From July 19-23, 2021, the already sixth PhD School of Logistics – the Summer School of the Graduate School of Logistics – took place. With five days of program, 13 sessions, eleven lectures, ten international speakers, two workshops and a live case study, the week promised to be very busy. 20 participants from all over Europe, Lithuania and Brazil rose to the challenge. The focus was on Blockchain in Supply Chain Management, so the format was offered in cooperation with Blockchain Europe – the projects to establish the European Blockchain Institute.

As in 2020, we again relied on a digital format this year. “It felt really good to work intensively with other people again. It’s amazing how well it worked digitally. It was almost like it used to be (A.d.R: before the Corona pandemic),” explained one participant from Germany. The motto of the week-long format was “Network works digitally” and all participants impressively proved, digital collaboration can work very well. Last but not least, the successful live case study with Lamb Weston/Meijer showed how digital solution finding in interdisciplinary teams, with participants who did not know each other until a few days ago, can lead to great success.

How can Lab Weston’s CO2 footprint be reduced by 25 percent compared to 2020 across the entire supply chain? In four teams, participants took on this challenge and created four solution concepts over the course of a day and a half, incorporating blockchain technology. “I am positively surprised. I didn’t think that such good quality results were feasible in such a short time ” expressed Mathijs Tomeij of Lamb Weston in his thanks. Even though one team had to win, the company is now considering combining the teams’ concepts and putting this combination into practice.

In preparation for the Case Study, the program offered several presentations by blockchain experts from around the world at the beginning of the week. In addition to the classic introduction, the agenda included key developments, blockchain systems and architectures, and smart contracts. “This was a week full of educational talks, the speakers were all really good,” said one participant. Some participants also took the opportunity right away and found a suitable PhD supervisor or second examiner among the speakers. In addition, a PhD workshop for doctoral students on blockchain was created.

“I’m glad I participated. This week was a really special experience for me. I took a lot with me,” was just one conclusion after the busy week.