Session Title: "Are NFTs the future of education and the creation of academic IP?"
Speaker: Marcus Rach, Lecturer / Entrepreneur, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland / Shenzhen Technology University
Watch the Session: https://app.knowmia.com/GxPB

Session description: This presentation suggestion is based on an idea, an experiment, a historic moment in education between China and Switzerland and the application of NFTs to capture this moment. It aims to stimulate viewing NFTs not just as a highly speculative asset class for digital arts, but as a venue for academia and in fact the knowledge economy to explore. Let me explain. My class "the future of marketing: managing the brand to marketplace interaction in a global context", which I had run in October / November 2021 at the Shenzhen Technology University in China capitalized upon the latest of modern technology. Whilst it used live streaming to bridge 10.000km in distance between the lecturer and students, it also used live AI-semantic analysis and translation and marked the first Chinese-Swiss metaverse class of all times. Meeting in a virtual classroom, featuring 3D avatars rendering each student provided a novel and state of the art teaching environment. Since the use of blockchain in marketing, particularly NFT applications to trade in the metaverse were an integral part of this class, my class and I created an NFT moment, capturing this historic metaverse lecture, which was put on OpenSea to be sold. It sold within one hour. Although we set the minimum bidding price of 0.0005 ETH, we have made this moment part of NFT history, irrevocable and a memory for all participants. This moment, this experience and this very application leads to a more meaningful question for the future of academia, science, and intellectual property for that matter. Whilst global businesses seek the application of NFTs to bridge tangible to intangible formats of consumption, pre-finance R&D investments and secure tradenames for virtual spaces and virtual trading, could there be an application of NFTs for the creation and tokenization of intellectual property? Can knowledge become its own asset class? Can new academic insights and research be traded and thus be monetized beyond the traditional means of academic funding? Can academic research find a measure of performance beyond citations? A measure that bridges the academic-practitioners’ gap in a meaningful way? Welcome to the future of IP NFTs, where knowledge is valued by global markets. Although the NFT space is still in a very experiential state, I believe time is ripe to stimulate this discussion during times education is under immense pressure. With parents, governments and students questioning the value of degrees, being taught online or offline. It is time to rethink how education manifests itself to the world. How education and thus academia revitalize their value contribution. My class experiment is only a small token to kickstart the discussion, but it serves to stimulate a very simple question: how could Beeple sell the most valuable NFT art in history for over USD 69 million early in 2021 and my Metaverse-class-moment is first education NFT (known to me). Because academia is not present as a participant in the world of digital innovation. Let’s change this!

Bio:  Markus Rach is a disruptive marketing lecturer in Switzerland, China and Belgium. Markus focused his doctoral research on the impact of technologies on the marketing return on investment and has lived, worked and studied on 3 continents. He holds 2 advisory board seats and serves on various marketing award juries. Markus served as the head of marketing for various multinationals. Experiencing the struggle of many marketers to prove their value to their respective organization has led Markus to transition into academia. Following his doctoral research, his work continues to challenge predating assumptions about the role and scope of marketing. Being passionate about the human to technology interface, Markus’s research focuses on the impacts on the brand to marketplace interaction and how these relate to purchasing decision making processes. As an experimental academic, Markus has created the first Swiss-Chinese metaverse class, which was later sold as an education NFT moment on OpenSea. Markus is married, has 2 kids and is a true nerd at heart, having been highly ranked as a gamer. Follow Markus on LinkedIn for more insights, news and a critical perspective on the latest disruptive forces in marketing: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markusrach/