Memoirs: NiKole Maxwell | International Women of Blockchain (2022)
Introduction: Sometimes it is important to capture experiences for yourself, for the blockchain. This is a recap of my participation in the International Women of Blockchain Conference held during the 31 days of March of 2022. When reading this please note, I took a year and some change to write it. Be mindful this adventure happened in early 2022, the world wasn’t where it is today, not yet. The experience was truly historical and sometimes, you need to pat yourself on the back and say hey girl - “YOU DID THAT! So this is the opportunity I never took to relish in what I did, what I was a part of and who I am and who the Metaverse is to me.
Who: NiKole Maxwell, Co-Organizer Executive Producer, also appeared as Technikole (avatar form)
What: International Woman of Blockchain (IWB) presented by Black Women in Blockchain (BWBC). IWB was a 30-day celebration of women that took place each day of March 2022 for 3 hours celebrating over 100 women of the blockchain. It was historical and sparked a movement.
During the International Women of Blockchain conference, I managed the production and moderation squad behind the scenes, spearheaded the innovative 'Futuristic Fridays in the Metaverse' a series of 4 sessions designed to help participants acclimate to the Metaverse discovery where I kicked things off with my presentation, "Introduction to the Metaverse" (March 2022). I poured my heart into much of the production with my favorite moment being the appeared as my avatar in the "Immersed VR" platform streamed live into our production, and I enjoyed managing the logistics for our keynote speakers, fostering global connections among women in technology.
My organization invested over 120 labor hours (whew!) to support this women-centric celebratory event. In addition to planning and coordination, my initiatives included designing, implementing, and donating a comprehensive Discord server with customized bots and other vital assets styled to the occasion.
Production of this 31-day event was no small feat, every day demonstrating some form of technical (Technikole) support. To prepare our roster of 100+ speakers and varied hosts, I prepped the Discord for onboarding including a video as a part of pre-event preparations. We used Discord for many things including a project management hub when Trello proved too complex for our diverse set of women. Discord also served as a green room for staging each day as we prepared for the conference. Conference administration was also stationed in the Discord server with both the mods and the admin having their own space along with the committee members from around the world. After the event each (most) days we would joint stream live “rooms” to recap and continue the celebration on Clubhouse, Discord and even on Twitter Spaces.
I was able to take the conference on an adventure into the world of Virtual Reality, designing and creating two unique metaverse experiences for the organization in Spatial (in early 2022) inclusive of integrated NFTs. To commemorate the event, I utilized advanced AI GAN techniques to craft one-of-a-kind generative art pieces. One of my most fantastic, treasured and distinctive pieces was created, donated and launched as my genesis to the Solana blockchain.
Through strategic decision-making, I enabled the organization to realize substantial savings. By opting for an alternative service to run the production, we managed to save the organization $180K. The success of this event epitomizes my capabilities in event management, technological innovation, financial prudence, and commitment to advancing people in the world of Metaverse empowered with Web3, powered by blockchain technology.
Bonus I: Shots out to the moderation without you guys this would have never happened: Cory Clay, Najah Roberts, Natasha Rivera, Tam Fitzgerald and Olayinka Odineran (Yinka, Event Creator)
Bonus II : I was also thrilled to appear on Ahead of the Crypto Curve with Najah Roberts on Tavis Smileys, KBLA 1510 marking my second appearance to discuss the Metaverse and transformation ahead of us.
Spatial.io for Metaverse experiences, Ethereum and Solana blockchain (NFTs), Streamyard for streaming, Canva for NFT development and other assets, Ready Player Me, Facerig (now Animaze) Avatar presentment, Immersed VR - virtual desktop and corporate experience, Discord and Clubhouse for communications, Oculus VR headset
Explore IWB of 2022
International Women of Blockchain Conference 2022 - WomenofBlockchain.org
IWB - iwb.holaplex.com - this was the Solana marketplace for the IWB conference. A year later it appears to be decommissioned however, the NFT should remain on the Solana blockchain. This is the home of my first created NFT on the Solana blockchain (genesis)
Produced and hosted by NiKole Maxwell during the International Women of Blockchain Conference, 2022
I kicked things off with my "Introduction to the Metaverse" presentation to help level-set where we were going and what this thing was all about. At the time, the Metaverse was not "understood'. Even today I don't think it's understood some 18 months later. People were blown away and we hadn't even stepped foot it in yet.
Next up, one of my favorite ladies around the Metaverse, Artsy in VR. I'd had the pleasure of hanging out and getting to know Artsy almost a year before this and we'd had several opportunities to connect in various spaces and stages but this one was special for a lot of reasons. This was good sista-girl time for sure and absolutely one of the fan favorites for this event.
Theres no women in football much less the blockchain...tell that to Adrienne the 10. Adrienne is many things including a woman and a football player. She dropped in to tell us a thing or two about the Cardano blockchain, emission-less NFTs and her GQNFTs. Sustainablity much? Oh yeah we got that too. Her project paved the way for women in sports and NFTs.
Myriam from Crypto Gang Clash spoke to us about what its like to be one of the only women on an NFT project and whether or not your voice is heard. At the time, you can guess the answer. Its nice to see some progress being made for the women around the globe since then but we've still got a long way to go.
This week it was really important to showcase the Metaverse to allow our viewers to get an idea of what it could mean for them. HTC had just launched the concept videos for Viverse and at the time I thought it was the coolest thing so full possibility. Then I appeared in my VR headset and gave the folks a quick walk-through of "First Steps in VR" where we played a shooter, bopped a tether ball and danced with a robot, live in front of a studio audience...virtual studio audience lol.
Breanna Faye took us on a deep dive into the mechanics of the Metaverse with her presentation on Defining and Designing the Metaverse.
We ended the day bringing some of the ladies together including Charmaine Short and Cory Clay along with Yinka Odeniran to have more girl talk. Really woman talk. We discussed some fears and discomforts of the Metaverse, we talked headsets for women and lightly touched on some taboo topics. The reality is that each of us was in different stages of our discovery and exploration. The journey was fantastic to experience.
This day I lined up Courtney Savoy Harper, a VR and STEM educator from the Washington DC area. During our interview, we discovered that not only was Courtney at work with her students, but they also had a fire drill! I could not believe the professionalism Courtney demonstrated as we continued the interview.
Next up was Pamela aka theBrickerati talking to us about the future of "community".
We spent some time discovering artists of a different kind. Grammy nominated Jeanine Smith spent some time with me and showcased her NFT journey with Sorority Records and her newly minted and released track.
STEM educator Natalie "WaterGirlRAW" Hannas shared her soul with us as she spoke about her dad and her NFT journey to be seen.
I wanted to do it big for the grand finale. We went Metaverse world hopping. I took everyone into multiple Metaverse to drive home the idea that you can find the metaverse that works for you and that you aren't limited to just one type of experience.
Metaverse Finale!! International Women of Blockchain Futuristic Fridays in the Metaverse concludes with the Women of Domaining (Patricia Riveria and Diana McClure) We went Metaverse Hopping through Decentraland for fashion week, , the African Museum of the Metaverse in Cryptovoxels with Nes Rox and umped into Connect.Club the metaverse for mobile. We also had a candid discussion about safety in the Metaverse with some of the Metaverse guest speakers, including Charmaine Short.
Final notes: I'm missing some experiences and screenshots. Please note this isn't intentional I tried to replay the 12 hours of this segment as much as possible but I may have simply missed it. Love me anyway!