Dr. Chengdiao Fan
Head of Product
Stanford PhD in Computational Anthropology harnessing social computing to unlock human potential on a global scale.
I finished my Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University, with expertise in human behavior and human groups studies. My research interests have focused on human-computer interaction and social computing -- specifically, how we use technology to positively impact human behavior and societies. My previous research projects and published papers include designing software systems to improve productivity, scale social communications and surface untapped social capital for people. I also founded a startup that builds an email productivity platform that scales conversations by crowdsourcing.
What excites me about blockchain technology is the merging of decentralization with an economic instrument. This technological marvel can mobilize individuals all over the world to participate and be rewarded for their contributions. Just as the internet enabled the world to be more connected through information exchanges, blockchain and cryptocurrencies enable closer and more frequent collaborations with value exchanges. I believe their potential is far beyond the realm of finance, and will create values that have otherwise not been created or captured on individual, societal and global levels. My hope for Pi is the establishment of an inclusive economy for global citizens to unleash and capture their own value, and in turn create value for society and the world.
I speak English & Chinese. I’m a scientist, an engineer, a wife and the mother of a 3-year old.
Dr. Nicolas Kokkalis
Head of Technology
Stanford PhD and instructor of Stanford’s first decentralized applications class; combining distributed systems and human computer interaction to bring cryptocurrency to everyday people.
I have been a technologist all my life, which led me to do a Ph.D. at Stanford University and to continue to become a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Computer Science department there. As part of my postdoc, I introduced and taught CS359B, the Decentralized Applications on Blockchain class, in Stanford’s Computer Science department. That’s where I encountered firsthand the difficulty of getting the technological advances of blockchain into the hands of everyday people. I believe today technology can empower people more than ever.
As a young undergraduate, I designed and built a novel computer motherboard from scratch in the lab. In my early PhD work, I created a framework for writing “smart contracts” on fault tolerant distributed systems, before blockchain and Ethereum came to exist, and published it as my MS thesis. I also created an online games platform, Gameyola, where millions of people entertained themselves for a collective of over 2,000 man years; for my later PhD work, I tried to restore those man years by writing a crowd-powered email assistant that saved people time when processing their emails and tasks. Also, I was the founding CTO at StartX, a non-profit startup accelerator for Stanford students that has helped over 2000 entrepreneurs.
I am a strong and long term believer of the technical, financial and social potential of cryptocurrencies, but frustrated by their current limitations. I am committed to bringing the power of blockchain to more people by improving the current experience and building value for everyone. I’m doing this by employing a user-centric design philosophy that turns the development process of new blockchains upside down: Launch in Beta; invite members to the network; iterate the protocol together with the members; decentralize the resulting design.
The result is currently available as the Pi Network, a new cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer network, which is currently operational in 150+ countries and 32 languages. Pi Network is 100% my professional commitment, while my loving wife and son take up 100% of my personal commitment.
Head of Community
Yale and Stanford-trained social movement builder on a mission to democratize how society defines, creates, and distributes wealth.
My mission is to build a world where anyone, anywhere has the opportunity to realize their full potential. After graduating from Yale University (BA, Political Science), I turned down an investment banking job on Wall Street to launch WellWyn, a community-based wellness practice. While I loved coaching, I was frustrated by how hard it was to create lasting social work at scale. To impact more people, I joined a nonprofit / NGO consulting company called Bridgespan where I worked with philanthropists and NGOs to deploy hundreds of millions of dollars for education and workforce development in communities across the U.S.
My time at Bridgespan convinced me that providing people with equal opportunity would require shattering a deep-rooted myth: that you can’t prosper financially while doing good for the world. After enrolling at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, I became obsessed with the idea of how people could use cryptocurrencies to earn money by doing good, thereby redefining the very meaning of Wealth. To figure out how to make this work, I co-founded the Stanford Blockchain Collective, a group of 750 thought leaders, businesspeople, engineers, and lawyers from across Stanford and Silicon Valley. I also began teaching Crypto 101 workshops so I could learn more about how people could use cryptocurrency to transform their lives.
I am convinced that cryptocurrency is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide opportunities for people everywhere to achieve a new meaning of prosperity. Despite this potential, we are still in the early stages of helping people understand how cryptocurrency could improve their lives. Pi aims to change this. Pi represents the culmination of a personal, lifelong mission to empower others by redefining wealth.
In my free time, I practice meditation, yoga, tai chi. I also love to dance. I’m a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and speak Spanish and Portuguese.