Catherine Mulligan


Catherine Mulligan, Co-Director of the Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research

Title: Blockchain – Trust for the 21st Century?

Abstract: Recent events have meant that our society is having an increasingly interesting debate about truth and what it means to be able to rely upon our news sources, feel confident about our election results as well as our relationship those who hold data about us such as governments and large companies.  At the same time, corporations and cities are struggling to manage large data sets and to find appropriate ways to ensure appropriate and reliable decision-making using them in an increasingly digital world.

At the core of these issues is the notion of trust – how do we engender new models of trust in a digital world?  Digital disruption therefore creates both great opportunity for society – but also increases the demands we must make on ourselves to assess when and how we should apply digital solutions.

A relatively new technology – Blockchain – has emerged as a potential answer to these questions and offers the opportunity to redefine how our governments, economy and society work through redefining the role of trust in these institutions.  Indeed, many claim that Blockchain will remove the need for intermediaries such as central banks, land registries and insurance agencies altogether and place trust back into the hands of individuals.  A radically new world is promised – one that dismantles the established economic system that has been around since the industrial revolution and replaces it with a world where individuals can flourish and work together on an ad-hoc basis redefining how companies are owned and operate, how security solutions are built and maintained in democracies and how digital networks themselves are designed and delivered.

Can Blockchain rise to these challenges or are we investing too much faith in a relatively new technology?  This talk investigates these issues from a variety of perspectives building on over 30 proofs of concept delivered by Imperial College London’s Blockchain research team.

Brief bio:
Dr Catherine Mulligan is a Research Fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a joint appointment to the Department of Computing where she is Co-Director of the Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering.  Cathy has worked extensively with catalyzing IoT and blockchain solutions to market, in particular within the smart city context. She is an advisor to several governments and multinational corporations globally about the role of digitalisation on economic growth and prior to her academic career gained 15 years international experience in the mobile telecommunications industry.  She has authored 5 books covering both the technology and economics of the mobile communications industries including SAE/EPC & M2M/IoT.  Cathy is a member of the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) Task Force, where she leads Standardisation Activities around ETSI, ISO, ITU, 5G and Open APIs. Dr Mulligan is also a Director and co-Founder of Contextualised and a Visiting Fellow at the Glasgow School of Art Institute for Design Innovation (INDI).   Catherine received her PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Page manager Published: Wed 25 Jan 2017.