With almost 50 community-led events across the world and a full day both dedicated to community projects building on Cardano and forged by the community, the Cardano Summit 2022 was a truly global event celebrating the developers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and educators in the Cardano ecosystem. It demonstrated the range and sophistication of present projects, while hinting at the possibility of additional growth that can create endurable worldwide change.
Indeed, in assuming the organization of this year’s Summit, the Cardano Foundation had hoped to provide the community with thought-provoking content that would encourage the ecosystem’s further evolution. Not only that, the Foundation wished to give yet unseen importance to community-led events and equally position decentralization and governance at the vanguard of the Summit. We therefore assisted both Cardano Ambassadors and various community members to set up the multiple Cardano Summit community-led events. Moreover, using the specially developed Cardano Ballot, the community voted for the inaugural Cardano Summit Awards and for the Day 2 speakers, thus effectively helping to curate the Summit agenda.
A community far and wide
From Ho Chi Minh City to São Paulo, or from Goma to Oslo and Washington DC, the numerous community-led events attracted more than 6,000 participants. Even before the Summit began, 19 events were already fully booked, denoting the enthusiasm of not just the Cardano community but of those curious about blockchain and its possibilities. Whether individuals come from an institutional, enterprising, or artistic background, there appears to exist an increasing interest in blockchain case studies.
Similarly, the positive response to the community-led events signaled the relevance of diversified locations. In fact, event hosts cited the importance of bringing the Summit to multiple venues across the world: a good range of locations provides the community with an extra opportunity to connect and evolve together. It also facilitates networking and may even offer a chance to engage with those outside the Cardano ecosystem.
With a program designed and executed by the different organizers, each community-led event secured exclusive speakers to deliver local keynotes, sometimes intermingling them with the streaming of the main stage event in Lausanne. Although debates touched on various themes, discussions frequently looked at NFT utility, the creation of efficient supply chain networks, decentralized finance (DeFi), as well as the use of blockchain for self-sovereign identity (SSI). In Jakarta, the organization actually collaborated with ProofSpace and IOHK to employ SSI and decentralized identifiers (DIDs) to book and check in attendees.
Despite having their own unique circumstances and embodying a vast array of cultures, all community-led events shared an enduring sense of community. The connections established speak to the potential for future developments, while the international reach attests the need to consider both matters of representation and accessibility.
In this regard, the virtual Summit Lodge provided another access point to the Summit. Attendees could interact with each other, watch live sessions, take part in the Cardano Quest, and explore the virtual space. In addition to areas exclusive to the Lodge, the virtual experience also closely mimicked the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne.
The Lodge received more than 44,000 visits from over 75 countries, with close to 40 hours of content streamed. Every Summit session has now been made available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel, including the presentations from the speaker winners of the Cardano Ballot as well as the Day 2 panels, all pertaining to community projects building on Cardano.
A Summit to grow skills
The Cardano Foundation maintains a long-standing commitment to assist and equip the community. We therefore arranged to have the Summit furnished with workshops that would supply practical knowledge to any potentially interested party.
A debate was started about establishing a charter for Project Catalyst, and the Cardano RealFi Alliance got a formal introduction. Other workshops focused on the development of decentralized applications (DApps), the creation of smart contracts, and the use of specific solutions. In “Mastering the SPO Challenges”, the Foundation prepared a workshop with multiple sessions delivered by industry experts and stake pool operators (SPOs).
This workshop opened with Red Flag, a communications advisory firm, providing extensive analysis of best practices for smaller stake pool operators to grow effectively. Matthias Benkort—Technical Director of Open Source Development at the Foundation—then gave details about the process for contributing to the Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs), while Dr. Claudio Tessone—Professor of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies at the University of Zurich—showed data from a research analysis, done in partnership with the Cardano Foundation, about the effect of consensus designs on the health of permissionless blockchains.
Martin Hess, from the law firm Künzi Hess MacNab, next outlined differences and details of the current regulatory landscape, with Frederik Gregaard—CEO of the Cardano Foundation—joining Hess to answer questions from the audience in a lively interaction that extended past the session’s scheduled time. Complementing Hess’ session, single stake pool operator Christian Kulas highlighted the German situation and suggested some best practices. Markus Guflar presented a brief yet powerful clarification of block production and propagation on Cardano. The workshop closed with a panel discussion moderated by Bullish Dumpling, featuring Kulas and Guflar, as well as Andrew Westberg.
The high levels of both attendance and engagement—here in particular, and in the workshops in general—, evidenced the appetite for tailored and informative seminars. They also indicate how exposure to diversified expert knowledge, coupled with broad contact with various ideas and experiences, can foster not just innovation but crucial evolution.
In fact, the Cardano Summit Awards arose as a means to celebrate the maturity of the community, whether it means the achievements of SPOs, developers, Ambassadors, or educators. Moreover, the awards were conceived to have this work honored by community votes verified on the Cardano blockchain, thus demonstrating a concrete example of blockchain utility.
As the Cardano Foundation prepares the next year and considers the Cardano Summit 2023, we will continue to support the community. We encourage all eligible SPOs to participate in the ongoing application for redelegation of Cardano Foundation Wallets. We also thank everyone for their contributions and relentless dedication.
Feel free to share how you felt about the Cardano Summit 2022 in the comments, and we would be delighted if you could share pictures you took at the main event or one of the community-led events.