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John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom interview with Matt Bird at the EU Parliament – ESG News

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom interview with Matt Bird at the EU Parliament – ESG News

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom interview with Matt Bird at the Blockchain for Europe (EU Parliament)


  • How do we get people to trust this new technology
  • There’s any aspect of trust in the current mobility system, how can we make people feel comfortable with a switch to blockchain
  • Education will be key part for blockchain adoption


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom 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. I’m Matt Bird. We’re here covering the 2020 Blockchain for Europe event at the EU Parliament. And my next guest is the Senior Vice President and head of T labs for Deutshe Telekom. John, welcome to the show. So, you just came off an amazing using innovation panel talking about mobility, blockchain policy. And what does the future potentially look like with some of the applications? You guys at T labs are doing some amazing things over there. Can you give our audience a bit of a recap? As they go into the full length coverage of it? What can you give us a little bit of a recap?

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 00:39

Yeah, absolutely. So the panel was focused on mobility as in moving humans around whether it’s cars, trains, bicycles, or whatnot. And then more specifically, how is the internet of things interrelated to that. And I think what most people want to understand is what can they trust? How do they pay for things? Does it make it easier for them? And I think this is what’s on the surface, but it’s our job as technologists to start explaining and educating people. So for me, one of the main takeaways here, which is typical, is most people don’t care about understanding the technology. They want to know just how it affects their everyday lives. 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News:  01:15

At one point in time, I was an advertising executive and we used to say, when it came to describing something, no one really cared what was inside the hot dog. They only wanna know if it tastes good and how much exactly it costs. Blockchain is a little bit like a hot dog, right? And at the end of the day, getting to understand how a database works is really the unsexy part. How is it gonna work for me? And then you did a really good job of bringing that home as far as, you know, the payment systems and how it’s gonna be transacted. Who’s the owner of the data who owns the car. I mean, going down that rabbit hole a little bit, you gave some really good analogies. You want to recap some of this for us?

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 01:47

I’d be happy to. So, you know, one of the ideas is about how money is transferred around, right? And a lot of people, when they hear blockchain, they probably haven’t heard of it, but they’ve definitely heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency, if you will. And all humans are going to be paying for things with digital currencies. So again, we want to be able to trust these things and you’re right. Nobody wants to understand what’s beneath that, right? Just as nobody really understands what happens when you use your visa card today? I would say 9 out of 10. People could not explain to you what happens when you use a visa card. It’s very similar.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 02:20

We see the ledger. We see the transaction.

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 02:21

You see the end output, right? You have less money maybe in your bank and a higher balance on your credit card, but what are the mechanics behind that? And so there’s payments, but we also talk about actually trusting vehicles, right? When you step on a bus and you see a bus driver, you trust that bus driver to drive the vehicle safely. Well, maybe in the future, you get on a bus and there’s no driver, what are you trusting? So we need to be able to explain the technology behind that so that humans can trust. And then finally, it’s about the data that’s collected and this is a big deal, not just mobility, but in any sector systems are constantly collecting data. And the largest companies in the world today are monetizing. Because we all love social media, but there’s gonna be new systems collecting data and doing different things with it. And what does that mean to us?

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 03:10

You brought up something regarding identity authentication and this is a really big topic, not just from the democratization of data and blockchain, but this also gets back to safety of marketplaces and some of the negative outcomes we see from online dating sites, you know, people not knowing who’s on the other side of that computer. And there’s more applications of that than just the application from blockchain. You mentioned something about T labs getting into this stuff. Do you see identity authentication proliferating in say things like eBay and other marketplaces where we don’t know who we’re actually talking to on the other side of that digital device.

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 03:46

I absolutely see that happen. And Deutsche Telekom is highly interested in all of this. For number one, we run the networks in Europe and other locations, and we want to be sure that humans understand and trust each other when they’re on opposite ends and can’t see each other, but more importantly to the business at Deutsche Telekom are the systems we run. Can they be trusted because we interoperate with telcos all over the world. So we started that layer in the network itself. And how can we think of new ways for identity to secure communication.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 04:17

It’s interesting that we’ve gotten to the point now where it’s went from, I think we see now as the end, the last mile here, the last PC, which is now, it’s trying to protect on that PC who is on that PC on the other side of that. And that’s kind of becoming really important with the whole safety.

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 04:33

Absolutely. And so beyond the network itself, we also care about human identity. I would say telecoms in general are one of the most trusted types of company and we take it very seriously about holding your private data. As a telecom, we know all the internet traffic and we can go down to the minute detail of an individual. And what they actually do on the internet and all of that is private. We do nothing to monetize that and we promise you, we won’t. However, what if we could start offering more in identity? So it’s something we think about. So governments are thinking about digitizing identities, you know, in the United States you can do a lot of renewals or new account creations, all electronically. 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 05:18

Theoretically speaking, your telephone number is your verification.

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 05:20

That’s one identifier. But it can be manipulated. So with this new technology and blockchain, we’re hoping to get ahead of anybody that wants to manipulate and create secure self sovereign identities that can be used for any service. 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 05:36

Wow. And you can do that on a flick of a switch.

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 05:38

Well maybe not the flick of one switch, but a few switches.

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 05:41

At least when it goes live. There’ll be a choice. Well, John, listen, I appreciate you coming on board. Hey you know, we got a little bit of time left before things wrap up. What do we have left coming up? Do you know any of the programming coming up here?

John Calian, SVP of Deutshe Telekom: 05:54

I know for certain that we’re gonna end the day talking about what really is the biggest impact that blockchain’s gonna put on society. That’s the last one today. So I think we all need to make sure we capture that one. 

Matt Bird – Host, ESG News: 06:03

What’s happening in society in blockchain. Ladies and gentlemen, you’re watching the Traders Network Show on ESG News. Special thanks to our affiliate partners. ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS. We got the head of T Labs over at Deutsche Telekom. John. Thanks so much.We’ll be right back after these messages don’t go away.


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