There is a lot of hype around Web3 and blockchain. As with any disruptive technology, there are many competing sources of information. But if we look beyond the hype and mania—not to mention the fear, uncertainty, and doubt—we see something profound happening. Blockchain represents the first native digital medium for value, and is foundational to the next generation of the Internet—also known as Web3.
We believe that those who understand the underlying principles of blockchain will be better prepared for the Web3 era than those who don’t. That’s why we partnered with INSEAD, one of the top-ranked graduate business schools in the world, and Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform, to develop a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Web3 and blockchain technology. These courses act as a mechanism to mobilize the BRI’s research, providing high production quality and deep online instruction derived from the multimillion-dollar research program.
These courses are intended for a non-technical audience of business leaders who need to understand real-world applications of this technology, the regulatory challenges or obligations they may face, and the implications of Web3 for their business.
Web3 and Blockchain Fundamentals
This course was designed specifically with our community of business leaders in mind. In under four hours, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of Web3 and blockchain technology—including key concepts such as digital assets (tokens), smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and the blockchain “trilemma.” By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Identify the questions one must consider when deciding whether or not blockchain is appropriate for a particular problem or use-case
- Describe seven principles for the design of blockchain-based systems, and seven challenge areas associated with implementing blockchain technology.
- Describe some real-world examples of companies that have integrated blockchain into their business models.
By participating in this course, you will also gain access to our “Blockchain Case Commons”—a crowd-sourced collection of blockchain applications and use-cases spanning multiple industries. This course is non-technical (i.e. no coding required) and is intended for a broad audience. The video material for these courses includes content from our “Blockchain Revolution Specialization” and “Web3 and Blockchain in Global Commerce Specialization,” which has been remixed and re-edited for the purposes of this short course.
Web3 and Blockchain in Global Commerce
Developed by the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) in collaboration with FedEx and INSEAD, this four-course Specialization provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of Web3 and blockchain and its impact on global commerce.
By enrolling in these courses, you’ll gain:
- A foundational understanding of blockchain and the ways it intersects with other technologies, industries, managerial functions, and the broader Web3 ecosystem
- The skills to identify, review, and evaluate business opportunities and challenges related to blockchain in global commerce
- Access to thought leadership, case studies, and key deliverables from the BRI’s multi-million dollar research program
- Real-world examples and practical insights derived from FedEx’s blockchain initiatives
- A verified certificate from Coursera, positioning you among the ranks of leading business professionals helping to advance the next era of the Internet
Whether you’re interested in exploring a career in Web3 or simply want to understand blockchain’s impact on the world, this Specialization has something for everyone. With easy-to-understand lessons, hands-on projects, and real-life applications, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of blockchain and Web3 in the global commerce space.
Course 1: Introduction to Blockchain for Global Commerce
This course discusses the limitations of the Internet for business and economic activity and explains how blockchain technology represents the way forward. After completing this course, you will be able to explain what blockchain is, how it works, and why it is revolutionary. You will learn key concepts such as mining, hashing, proof-of-work, public key cryptography, and the double-spend problem. You’ll be able to describe seven design principles for blockchain technology, and the challenges facing the people developing it. By the end of this course, you’ll learn how and why transacting on the blockchain can help us bring about a future that is faster, fairer, and more distributed than the world we inhabit today. Learn more
Course 2: Web3 and Blockchain Transformations of Global Supply Chains
Today’s supply chains are complex, with parties conducting their transactions through a Byzantine network of computer systems with disparate applications like e-mail, phone, and fax. There are invoices, letters of credit, bank guarantees, bills of lading, tax forms, receipts, and other paperwork moving through this complex labyrinth. Payments are made through a hodgepodge of intermediaries, and consumers and supply chain players alike struggle to get accurate information. In this course, you will learn how blockchain can improve global supply chains by streamlining processes, reducing costs and fraud, improving supply-chain visibility, authenticating assets and their origins, and ultimately fuelling product innovation. Learn more
Course 3: Web3 and Blockchain Leadership for Transformation
In this course you will learn about various stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem and the leadership roles they need to play in order to steward the blockchain revolution in global commerce. You will discuss various organizational models and best practices for industry consortia and will explore several examples of consortium projects that are at the forefront of the blockchain ecosystem. You will also explore the themes of standardization and interoperability—two major challenge areas concerning the scalability and throughput limitations inhibiting mainstream enterprise adoption of blockchain in global commerce. Learn more
Course 4: Blockchain Opportunity Analysis for Global Commerce
In this fourth and final course of the Specialization, you will synthesize your learning into a project deliverable called a Blockchain Opportunity Analysis. The goals of this course are twofold: One, it’s for you to identify a specific need or problem in Global Commerce that can potentially be solved using blockchain technology. Two, it’s for you to investigate possible solutions to this problem, including how these solutions might be executed. You will accomplish different project milestones each week, and will be introduced to several tools that entrepreneurs use to organize their findings. As an outcome of this course, you’ll walk away with a consolidated, peer-reviewed Blockchain Opportunity Analysis, which you can use to pitch your idea to your organization or even to potential investors. Learn more
Blockchain is poised to transform every industry and managerial function—redefining the ways we transact online, share ideas, and manage workflows. It’s a new technology that every business professional needs to understand.
This four-course Specialization introduces you to the world of blockchain technology—explaining what blockchain is, how it works, and why it’s revolutionary. You will learn about various categories of digital assets and the ways they can be transacted on a blockchain. You will learn how blockchain is disrupting business models, offering organizations new choices in how they create and manage value.
By participating in this Specialization, you will gain access to ground-breaking research from the Blockchain Research Institute as well as the Blockchain Case Commons—a crowdsourced collection of blockchain applications and use-cases spanning multiple industries. Upon completion of this Specialization, you will produce a Blockchain Opportunity Analysis, in which you identify and evaluate a promising application of blockchain technology in your own industry. Learn more
Course 1: Introduction to Blockchain Technologies
In this course, we will discuss the limitations of the Internet for business and economic activity, and explain how blockchain technology represents the way forward. After completing this course, you will be able to explain what blockchain is, how it works, and why it is revolutionary. You will learn key concepts such as mining, hashing, proof-of-work, public key cryptography, and the double-spend problem. You’ll be able to describe seven design principles for blockchain technology, and the challenges facing the people developing it. You’ll also meet the players in the blockchain ecosystem, and consider your own role in stewarding the blockchain revolution. Learn more
Course 2: Transacting on the Blockchain
This course addresses the many challenges of the status quo and discusses how digital assets, smart contracts, new identity systems, and new financial business models can help overcome them. Learners will see how blockchain empowers businesses with the tools they need, understanding how and why transacting on the blockchain can help bring about a future that is faster, fairer, and more equitably distributed than the current world. Learn more
Course 3: Blockchain and Business
Blockchain will bring about profound changes to business, and even to the nature of business itself. This course explains how blockchain will disrupt how businesses are funded and managed, how they create value, and even how they perform basic functions like marketing and accounting. Learners will explore how blockchain will transform the roles of the C-Suite, and how a blockchain can be used to manage and protect intellectual property. By the end of the course, learners will be able to identify the different layers of the blockchain technology stack and explain how each of these layers affects the governance of blockchain systems. As well, learners will be able to identify seven qualities that a region in the world needs in order to attract technology startups and to build a vibrant blockchain ecosystem. Learn more
Course 4: Blockchain Opportunity Analysis
In this capstone project, learners synthesize all their new knowledge into a Blockchain Opportunity Analysis, in which they identify a specific need or problem in their chosen industry that could potentially be solved using blockchain technology. It also guides them to investigate possible solutions to this problem, along with the business-model considerations required to bring these ideas to fruition. This capstone project consists of a series of graded, peer-reviewed assignments, culminating in a final pitch deck. This tangible outcome, complete with grading and comments from peers, sets the learner up for success within their company or even potential investors. Learn more
Blockchain Revolution in Financial Services
As the Internet was the first digital medium for information, blockchain is the first native digital medium for value. Blockchain is poised to transform the economy and society at large—redefining the ways we transact online, share ideas, and manage workflows. The financial services sector is a key lever in such transformations.
This Specialization builds upon the core content from the Blockchain Revolution Specialization, and includes new content targeted towards a Financial Services audience.
Course 1: Introduction to Blockchain for Financial Services
This course discusses the limitations of the Internet for business and economic activity, and explains how blockchain technology represents the way forward. After completing this course, learners will be able to explain what blockchain is, how it works, as well as key concepts such as public key cryptography and the double-spend problem. Learners will be able to describe seven design principles for blockchain technology and ten challenge areas facing those developing it. Learn more
Course 2: Blockchain, Cryptoassets, and Decentralized Finance
Today, large intermediaries establish trust in our economy and control the movement, storage, and allocation of money and assets. The status quo, however, is rife with inefficiencies. In this course, we’ll address the many challenges of the status quo and discuss how digital assets, smart contracts, new identity systems, and new financial business models can help overcome them. Learn more
Course 3: Blockchain Transformations of Financial Services
Blockchain technology has the potential to bring about profound changes to financial services. By the end of this course, you will be able to identify eight functions of the financial services industry and explain how blockchain will disrupt each of these functions. You’ll explore the threats and opportunities of blockchain technology for central banks, and will be able to describe the inefficiencies associated with global payments infrastructure. With stewardship and responsible leadership, blockchain will usher in a new era of financial services that is more open, inclusive, efficient, secure, and free. If we get this right, new economic systems will emerge to generate greater prosperity for the many, rather than more wealth for the few. Learn more
Course 4: Blockchain in Financial Services: Strategic Action Plan
In this capstone project, you will synthesize your learning into a Strategic Action Plan. First, you’ll identify promising new ideas or opportunities for blockchain within the financial services industry. Next, you’ll explain how you will position your idea, including how your idea will create new value for your customers. Third, you’ll identify the business model decisions that would need to be made in order to assess the feasibility of your idea. Finally, you’ll develop an execution plan for your idea, including a budget and project roadmap, and consolidate your work into a coherent Strategic Action Plan. Learn more
Customize Your Courses
At BRI, we are committed to delivering the most relevant and tailored educational content to our Members. That’s why we want to remind you that our team is always available to discuss the possibility of customizing our courses to meet the specific needs of your organization, audience, or customers. Whether you’re looking to deepen your knowledge of Web3’s impact on a particular industry or to achieve specific targeted learning objectives, we are here to help you create a bespoke educational program that is right for you. Reach out to us today to discuss how you can leverage the BRI’s expertise to enhance your organization’s learning experience.