Week-in-Review: Blockchain, Voices of the Gig Economy and a List of Must-read Business Books

Welcome to our Week-in-Review series, Catalant’s roundup of all things on-demand talent, from events to newly minted reports to breaking news.

What People Are Asking This Week: What is blockchain and how can my company or business unit benefit? How do I gain access to blockchain experts? Who exactly are the experts driving the gig economy for business? Do you have any good book recommendations on business, the future of work or the gig economy?

Read on for the latest in the on-demand knowledge economy this week.

Blockchain and the Future of Work

Considered highly secure and transparent as well as cost effective and extremely quick, blockchain enables the exchange of digital information. It was the original technology developed for the digital currency, Bitcoin. As more and more business leaders are asking questions about blockchain, Catalant’s own Emily Crookston sat down with Alexander Blum, managing director of the blockchain consultancy hxa design to get some answers.

Alex specializes in the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies and understands how emerging technologies relate to society. Alex has completed consultant work for multiple blockchain startups, financial institutions, venture capital groups and international development organizations.

In the interview, Alex delves into detail about a specific project involving the design of a blockchain approach to venture capital investing. Throughout the duration of this project, Alex helped the company structure a system and technology and create their own cryptocurrency. He also created a white paper and a pitch deck to describe the approach.

Alex goes on to discuss in detail his solution to the company’s problem, the measurements of success and ROI and his style of communication — weekly calls, texts and emails with the firm’s managing partner to answer questions and pitch ideas. He compares his approach as an independent consultant to that of a big consulting firm, except with more agility and personal communication, quicker response times and much lower overhead costs.

Interested? For more information, read the full interview  with Alex Blum here: Block-Tech Expert on the Backbone of the Next Internet Revolution.

The Voices Behind Talent Platforms

Ever wonder who is driving the gig economy for business? How can I find new business outside of my existing networks? Or maybe you’re curious about the quality of expertise that lives on emerging talent marketplace platforms.

In the following videos, four experts discuss their backgrounds, expertise and describe the type of work they are doing for clients as independent consultants:

  • Michael Segala is the CEO and co-founder of SFL Scientific, a data science consulting firm that specializes in big data solutions. His firm leverages advanced machine learning and analytics to provide insight into numerous industry-spanning problems, from healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies to insurance and financial institutions.
  • Kara Yokley is the director of strategy and analytics at Catalyst Group Global. She started her career in high-performance computing market research, spending years conducting primary research, publishing reports and writing white papers for leading technology companies.
  • Eli Diament is an independent management consultant with more than 13 years of experience leading consulting projects focused on strategy, market research, financial analysis and customer insights and competitive intelligence studies. Formally, Eli was an engagement manager at McKinsey and Co.
  • Peter Mahoney is the founder and CEO of Plannuh and former CMO of Nuance Communications. His specialities include building, refining and integrating marketing organizations and creating elegant marketing strategies for complex products. Peter has held leadership roles in marketing, product management and operations.

Watch the full videos here: The Voices Behind the Platform.

Top Seven Business Books of 2017

Just this week, Forbes collaborated with the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to publish a list of influential books about workplace improvement. Covering topics from globalization in the new economy to reimagining corporate hiring strategies, this list is packed with books you’ll want to check out:

  1. Reimagining Work: Strategies to Disrupt Talent, Lead Change, and Win with a Flexible Workforce by Rob Biederman and Patrick Pettiti
  2. Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv by Bob Kulhan
  3. Radical Business Model Transformation: Gaining the Competitive Edge in a Disruptive World by Carsten Linz, Günter Müller-Stevens and Alexander Zimmerman
  4. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist by Kate Raworth
  5. Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew Lo
  6. Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella
  7. Bloom by Matt Dahlstrom

For more details on each of the books and their respective authors, check out the list: What Seven of the Best Business Books of 2017 Taught Us This Year.

This week-in-review is packed with a ton of media surrounding the future of work — interviews, videos, books. Perhaps you know someone who might enjoy the gift of a great business book for the holidays!

When it comes to human capital innovation, contingent workforce solutions, and on-demand talent trends and updates, we’ve got you covered. Check back next week for another edition of Catalant’s Week-in-Review.

About the Author

Allison Mandel
Allison Mandel

Allison Mandel is a talented content marketer with expertise in B2B writing and editing. Bringing professionalism and high-quality work to every piece, Allison creates engaging stories that help companies develop their online presence, connect to customers, and generate leads. Allison's writing can be found in long- and short-form articles, blog posts, sales enablement documents, and other marketing copy.