEE Trans on Neural Networks in 1992, TEPCO research award, Takayanagi research award, Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology research award, and Best courseware award from Asia multimedia forum in 1999, including others. He has authored 35 books including Neural Network Parallel Computing, The future mobile phones, Cyber-security, Ultra low cost IoT design, Digital Circuits, Neural Networks in Design and Manufacturing, Neural Computing for Optimization and Combinatorics, Analog VLSI Neural Networks, Ensemble machine learning and GPU parallel computing for machine learning in Python.
Dr. Takefuji is an Associate Editor of International Journal of Multimedia Tools and Applications, Applied Sciences, and MedCrave Online Journal of Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, and International Journal on Computational Intelligence and Applications. He has published more than 500 scientific articles. He is currently economic advisor to Shandong province governor and Weihai mayor in China respectively.

Abstract: 

After abandoning the gold standard as monetary standard in the world, fiat money is backed by the government, while representative money can be backed by a physical commodity such as precious metals or instruments like checks and credit cards. Fiat and representative money depend on trust and confidence. According to Wikipedia, alternative finance refers to financial channels, processes, and instruments that have emerged outside of the traditional finance system. Alternative financing activities include crowdfunding, revenue-based financing, online lenders, peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, and invoice trading third party payment platforms. Alternative finance instruments include cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin use Blockchain to record their transaction. Blockchain is a digital record of transactions or a database with user distributed validation. Obstacles of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain-based applications will be introduced which should be overcome. Crypto algorithms, the mean block time, and transaction speed of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and T.OS will be mentioned respectively. Finally, AI will play a key role not only in estimating block time and transaction speed in Blockchain system, but also in detecting malicious behaviors..


Tim

Mr. Timothy L. (Tim) Ricketts MBA, BSc(Hons)

Solution Consultant, IBM Watson-IOT, Middle East & Africa

Talk Title: Possibilities, utility, applications and the evolution of the Internet of Things

Mr. Tim Ricketts is from IBM’s Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure Tiger Team. He has completed his academic qualifications from United Kingdom – an MBA from Bradford University and BSc (HONS) from Manchester University. Mr. Ricketts is a senior IT solution professional with 20 years of management experience in the Transport and Logistics sector in the Gulf, Middle East & Africa and has worked for prestigious organizations such as Emirates Airlines, RAK Airways, Dubai Metro and other leading organizations. He has been successful in designing & implementing Enterprise IT Strategy & Planning processes for major scheduled international airline in UAE delivering over AED1bn in business benefits and Vehicle Telemetry project for fleet of 8000+ taxis amongst other successful endeavours.

Abstract: 

We’re entering a new era of information technology where data is the new natural resource and the Internet of Things (IoT) is where a lot of that data is coming from. Billions of smart, connected things encompass every aspect of our lives, and the foundation is the intelligence that embedded processing provides. The IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed by sophisticated new techniques such as machine learning and AI into useful actions that can drive command and control systems. The creativity of this new era is boundless, with amazing potential to improve our lives, generate industrial efficiency, reduce environmental impact – the list is endless. This talk will focus on the possibilities, utility, applications and the evolution of the Internet of Things.


Omar

Mr. Omar Radaideh

Director Regulatory and Compliance at iWireConnect

Talk Title: Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), an emerging IoT connectivity Technology, Sigfox as a case example

Omar Radaideh is a Senior Telecoms/ICT regulatory and Public Policy executive, and currently Director Regulatory and Compliance at iWireConnect, a technology company with the aim of promoting IoT connectivity infrastructure and IoT solutions. Omar Radaideh was formerly a Senior Officer regulatory and Licensing with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE, after earlier roles with du, Zain and ITC Inc. Omar Radaideh career has encompassed regulatory leadership, creating new strategy and associated plans, developing new policies and instruments, managing research, benchmarking and leading projects. Additionally, he has built and mentored teams, resolved complex operator disputes, significantly improved internal processes and spoken at various conferences. Omar Radaideh is an expert in the telecoms regulatory and public policy field.

Abstract: 

With the advancements in wireless technology moving at an increasing pace, along with the rapid growth in of the Internet of Things (IoT) market, it is expected that between 2020 and 2025 more than 50 billion devices will be connected through radio communications. These advancements and growth in demand have led to the introduction of new wireless technologies to serve the IoT market. Among such technologies are the low power wide area networks (LPWAN), which have become a popular low-rate long-range radio communication technology used in the internet of things solutions and implementations. Sigfox, LoRa, and NB-IoT are the three leading LPWAN technologies always being considered as go-to connectivity solutions for any scale IoT deployment, with Sigfox having the longest presence in the market, followed by LoRa, both have the advantage of the presence of mature market ready products while NB-IoT has it’s set of challenges to overcome it is expected to be the most widely available and commonly used connectivity technology in IoT markets. This keynote presentation will cover an overview of the evolution of LPWAN technologies and provide a comparative study of these technologies, Sigfox and LoRa have better battery lifetime, capacity, and cost, whereas NB-IoT has the benefits of better latency and QoS. This keynote will further elaborate on the IoT success factors for LPWAN technologies and why Sigfox is the go-to connectivity technology for a variety of IoT solutions.


Dr. Bushra AlBelooshi

Dr. Bushra AlBelooshi

Head of Research and Innovation in Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC)

Talk Title: Dubai IoT Security Standard (the first of its kind globally)

Dr. Bushra AlBelooshi is the head of Research and Innovation in Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC). She leads different strategic initiatives in DESC and also manages the research team to implement various research projects and activities in cyber security which will server the objectives of the city of Dubai. Dr. Bushra holds a PhD in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Khalifa University and a master in Information Security from the same university. Dr. Bushra’s research interests include cloud computing, cyber security, forensics and cryptography. AlBelooshi published and participated in many national and international conferences. Dr. Bushra is currently a member of several advisory boards within UAE universities and colleges. She is leading the industry relations topics in IEEE. Dr. Bushra is also the chair of the Industry Advisory Committee for CIS department in HCT, a member in the advisory committee of University of Dubai and Wollongong University.

Abstract: 

Dubai Electronic Security Center developed the first of its kind security standards for the IoT devices. It aims to provide government entities with a set of basic security controls that they should refer to whenever a new IoT device or platform is deployed. The standard is built with consideration of the wide diversity of IoT devices and their corresponding capabilities. The standard covers all the important security measures from authentication to cryptography and from data privacy to physical security.In this talk, we will highlight the main domains and controls included in this standard and then discuss the open research collaboration areas within this domain.