AI Golden Record Pipeline
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Grocery store shopping is blissfully easy. The butcher, the produce stand, and the bakery are all in the same convenient place. You can trust what the store provides. You can enter the store in a rush, browse through the meat aisle, grab a sirloin, make sure the expiration date is okay, and drive home.
What if you were to learn that the sirloin was adulterated by mixing beef with horsemeat? Or that the company packaging the meat had slapped a fake expiration date on it? You would understandably feel disgusted. Food should be safe and honest; a label should mean what it says.
Most countries have traceability protocols, but they are not created equal. Even the most stringent rules, such as the US’s FSMA food safety standards, don’t necessarily keep up with ever-changing consumer preferences. Was that palm oil sourced sustainably? Is the beef kosher or halal? Too often, there is no way to verify if labels are telling the truth.
For example, the US has a known beef traceabiilty problem – just this year the NFU (National Farmers Union) raised concerns that beef labelled “Product of the USA” might actually have come from foreign countries.
“We’ve seen what people try to get away with,” said Jonah Lau, Co-founder and CTO of supply chain-tracing startup Sinisana Technologies. “They modify things like expiration dates, or they mix in horse- or buffalo meat at the supermarket. We created Sinisana to solve those pain points.”
Sinisana is based in Malaysia, the world’s largest producer of halal food. The company recently launched Southeast Asia’s first halal beef tracking system, entering a global market of more than 2 billion Muslims. Sinisana uses Fluree to power a farm-to-fork traceability platform that ensures visibility through an entire beef supply chain.
There is a technical reason that things like horsemeat can sneak into the beef supply. “It’s common for government food safety agencies to require documentation from one supply chain node to the next—for example, from slaughterhouse to processing plant—but not along multiple nodes,” said Lau. “Our long visibility into the supply chain is unique.”
Halal, an Islamic food law, requires adherents to only eat meats that are permitted (pork, for example, is not). It also sets down laws for what is essentially the meat supply chain, from slaughter to processing and storage. Even if animals are slaughtered in a halal-compliant way, transgressions can sneak in further down the supply chain.
Concerned about this tendency, one of Malaysia’s most reputable halal beef suppliers approached Sinisana to establish supply chain transparency. The supplier sources cattle from Australia, ships them to Malaysia for fattening, then transports them for butchering. Cattle are butchered at various locations that include meatpacking plants and grocery stores.
The supply chain, in other words, is not necessarily linear. It sometimes looks more like a tree than a single chain. Thanks to Sinisana and Fluree, however, consumers can trace the origins and movements of every single package of beef via a non-fungible tag with a QR code.
From the originator onwards, every organization that processes the cattle enters its own data—and cannot change previously entered data. As cattle move from producer to fattener to butcher, all information is preserved, making the data immutable.
Even as cattle make their way to various locations for slaughter, Sinisana can still see and track data. This is because Fluree natively supports semantic graph technology, enabling full supply-chain visibility even with multiple parties involved.
“The great thing about graph is you have context for relationships, so you can go any direction you want,” said Lau. “It makes so much sense for us to run on Fluree. We can integrate all kinds of things that would be very difficult on a traditional blockchain.”
Complex integrations are hard on a traditional blockchain in part because of Gas fees. Transactions are based on mining a cryptocurrency, for example ETH, so users need to pay Gas fees—estimates of compute needs—before every transaction. Fluree’s usage-based model helps keep Gas costs low. Instead of charging Gas fees, Fluree calculates the number of flakes (discrete, semantically interoperable data units) that each transaction is touching. Data storage and interoperability become cost-effective while keeping all the benefits of blockchains.
“Because Fluree enables a data mesh or fabric, you can do more things off-chain or synchronize side chains,” said Lau. “You aren’t doing as many critical things on the main chain that consume a lot of Gas. We are able to keep traceability costs low.”
Instead of passing along prohibitive Gas fee costs, Sinisana is able to charge on a per unit or per kilogram of meat.
He describes his stack as “light and intuitive.” Sinisana uses Fluree as a database back-end, with node.js, React, React Native, and Express as other layers. “I used to work with a different data fabric that required a lot of specific skills to build,” he said. “It took time to put together and ended up with many moving parts that could fail. That created complexity for no good reason. Oftentimes we didn’t have enough time to work on it while trying to go to market with our product—it was not an easy monster to manage. Fluree’s model, by contrast, is refreshingly simple.”
Sinisana’s low-cost pricing model and farm-to-fork technology continues to draw in other food producers. Suppliers of palm oil, crab, shrimp, and lobster are all working with Sinisana. Halal, however, is far from the only concern. There is a global movement towards greater visibility, particularly when it comes to ending bonded labor, a common employment practice that exploits workers in debt with unfair wages. For its part, Sinisana is in talks with palm oil producers to promote transparency in fare compensation to migrant laborers.
“Consumers are demanding sustainability, and the market is following,” said Lau. “We heartily believe supply chain tracking is the future. It’s hard to believe a company’s claims at face value. However, when one person takes the risk of applying full transparency to their supply chain, the rest are forced to catch up.”
“The truth,” he said, “is in the data.”
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Partner, Analytic Strategy Partners; Frederick H. Rawson Professor in Medicine and Computer Science, University of Chicago and Chief of the Section of Biomedical Data Science in the Department of Medicine
Robert Grossman has been working in the field of data science, machine learning, big data, and distributed computing for over 25 years. He is a faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he is the Jim and Karen Frank Director of the Center for Translational Data Science. He is the Principal Investigator for the Genomic Data Commons, one of the largest collections of harmonized cancer genomics data in the world.
He founded Analytic Strategy Partners in 2016, which helps companies develop analytic strategies, improve their analytic operations, and evaluate potential analytic acquisitions and opportunities. From 2002-2015, he was the Founder and Managing Partner of Open Data Group (now ModelOp), which was one of the pioneers scaling predictive analytics to large datasets and helping companies develop and deploy innovative analytic solutions. From 1996 to 2001, he was the Founder and CEO of Magnify, which is now part of Lexis-Nexis (RELX Group) and provides predictive analytics solutions to the insurance industry.
Robert is also the Chair of the Open Commons Consortium (OCC), which is a not-for-profit that manages and operates cloud computing infrastructure to support scientific, medical, health care and environmental research.
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Founder, DataStraits Inc., Chief Revenue Officer, 3i Infotech Ltd
Sudeep Nadkarni has decades of experience in scaling managed services and hi-tech product firms. He has driven several new ventures and corporate turnarounds resulting in one IPO and three $1B+ exits. VC/PE firms have entrusted Sudeep with key executive roles that include entering new opportunity areas, leading global sales, scaling operations & post-merger integrations.
Sudeep has broad international experience having worked, lived, and led firms operating in US, UK, Middle East, Asia & Africa. He is passionate about bringing innovative business products to market that leverage web 3.0 technologies and have embedded governance risk and compliance.
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CEO, Data4Real LLC
Julia Bardmesser is a technology, architecture and data strategy executive, board member and advisor. In addition to her role as CEO of Data4Real LLC, she currently serves as Chair of Technology Advisory Council, Women Leaders In Data & AI (WLDA). She is a recognized thought leader in data driven digital transformation with over 30 years of experience in building technology and business capabilities that enable business growth, innovation, and agility. Julia has led transformational initiatives in many financial services companies such as Voya Financial, Deutsche Bank Citi, FINRA, Freddie Mac, and others.
Julia is a much sought-after speaker and mentor in the industry, and she has received recognition across the industry for her significant contributions. She has been named to engatica 2023 list of World’s Top 200 Business and Technology Innovators; received 2022 WLDA Changemaker in AI award; has been named to CDO Magazine’s List of Global Data Power Wdomen three years in the row (2020-2022); named Top 150 Business Transformation Leader by Constellation Research in 2019; and recognized as the Best Data Management Practitioner by A-Team Data Management Insight in 2017.
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Senior Advisor, Board Member, Strategic Investor
After nine years leading the rescue and turnaround of Banco del Progreso in the Dominican Republic culminating with its acquisition by Scotiabank (for a 2.7x book value multiple), Mark focuses on advisory relationships and Boards of Directors where he brings the breadth of his prior consulting and banking/payments experience.
In 2018, Mark founded Alberdi Advisory Corporation where he is engaged in advisory services for the biotechnology, technology, distribution, and financial services industries. Mark enjoys working with founders of successful businesses as well as start-ups and VC; he serves on several Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards including MPX – Marco Polo Exchange – providing world-class systems and support to interconnect Broker-Dealers and Family Offices around the world and Fluree – focusing on web3 and blockchain. He is actively engaged in strategic advisory with the founder and Executive Committee of the Biotechnology Institute of Spain with over 50 patents and sales of its world-class regenerative therapies in more than 30 countries.
Prior work experience includes leadership positions with MasterCard, IBM/PwC, Kearney, BBVA and Citibank. Mark has worked in over 30 countries – extensively across Europe and the Americas as well as occasional experiences in Asia.
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Chair of the Board, Enterprise Data Management Council
Peter Serenita was one of the first Chief Data Officers (CDOs) in financial services. He was a 28-year veteran of JPMorgan having held several key positions in business and information technology including the role of Chief Data Officer of the Worldwide Securities division. Subsequently, Peter became HSBC’s first Group Chief Data Officer, focusing on establishing a global data organization and capability to improve data consistency across the firm. More recently, Peter was the Enterprise Chief Data Officer for Scotiabank focused on defining and implementing a data management capability to improve data quality.
Peter is currently the Chairman of the Enterprise Data Management Council, a trade organization advancing data management globally across industries. Peter was a member of the inaugural Financial Research Advisory Committee (under the U.S. Department of Treasury) tasked with improving data quality in regulatory submissions to identify systemic risk.
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Turn Data Chaos into Data Clarity
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Pawan came to Fluree via its acquisition of ZettaLabs, an AI based data cleansing and mastering company.His previous experiences include IBM where he was part of the Strategy, Business Development and Operations team at IBM Watson Health’s Provider business. Prior to that Pawan spent 10 years with Thomson Reuters in the UK, US, and the Middle East. During his tenure he held executive positions in Finance, Sales and Corporate Development and Strategy. He is an alumnus of The Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University.
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Andrew “Flip” Filipowski is one of the world’s most successful high-tech entrepreneurs, philanthropists and industry visionaries. Mr. Filipowski serves as Co-founder and Co-CEO of Fluree, where he seeks to bring trust, security, and versatility to data.
Mr. Filipowski also serves as co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of SilkRoad Equity, a global private investment firm, as well as the co-founder, of Tally Capital.
Mr. Filipowski was the former COO of Cullinet, the largest software company of the 1980’s. Mr. Filipowski founded and served as Chairman and CEO of PLATINUM technology, where he grew PLATINUM into the 8th largest software company in the world at the time of its sale to Computer Associates for $4 billion – the largest such transaction for a software company at the time. Upside Magazine named Mr. Filipowski one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Information Technology. A recipient of Entrepreneur of the Year Awards from both Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch, Mr. Filipowski has also been awarded the Young President’s Organization Legacy Award and the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty award for his work fighting hate on the Internet.
Mr. Filipowski is or has been a founder, director or executive of various companies, including: Fuel 50, Veriblock, MissionMode, Onramp Branding, House of Blues, Blue Rhino Littermaid and dozens of other recognized enterprises.
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Brian is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Fluree, PBC, a North Carolina-based Public Benefit Corporation.
Platz was an entrepreneur and executive throughout the early internet days and SaaS boom, having founded the popular A-list apart web development community, along with a host of successful SaaS companies. He is now helping companies navigate the complexity of the enterprise data transformation movement.
Previous to establishing Fluree, Brian co-founded SilkRoad Technology which grew to over 2,000 customers and 500 employees in 12 global offices. Brian sits on the board of Fuel50 and Odigia, and is an advisor to Fabric Inc.
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Eliud Polanco is a seasoned data executive with extensive experience in leading global enterprise data transformation and management initiatives. Previous to his current role as President of Fluree, a data collaboration and transformation company, Eliud was formerly the Head of Analytics at Scotiabank, Global Head of Analytics and Big Data at HSBC, head of Anti-Financial Crime Technology Architecture for U.S.DeutscheBank, and Head of Data Innovation at Citi.
In his most recent role as Head of Analytics and Data Standards at Scotiabank, Eliud led a full-spectrum data transformation initiative to implement new tools and technology architecture strategies, both on-premises as well as on Cloud, for ingesting, analyzing, cleansing, and creating consumption ready data assets.
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