Silvan Jongerius is the Managing Partner of TechGDPR, a boutique consultancy for Data Protection and Privacy in tech-centric environments, such as Blockchain, AI and IoT. He has been leading data protection and security efforts since 2012, after having spent over 12 years in senior technology leadership, general management and innovation for large technology educators and having focused on Blockchain projects. He holds certifications from the Columbia Business School (Digital Strategies for Business), the IAPP (Certified Information Privacy Professional - Europe/GDPR) and is a TÜV certified Data Protection Officer (Datenschutzbeauftragter). He is a regular speaker and educator in GDPR, blockchain, innovation and technology and is a mentor or advisor for a number of technology, innovation and blockchain projects. Silvan is also the President and Founder of BerChain, a non-profit organization with the mission to connect and promote the blockchain ecosystem of Berlin.

RPA is not something that has been widely implemented across energy and commodity trading firms, but is becoming a large talking point as the industry has already acknowledged the opportunities it brings. Considering the back office in energy and commodity trading firms largely consists of repetitive, and menial manual labour tasks, it is a function that lends itself to the implementation of RPA. This gives rise to operational efficiency, as it cost-effectively completes the manual labour work, in turn freeing up the time of employees to focus on more engaging tasks that rely on human instinct. There are many use cases for RPA in the back office function, but less is seen and understood with DLT, which is also very topical in energy and commodity trading markets. With all this in mind, this marcus evans conference will look at how to increase efficiency of back office operations in the energy and commodity trading using robotic process automation and distributed ledger technology.

About the Speaker:

About the Conference:

Ahead of the Optimising the Back Office Function in Energy and Commodity Trading conference we spoke with Silvan Jongerius, President and Founder at Berchain.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE!

Berlin is considered by many as the next ''blockchain capital''. Based on your experience, how would you describe the progress made with blockchain and DLT in Berlin?

One of the reasons of the concentration of blockchain business in Berlin is that many of the Ethereum ecosystems have been built here. Berlin is not so much a place where investors speculate, but rather the place where developers build the real valuable tools and systems.

We saw a large shift last year, where many of the cryptocurrencies crashed and developers finally got the time (without the pressure of an upcoming ICO) to build the products needed.

Berlin has a large amount of developers, technical and non-technical meetups as well as startups, supported by a social environment in which a lot is possible. The relatively low (yet increasing) cost of living, contributes in creativity in all areas such as music, art but also software.

Could you give us some examples of initiatives taking place in Berlin and explain their impact on the wider German and European energy industry?

First of all, the Energy Web Foundation has an office in Berlin, with a consortium of about 90 energy related companies. EWF works with Parity and on an energy specific protocol which has in place privacy and typical energy related features that allow building certificates of origin and smart grid applications on top, among others.

GridSingularity (a project by EWF) is creating an open, decentralized energy data exchange platform.

Innogy has, within its innovation and investment arm (Innogy Innovation Hub), a large presence in Berlin, with multiple energy related companies in their portfolio. Their current investment thesis is all around energy use cases. One of these companies is Motionwerk GmbH, the company behind the Share and Charge foundation, which is not directly from Berlin.

Mention 3 reasons why DLT is something energy and commodity trading firms should consider exploring.

#1 As one of the key functions, blockchain/DLT can reduce or even eliminate the middle man. In commodity and energy trading this is an exciting proposition.

#2 Energy trading relies on measurements along the chain that need to be registered and kept in an accurate way to ensure correct calculations of the energy sold. A distributed ledger is very suitable for creating an immutable, commonly agreed upon source of truth to use for this. Even device management can be greatly improved and enabled among different manufacturers by using blockchain.

#3 Cooperation in consortia of different players along the supply chain can be powered by DLT to ensure trust is shared between participants.

What is the potential of DLT and blockchain in the future? How can practitioners work with regulators to build consensus in this space?

The first and most important thing is education. Regulators unfortunately see blockchain primarily as the evil technology enabling black markets, money laundering and speculation. We, as practitioners, need to help them understand the real potential and impact it can have to the economy, and help them detach it from cryptocurrencies and speculation.

Through education and open dialog we should highlight DLT's potential for the economy,  so that practitioners can gain their interest and over time, their buy in. Creating interest groups, like what we do in BerChain, is something that also helps, as we can respond with one voice, which is the voice of the industry at large.

Last but not least, understanding the point of view of the regulators and actively engaging in discussions about their needs will help build a good relationship and a healthy conversation. Also, some European initiatives are on the right path to ease the communication with the regulators.  Another initiative consists in writing position papers that help practitioners collaborate with regulators.

What would you like to achieve by attending the ''Optimising the Back Office Function in Energy and Commodity Trading'' event?

I’d like to get to know the challenges of this particular field as well as understand how blockchain could aid adoption. I’d be looking forward to some discussions in my particular fields of interest: the Berlin blockchain ecosystem, and the application of the GDPR in blockchain-related environments.

Copyright © 2019 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

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Supporting Association:

Silvan Jongerius, Managing Partner & DPO at TechGDPR. President and Founder at BerChain.

For more information, please contact: 

Alexia Mavronicola

Speakers Include:

Mario Claeys
Head of Exchange, Clearing, & Margining Operations
Uniper Global Commodities  

Bernd Wölfer
Department Manager, Trading Back Office
OMV Gas Marketing and Trading

Antonio Sevilla Cervantes
Head of Back Office

John Furlong

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