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Collaborative problem solving for SDG's, explore gamification, natural asset capital and blockchain integration

Exploring the SUM of our efforts

Blockchain technology, which underlies Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies, holds the promise of transforming a broad range of use cases. Through it, third-party trust is replaced by code and mathematical proof, making it possible to reach consensus about data without a central authority.


With blockchain, as with every technological innovation, we are given an opportunity to improve our lives and create a new narrative.  A collaboration with the Chicago Blockchain Project, Wuji, and SDG Future Cities, we explore the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations as we bring together vibrant minds to identify key challenges, form relationships for success and construct open-source solutions. The entire life cycle of ideas is supported as we invent at the design-thinking all-in hackathon. Natural Capital Assets, Gamification, and the environment are key themes of the Future Chicago Blockchain Challenge.

All are invited to the activities under this program. We assemble students, technologists, entrepreneurs, educators, creatives, business minds and strategist, lovers of r+d, designers, policymakers, investors, and other interested.


Navy Pier, 

Chicago, IL, USA

August 24th and 25th

Blockchain doesn’t just help social movements, it is a social movement. Let’s build the world in which we wish to live. Where diversity is not an afterthought and competition is replaced by collaboration.

SDG Future: includes a combination of accelerators, educational and entertainment projects alongside international infrastructure/systems-wide development and high profile events at locations around the globe. These focuses work to connect early-stage projects with local and nation-states economic development zones and infrastructure projects and plans with a goal to successfully realize social impact solutions for achieving the UN SDGs. This integrated approach also lends and leverages exposure to ensure all are successful in the long term and showcase results at an international level.

AbsoluteSUM: Facilitating hackathons, developing incubators and launching initiatives for an inclusive new economy. Implementing collaborative problem-solving techniques with strategic partnerships supporting the ongoing development of solutions.  


Chicago Blockchain Project: is hosting an intensive two-day conference for 5,000 people at Navy Pier, in Chicago. Leaders in government and business will gather with influencers to share best practices and shape the conversation. Voice of Blockchain advances Chicago as a global leader in the emerging field of blockchain technology where collaboration is incentivized through an ecosystem engineered to benefit individuals, small enterprises, and corporations.


Wuji The Wuji team is a passionate group of sustainability enthusiasts, investors, and entrepreneurs who seek to make it simple for everyone to make a positive impact in our world. We have rich backgrounds in nonprofits, socially conscious businesses, and, admittedly, businesses that are less environmentally and socially friendly.



Guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals absoluteSUM challenges bring collaborative problem solving to the local level while striving to reach our #GlobalGoals 




Planetary warming continued in 2016, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the preindustrial period, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016. Drought conditions predominated across much of the globe, aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon In the Statement, WMO also noted that the extent of global sea ice fell to a minimum of 4.14 million km2 in 2016, the second lowest extent on record. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels also reached a record high of 400 parts per million that year...

Image by kazuend


Progress in preserving and sustainably using the Earth’s terrestrial species and ecosystems is uneven. The pace of forest loss has slowed and improvements continue to be made in managing forests sustainably and protecting areas important for biodiversity. However, declining trends in land productivity, biodiversity loss and poaching and trafficking of wildlife remain serious concerns.


Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 18. The increasingly adverse impacts of climate change (including ocean acidification), overfishing and marine pollution are jeopardizing recent gains in protecting portions of the world’s oceans.

SDG Challenges


Thanks to Voice of Blockchain for making this Challenge economically inclusive!


  • You will be challenged to get creative, stay open, and connect!

  • Expect the Challenge Lab sessions to be closely tied to the Voice of BLockchain events.  

  • Expect an integrated approach, technical and non-technical work side by side.

  • Expect to share the room with diverse minds who are united under the purpose of building solutions for a Future Chicago!

  • Your Voice of Blockchain Ticket: We have got you covered. You should receive your complimentary ticket via email prior to the event.

  • If you have a problem or have not received your ticket by Thursday 8pm please contact us at - worst case scenario we figure it out when you arrive at will-call.

Friday recommended

Voice of Blockchain Sessions

9 – 9:15am

BUIDL // A Conference Built By a Community


9:20 – 9:40am

INNOVATION // Convergence in Chicago


9:55 – 10:20am

SG // What Does Identity mean? (Pia Mancini)


10:30am-12:00pm  Ideation Lab presented by absoluteSUM


12:05 – 12:35pm

FINTECH & MARKETS // How ICOs Exposed Weaknesses in Current Funding Models (Charles Kwon)


12:50 – 1:20pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Diversity & Decentralization (Sharon Burns)


1:15 – 1:55pm

INNOVATION // The Role IoT Will Play in Developing Fully Autonomous Cities (Jochen Renz)


2:00 pm-3:40 pm - Prototype in Iteration Lab presented by absoluteSUM


3:50 – 4:20pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Identity & Interfacing with Government (Sandra Miller)


4:50 – 5:25pm

#BUIDL // Solving Scalability (Hannah Rosenberg)


5 – 5:45pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Reporting the Real News (Brian Je

Saturday recommended

Voice of Blockchain Sessions

9:00am-10:50 - Center + Set presented by absoluteSUM

10:55 – 11:30am

SOCIAL GOOD // An Opt-In Values Based Community: What Consensus Are We Building (Disruption Joe)


10:55 – 11:30am

SOCIAL GOOD // An Opt-In Values Based Community: What Consensus Are We Building (Disruption Joe)


11:30am – 12:10pm

INNOVATION //Blockchain Opportunities in Special Economic Zones (Lotta Moberg)


11:30am – 12:10pm

INNOVATION //Blockchain Opportunities in Special Economic Zones (Lotta Moberg)


12:05 – 12:45pm

SOCIAL GOOD - Building Democratic Systems for Global Communities (Mod)


12:10 – 12:30pm

#BUIDL // Learn Bitcoin Through Comics: A Blockchain Crash Course


12:15 – 12:50pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Illinois Solutions for Renewable Energy Using Blockchain (Mod)


1:00pm -2:25pm - Story +Craft Lab presented by absoluteSUM


2:25 – 2:50pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Natural Capital Assets (Stephen Cutter)


3:10 – 3:50pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Communities Redeveloping Themselves (CM! Winters)


3:10 – 3:40pm

FINTECH & MARKETS // Finding Regulatory Solutions Working with Government (Brad Rosen)


3:20 – 3:45pm

SOCIAL GOOD // Natural Capital Assets (Stephen Cutter)


3:45 – 4:10pm

FINTECH & MARKETS // Interfacing of Technology and Local Government (Lexy Prodromos)


3:55 – 4:10pm

SOCIAL GOOD // A Decentralized & Crowdsourced Social Enterprise

4:20pm - 5:00pm  - Pitch + Response, Vote, Closing, Announce Winners


August 24, 2018

Friday 10:30am -12:00pm

Ideate + Integrate


Open your minds to limitless possibilities and turn on your imagination.  We can learn more from each other when information is shared openly. A free exchange of ideas is critical to creating an environment where people are allowed to learn and use existing information toward creating new ideas and solutions. Our primary focus is on developing relationships that will move ideas forward.  When we are free to collaborate, we create. We can solve problems that no one person may be able to solve on their own.


Friday 2:00pm - 3:40pm

Prototyping + Rapid Iteration


“Specificity is the friend of innovation.” - Tom Chi

Guesses and conjecture do not equal answers! Here we create direct experiences to get answers and improve ideas using real-time information.  The ability to tap into empathy and act with compassion allows for precision innovation. This session aims to answer specific questions allowing an expedited process.



August 25, 2018

Saturday  9:00am - 10:50am

Set + Center


Rise and Shine!  As a collective, working toward sustainable development goals and the Future of Humanity, we need the optimal alignment. We will sync breath, body, and mind with simple and effective methods for boosting brain power and informing coherence throughout the final day.


Facilitated by Amber Brandner and Aaron Moon

Find out more about the Future Chicago Challenge


Saturday 1:00pm - 2:15pm

Story + Craft


We welcome special guest Melinda Woolf to share how the UN and Future Cities initiative is crafting their story for a diverse audience.  In this lab we explore effective tools for engaging audiences while generating action. A strong story has the power to transmit vision, create impact and transform what was once an idea into a Global Solution.

4:20pm - 5:00pm  - Pitch + Response, Vote, Closing, Announce Winners


We don’t have a panel of judges, because we don’t want to judge you, we want to BUILD with you!  A panel of experts share thoughtful reflections as solutions are shared aloud. Concluding with a democratic vote bringing winning ideas to the top.

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Entrepreneur, advocate, facilitator



Aaron Cantwell

Associate Director Production at AbsoluteSUM, Happy Body Mentor

Our mission is to bring individuals who have the ability to implement solutions into the conversation early, building relationships with local and future partners from the days of problem identification and ideation.


We explore our absolute sum, by engaging communities in creative problem solving while embracing emerging technologies such as blockchain.


Absolute solutions are conceptualized during a weekend hackathon and develop with the support of an incubator, teams have access to an ongoing community, mentorship, resources, pathways to funding, and access to relationships with accelerators.


Absolute Sum is experimentation, exploration and unfolding story documenting the shift in the narrative of possibility.


absolute sum


Want to share your experiences

and help teams thrive?


Support the exploration and integration of emerging tech while building towards an inclusive new economy.

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