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Can NFTs Spark Continuous Learning?

June 06, 2022

MIT Platform Strategy Summit will feature dynamic learning NFTs to encourage continuous learning

By Peter C. Evans, Geoff Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne

Despite best intentions, it’s often difficult to retain and sustain complex information. Attending a conference, for instance, sparks many ideas and actions, but too often, remembering all the key takeaways several months later can be difficult.  

That’s why this year’s MIT Platform Strategy Summit is taking an innovative approach to continuous, post-event learning. For the 10th Anniversary Summit we are offering a dynamic learning NFT to Summit participants. The aim of the unique MyLearningNFT is to encourage attendees to continue to learn about platforms beyond the event and throughout the year. And as a bonus, they get to experience NFTs first hand.

Three key features distinguish these NFTs from those in music, art, sports, and other areas that have received so much attention over the past year.  

  1. Holders must keep learning about topics addressed during the Summit to keep MyLearningNFT from degrading.  
  2. MyLearningNFTs are non-tradable. They are designed to represent individual learning and are not bought and sold.
  3. They reward continuous learning. If recipients take no action, their NFT will depreciate. However, if they do take learning actions, their NFT will hold its value or even appreciate.

MyLearningNFT (co-founded by Peter Evans) addresses the natural depreciation of knowledge that occurs for us all. The German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was the first to publish studies of memory loss over 100 years ago. His analysis of the depreciation of knowledge has become known as the “forgetting curve,” and stands in contrast to the well-known “learning curve.”The NFT introduces a novel way to retain the concepts and ideas sparked at special events like the MIT Platform Strategy Summit  and even to enhance them further.  

Specifically, this dynamic learning app:

  •        Keeps learning from the Summit fresh.
  •        Alerts participants to podcasts, articles and other valuable platform-related learning opportunities.
  •       Offers exclusive access to two post-Summit webinars hosted by the Summit chairs.
  •       Provides a 30 percent discount on next year’s Summit for holders who have their MyLearningNFT in the top tier on May 31, 2023.

How it works

Each participant who registers and attends the MIT Platform Strategy Summit on July 14 and signs up for the MyLearningNFT will receive their NFT within 48 hours. The NFT will have an initial assigned value displayed in the MyLearningNFT app. Each NFT will change properties, as well as its look and feel, based on points accumulated–or lost– from July 2022 to July 2023. [REGISTER HERE]

If NFT-holders take no learning actions, the NFT will automatically degrade every 90 days. If learning action takes place, however, the NFT will increase in points and appearance. No cryptocurrencies or crypto-wallets are required.

As conference chairs, we establish what learning actions (e.g. listening to a podcast, reading an article, attending a conference) are accepted and which are not. Here are a few examples:


The Summit chairs will host two webinars, one in the fall of 2022 and one in the spring of 2023, that will address topics raised during the Summit. These may include: the role of platforms in powering enterprise talent needs, and the role of Web3, tokenization and platforms. Recording your attendance will keep your NFT from degrading.  

Other conference speakers also host regular webinars that can add to the NFT’s value. For example, Tom McFadyen, founder and CEO of McFadyen Digital, hosts a monthly podcast focused on online marketplace and e-commerce best practices, news, and actionable insights.

Virtual Seminars

Another option is to attend a virtual seminar featuring one of the Summit speakers. For example, Dr. Svenja Falk, Managing Director Accenture Research who also is Head of the Berlin Office of Accenture, spoke about Digital Decoupling at a recent MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Lunch Seminar Series. This topic would be a great opportunity to keep the learning NFT alive.


Many conference speakers publish regularly. Elizabeth J. Altman, assistant professor of management at the Manning School of Business, University of Massachusetts Lowell, recently helped produce the report, Orchestrating Workforce Ecosystems: Strategically Managing Work Across and Beyond Organizational Boundaries. Reading a report like this would also count toward building post-Summit NFT points. 

These are just a few of the options available. Others include listening to a podcast, attending an in-person event, giving a speech, or publishing an article. 

Those who want to take advantage of the experience should act quickly! The first 75 NFTs will be free to conference registrants thanks to our Platform Innovation Sponsor McFadyen Digital.  After these NFTs are claimed, additional MyLearningNFTs can be obtained for $100, or $8.33 a month for one year.   

This novel approach to motivating and retaining knowledge of platform strategy will help individuals as well as their enterprises in the competitive platform era. 

Peter C. Evans is Managing Partner, Platform Strategy Institute  and a Summit Co-chair. He is also co-Founder and CEO of MyLearning NFT. 

Geoffrey Parker is a Professor at Dartmouth College, a Visiting Scholar at the MIT IDE, and Summit Co-chair.

Marshall Van Alsytne is a Professor at Boston University, a Visiting Scholar at MIT IDE, and a Summit Co-chair.