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Jason Kelley, GM Global Strategic Partnerships at IBM with Matt Bird at EU Parliament

Jason Kelley, GM Global Strategic Partnerships at IBM with Matt Bird at EU Parliament

Jason Kelley, General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships at IBM interview with Matt Bird at the Blockchain for Europe (EU Parliament)


  • IBM is working in disaster recovery and reducing food waste through blockchain technology 
  • Jason Kelley oversees global team of 1,600 employees dedicated to blockchain
  • IBM Blockchain has over 500 engagements to date


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Jason Kelley, General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships at IBM and Matt Bird, Host of ESG News 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 00:00

Welcome back to the Traders Network Show broadcasting worldwide from Brussels, Belgium. We’re here at the EU parliament covering the 2020 Blockchain for Europe summit. My next guest is Jason Kelley, Managing Director of IBM Blockchain. Jason, welcome buddy. We just saw each other in Davos. 

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 00:17

That’s right. From Davos to here now. We’re now right center stage in Belgium.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News:  00:22

I think we were making our way back to the states. Well, listen, I just saw a prolific speech that you made in parliament up there. You drove home a couple things and as our audience watches the archives and the full length version, you know, maybe you can give us a little bit of feedback and you know, what was it like being up there with some of the other prolific commission members at the parliament, as they’re talking about where governance and blockchain is going. I will say one thing you touched on the consumer application of it is that governance needs to be governed by how the consumers are going to see the end result of it as blockchain is really offered behind the scenes. Can you elaborate more on that?

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 00:59

I think ultimately it starts with our outcomes. I just came off stage here saying, it’s the outcomes. There’s going from one technology after the next it’s blockchain today, who knows what it’ll be tomorrow, but ultimately it’s the end user. And it’s designed for the end user, that’s us as consumers. And that’s what we see as driving everything that we’re doing here is what we are doing for all of us? We want to own our data. We should own our data. And that’s what we’re talking about here today. 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News:  01:25

You know, one of the things that you touched on was where IBM is focusing your energy. And you mentioned some of the biggest supply chain systems out there. And it was interesting because we hear about the opportunistic aspects of blockchain, but you’re looking at what is the biggest addressable market that problems we can solve right now with this technology. Can you go into some of those verticals and some of those industries? 

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 01:44

So I’ll start with the more obvious, when you say supply chain, we have solutions called trade lens and it’s tied into GMA, the largest shippers around the world. So more than 60% of the shipping lanes are covered by our blockchain solution, taking those shipments and digitizing. And so that would be a one where you say, oh yeah, I get it now. It’s all these multiple handshakes. And that makes sense. It’s opportunistic. And you say, wait a second, how is that any different than what’s needed for disaster relief? So when we look at the challenge of getting supplies, whether it be medical, financial, or any type of healthcare, things that just need to get from point A to point B to someone in a disaster relief situation, that victim, how do you do that? Well, that’s someplace where we’re using good tech in a good way, you know, tech for good. So that’s an application that we put together with the state of Texas, with FEMA, with Texas A&M university, where IBM is collaborating with them to say, look, can we help disaster victims? In this case, it was hurricane Harvey, just get what they need quicker, sooner or faster by getting rid of all those handshakes and putting some trust back into the system.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 02:56

You’d mentioned, you gave a KPI up there from, I think it was 11 days to two hours or something like that.

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 03:01

Ah, that’s 11 days. So that’s one of our successful blockchain networks that we did in collaboration with the world’s largest retailer, Walmart. Where we focused on something that we can all relate to, which is food, because we always say, who eats? Everyone says, oh, I eat. So, you know, we think about the trust we have in food every day. And knowing that a third of all processed food goes to waste because of suspected spoilage or foodborne illness, knowing that you, you take a company like Walmart and they say, well, look, we’re world class tracing and tracking food channels and they go, oh, well, it takes us seven days in a world class system to do that. That means that they’re throwing away food for seven days. That’s a lot of waste and that’s world class.

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 03:48

So they said, well, why don’t we try and supplement that with what we can do on the blockchain? So they put the information on the blockchain and what they were doing in seven days came to two seconds, not two hours, but two seconds. So two seconds like that. So that’s the reality of the technology. And that’s one of the points that we brought out is that the technology is there. It’s real, it’s working. The challenge that we’re seeing now is actually, you know, changing the business process to match the speed of the technology.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 04:18

It’s almost the difference between email and snail mail.

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 04:21

That’s right. And we don’t think twice. And it’s also a good point that came out on stage. Is that snail mail? You know, when’s the last time you actually wrote something? Matter of fact, you probably sent your Christmas card in bulk by just ordering online, right? So all of that is we, one day will be digital. We are digital now. And it took three decades to become digital from the internet. Blockchain is moving much, much faster. We’re one third of the time that it’s taken for HTTP IP to become business ready. We’re now doing that with blockchain. So, you know, eight, nine years here we are with blockchain in business, moving full speed ahead and similar to the way that you don’t even think about snail mail. Now you just do your email and that’s how eventually that’s what blockchain will be. It’s just a catalyst for how we work with data.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 05:13

I love it. Listen, I know you’re a busy man and we got some more sessions upstairs. I love to have you back before the end of the day. Maybe get some commentary, get your feedback. We got a lot of thought leaders up there thinking you can help us with that?

Jason Kelley – General Manager, Global Strategic Partnerships, IBM: 05:22

Anytime I can stand next to Matt Bird!

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News:  05:25

Jason Kelly. Thank you, buddy. Managing director of IBM Blockchain. I’m Matt Bird. You’re watching the Traders Network Show on ESG News. Special thanks to our affiliate partners, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS. We’re gonna be right back at these messages. You’re not gonna wanna go away.


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