blockchain workshops

From beginners to technical professionals, the Blockworks workshop programme will teach you about this emerging technology and show you how it could impact your organisation. All workshops are hosted at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in the AUT Atrium.


Blockchain for Beginners

Workshop one // 8.30am

What is Blockchain? / Beginners


Savannah Peterson will take you through 90 minute beginners guide to blockchain.

  • What is blockchain technology for business and how's that different from crypto?

  • What types of processes could blockchain optimise in my organisation?

  • What variety of applications can blockchain be applied to more broadly across business and society?

PRESENTER - Savannah Peterson - USA

Savannah was named to the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Consumer Technology, and is a respected voice in innovation and community engagement.

Savvy travels the world as a public speaker, most recently featured at the Air New Zealand Inspiring Voices series, Kiwi Landing Pad Sales and Marketing Jam, South by Southwest, the Silicon Beached Festival, the Ford Research and Innovation Lab, Gasparilla Interactive, Social Fresh and more. An avid mentor for women and men in tech, she mentors and teaches at Stanford, NYU, and PACE University.

Blockworks_LargeGraphic_1920x1080 copy.jpg


Workshop Two // 10.30pm

Technical / Business


Templated deployments using the Azure Blockchain Workbench 

Building a distributed ledger is time consuming and expensive. Templated deployments allow you to get up an running quickly. Have your whole ledger built in minutes so you can focus time on smart contract development.

In this workshop, we will look at the Azure Blockchain workbench, deploy an ethereum private network, build a smart contract in solidity, deploy our smart contract into our ledger, and connect a mobile app to our distributed ledger using the gateway API.

Preview Videos of Azure Blockchain Workbench at Microsoft Connect when it was first released:

Video 1:

Part 2:


Michael Williams is Global Black Belt TSP supporting Microsoft’s Blockchain Business across the ANZ region. His focus is helping customers through creative innovation ideas for enterprise. Previously Michael lead the entire mobile app dev business across Asia Pacific covering full app modernisation using Mobile and Azure.

Deepthi Prasad is a Technology Solutions Professional for Blockchain - Asia with the Global Black Belt(GBB) team. She is a technical solution sales leader within Microsoft’s enterprise sales organisation working with our strategic enterprise customers. She leads the technical engagements by orchestrating and managing a virtual team of partners, ISVs and Microsoft services consulting resources to help customers realise Microsoft blockchain solution value by demonstrating and proving rich solutions capabilities.  Deepthi maintains deep technical expertise & thought leadership in Microsoft blockchain and related Azure technologies 

Deepthi brings with her over 11 years of experience in the technology, management and consulting roles, living and working across India and Singapore. Her experience ranges from co-founding a technology startup in Singapore to leading a multi-location team as Technical Project Manager and developing software solutions. Over the course of her career, she has worked in technology, fintech and automotive sectors, in companies like Bosch and Continental and catered to customers across Europe, US, Korea & Japan. 



Workshop Three // 1pm - 3pm

Centrality Platform Demonstrations / Non Technical


The Centrality team will be demonstrating their platform and applications. Showcasing the practical applications of their blockchain eco-system.


  1. Aaron McDonald – CEO at Centrality
    Aaron is a 20 year tech industry veteran with leadership experience across a broad spectrum including managing portfolios over $1b in revenue.
    Most recently Aaron founded Centrality – Australasia's largest and one of the world’s top Blockchain projects. Centrality is a venture studio with 100 employees in five countries around the world. Aaron is also the CTO of Blockhaus, a Swiss-based token investment banking advisory. Aaron is an advisor, co-founder or board member to more than 20 blockchain companies, including some of the largest in the industry globally, including blockchain entertainment studio SingularDTV.
    Aaron and his team are involved with regulatory, industry and enterprise Blockchain initiatives across the globe. Aaron regularly speaks on the international stage at events as a subject matter expert in the future of decentralised ecosystems.

  2. Ben Jordan – Co-Founder & Product Director at Sylo

    Ben has a decorated history in multi-national IT solution deployment and management, has been involved with decentralised and secure communication technology developments for the last half decade and has been pivotal in bringing the Sylo decentralised communication solution to market. Ben Co-Founded Sylo as a decentralised communication network using blockchain and peer to peer technologies. Sylo has a global userbase of both professional and consumer users across more than two dozen countries globally.

  3. Dorian Johannik – Co-Founder & Business director at Sylo

    Dorian comes from an extensive background in digital communication and entertainment technology projects. Dorian Co-Founded Sylo as a decentralised communication network using blockchain and peer to peer technologies that has a global userbase of both professional and consumer users across more than two dozen countries globally.

  4. Kelvin Chandran – CEO at Single Source

    Kelvin spent nearly two decades across NZ's leading professional services firms and has a long track record of being an early adopter of technology and data analytics. He has launched two succesfull blockchain businesses, both of which are being featured at the conference - SingleSource and TrackBack.  

    Kelvin is co-founder and chief designer of SingleSource, a decentralised identity and risk scoring protocol that empowers digital identities (people, businesses and machines) to transact globally in a trusted manner and in ways beyond the realm of today's technology. 


  5. Ahmed Hilali - Full Stack Blockchain Developer at Pl^g
    With over 10 years experience developing software on the cutting edge, Ahmed is a flexible and curious individual who has worked on everything from 3D graphics engines, to mobile apps, to database security layers. Most recently he is leading the advanced blockchain infrastructure team at the Centrality Auckland office and pondering what makes the perfect Merkle tree.


The chicken and egg debate with IBM

Workshop Four // 4.00pm - 5.30pm


Finding value in blockchain to drive network effects - the chicken and egg debate

Today’s blockchain networks typically rely on adoption at scale to deliver value to participants and operators. Creating a network effect and finding the 'tipping point' is therefore key to their success. 

Attend this workshop to join the debate, and collaborate with others in the industry - with a view to learning from some of the most successful (and indeed less successful) public and private blockchain case studies - from supply chain, to banking, to healthcare.


Hear from Paul Hutchison, Vice President and Partner, Cognitive Process Transformation IBM A/NZ, Rupert Colchester, Head of Blockchain and Practice Leader, IBM A/NZ and Shahid Saiyad, IBM NZ Blockchain leader, discuss one of today's biggest challenges in making blockchain initiatives successful.