Call for Applications for ReFi Talents: An 18-Week Mentoring Program Empowering Talent for Leadership in the Regenerative Finance Space

We have designed an 18-week long program with 3 phases that will help ambitious talents to quickly onboard to the regenerative finance ecosystem (the ideal age should be 18+). Our goal is to guide the way for talents to get active and become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or influencers in the space to drive the transition to a regenerative economy via technology. This program is free of charge (EUR 0), you just have to apply. We will admit a maximum of 200 participants to this program starting on July 22, 2024. Application Deadline is June 30, 2024.

Introduction

What is ReFi and why did we create ReFi Talents?

We would like to encourage participants to become pioneers in creating with frontier technology what will hopefully be the new normal: a regenerative economy.

But let’s first clarify some terms here:
Regenerative finance (ReFi) refers to an approach to financial systems and practices that align with regenerative principles and contribute to the creation of a regenerative economy. In a regenerative economy, the goal is to create a sustainable and thriving ecosystem that regenerates and restores natural resources, social systems, and economic vitality. This transition involves shifting from the linear, extractive model of the current economy to one that is circular, inclusive, and regenerative. The technologies of the third wave of the Internet play a crucial role in enabling and accelerating this transition. These technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, offer innovative solutions for tracking and managing resources, optimizing efficiency, and fostering transparency and trust. By leveraging these technologies, businesses and financial institutions can develop regenerative finance models that promote sustainable practices, support social and environmental well-being, and enable and accelerate the overall transition toward a regenerative economy.

ReFi Talents launched in 2023 and is connected to the wider Web3 Talents education initiative at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. With this program, we seek to empower talents to get into the regenerative finance space, become leaders in this quickly developing field, and lay the foundation for a successful career.

The use of technologies of the third wave of the Internet like blockchain as infrastructure can make capital allocation for sustainable investment instruments such as carbon credits, green bonds or project financing for solar and wind farms more transparent, trustworthy and liquid. First, implementations are conducted by large corporations and financial institutions, but also by NGOs, the UN, and others trying to be part of a changing world. This movement will stay with us for the next few years and will not fade away. It is time to onboard yourself into the regenerative finance ecosystem.

Here is the web3 Talents track record so far: 5.000+ talented people have applied over all Web 3 Talents programs. Every year, 8 cohorts (1500+ talents) are made ready to enter web3. After these people have passed our 18-week mentoring program many of them are ready for jobs in the blockchain space. So far, approximately more than 500 people have found such a job or transitioned to web3.

We envision that participants passing through our program sooner or later can follow these career paths:

  • You become an entrepreneur of a great ReFi startup that is quickly funded with more than EUR 1M.
  • You become a technologist or developer ready to work on blockchain applications or token protocols.
  • You become a regulator or lawyer helping to set, change or apply the rules on which a digital society in the future will be based.
  • You become an investor or venture capital partner helping to shape the future of other startups in the space.
  • You become a multiplicator or influencer in the ReFi area and an important “node” of the network.

If we do not achieve these goals together with some of the other participants we will coach, we will have failed.

Who is operating this program?

This program is operated by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Particula, Vanagon Ventures, ECOTA, Climate Collective, Mento Labs and partnering organizations. If you are interested as an organization in supporting this program, please contact us. Precisely, this is the core team driving this endeavor:

In our bi-weekly Zoom sessions, we will invite other regenerative finance experts. For this, we have built the following network of current mentors and coaches:

What can you expect from our ReFi Talents program?

Starting with our second batch on July 22, 2024, we will establish a small program, select a maximum of 200 high-potential people and coach them over the course of a 3-phase program across 18 weeks to become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or multiplicators in this field. Every two weeks, we will hold Zoom sessions to deepen your knowledge and get you ready for a first job in the regenerative finance domain.

This program is different. We will not do mentoring the classical way and we do not want to do lecturing. This is successfully done elsewhere. With our stringent 3-phase program, we will focus on empowering people to build a footprint in the ReFi ecosystem and become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or multiplicators in this field.

These are the key principles of our program:

  • You are your own teacher. We want to empower participants to learn the basics of the technology by using blended learning concepts built upon peer learning. This is NOT a university lecture. We will facilitate the learning journey by providing you with a diligently curated study guide. It’s important that you commit to self-studying the proposed concepts and come prepared for our joint Zoom sessions.
  • Sharing is caring. In the Zoom sessions, we will deepen our knowledge and clarify open questions. We will ask you to actively share your learnings and questions in these sessions to foster learning through guided individual and group reflection and sharing of our perspectives towards a common topic. It is key to apply your newly won knowledge with a “Just do it” mentality.
  • Content is king. We will ask you to become a ReFi co-creator, e.g., by writing a blog article or creating a video on a ReFi topic (e.g., on Medium or YouTube) and get public exposure. We want to foster execution. But no worries, we will assure that what you write will be brilliant! We ask to do so because we have made the experience that by “owning” one’s topic, the study journey deepens and accelerates.

Why should you apply for this program?

Enter into ReFi. This program should allow you to get an easy entry into the ReFi ecosystem. We believe that this program strongly fosters your motivation and ability to get active in the space and that your future career path will significantly benefit.

Structured learning journey. You will also get access to the knowledge and discussions to understand the underlying technology of ReFi in order to judge the various forms of upcoming applications. You will be able to “access” this very special domain with extremely varying characters — from entrepreneurs to regulators, investors and corporates. Our learning guides and facilitated peer sessions are designed in a way to help you understand the core essentials in a short time period. Our guest speakers are experts in their own fields in the ReFi universe.

Thriving network. Finally, we will provide a network and contacts to professionals in the ReFi domain. This is of particular importance because in such a small and dynamic field, the breadth and depth of one’s personal network are key.

It is a ReFi “bootcamp”. Please only consider applying if you are up to the challenge. We are waiting for your application. Shortly outline what brought your attention to Regenerative Finance and why you are the right participant.

How exactly does the program look like?

We aim to develop the participants into specialists in a chosen domain. To achieve this, however, it is necessary first of all to learn the basics of the technology and also to gain insight into as many stakeholder domains as possible. To achieve this, we have developed a 3-phase model, which forms the backbone of the entire program — the basics phase, the multi-disciplinary phase, and, ultimately, the concentration phase. These phases accompany the participants from the beginner level (basics phase) upwards to the generalist (multi-disciplinary phase) and specialist levels (concentration phase).

We meet every two weeks virtually as a group. These meetings last 90 minutes, and they are meant to help share our learnings, discuss open questions, and learn from experts in the field. We will ask you to come prepared for the meetings.

Program schedule (subject to change)

What is the agenda for each Zoom session?

Each Zoom session will have the following structure and will each have a length of 90 minutes:

  • Warm welcome and ReFi news (10 min)
  • Participant presentations (25 min)
  • Reflections from the group (20 min)
  • Assignment for next session (5 min)
  • Guest speaker presentations, if scheduled (20 min)
  • Q&A (10 min)

In each Zoom session, the participants will present the findings of the assignment from the last session. The goal is not to lecture content to others. The goal is mainly to showcase what you have learned and what insights you have gotten — we call it “reflections”. Specifically, the participants should present their insights. They should not teach others. Learning of content is being done in the assignments the participants have to work on alone. The reflections will follow a structured format:

  • Please share your key insight from the topic covered. What have you learned that you didn’t know before? What was so fascinating about it?
  • Why is the topic you investigated important, or innovative to the industry? What problem was solved? How will this change our current economic system?
  • What are the potential drawbacks or hindrances?
  • Where do you have open questions?

After the participant presentations, we will discuss the patterns that occurred regarding the insights of the entire group. The goal is to deepen and enrich our mutual understanding of the topic at hand. Thereafter, the assignment for the next session will be presented. All participants will work in a shared Google Slides document. We do this to foster knowledge exchange and reduce technical friction when presenting. We then have guest lecturers, which we invite. Questions on their presentations will be discussed thereafter. Each session closes with an outlook toward the new section.

What are the key characteristics of the ReFi talents program to be summarized?

  • Starting: Monday, July 22, 2024 (batch 2). The sessions start at 17:30 CEST/CET.
  • Duration: 18 weeks (ending November 25, 2024).
  • Working mode: bi-weekly Zoom sessions with assignments to be worked on in the meantime.
  • Hours of classes: in the afternoons (CEST/CET).
  • Cost: EUR 0 (scholarship program).
  • Size: maximum of 200 participants.
  • Application: required; i.e. application form, letter of motivation (as PDF) and resume/CV (as PDF).
  • Language: English.

Who should apply for this program and where to apply?

You should definitely apply if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • You are motivated to learn about ReFi and would like to work in the field.
  • Your age is 18+.
  • You have at least 12 free hours per week to dig into the area of ReFi.
  • You love technology and ideally also finance.
  • You are good at mathematics.
  • You speak and write English quite well.
  • You have already had leadership experiences in your life (can be in extra-curricular).
  • You could imagine slightly touching programming and IT development.
  • It is OK for you to speak up for your interests and in public.
  • You are entrepreneurial-minded.
  • You are eager to fulfill the milestones of the program with a “the best I can do”-attitude.
  • You seek to comply with the deadlines given.
  • You give your best to attend every single session of our schedule (every second Monday starting on July 22, 2024; starting approximately 17:30 CEST/CET.

If you have decided to apply, simply apply via this form. In case you have questions, please contact us via an email addressed to team@fs-blockchain.de — we will respond to you as soon as possible. The program starts on July 22, 2024, and will consist of a maximum of 200 and ambitious people. The application deadline is June 30, 2024; 23:59 CEST/CET.

More information about this program: www.web3-talents.io/refi-talents

Remarks

If you like this article, we would be happy if you forward it to your colleagues or share it on social networks. If you are an expert in the field and want to criticize or endorse the article or some of its parts, feel free to leave a private note here or contextually and we will respond or address.

Do you want to learn more about how blockchain will change our world?

Blockchain knowledge: We wrote a Medium article on how to acquire the necessary blockchain knowledge within a workload of 10 working days.

Our two blockchain books: We have edited two books on how blockchain will change our society (Amazon link) in general and everything related to finance (Amazon link) in particular. Both books are available in print and for Kindle — currently in German and soon in English. The authors have been more than 20 well-known blockchain experts in startups, corporations and the government from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein — all contributing their expertise to these two books.

Authors

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner has founded the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC). From 2018 to 2021, he was ranked among the “top 30” economists by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a major newspaper in Germany. He has been a member of the FinTech Council and the Digital Finance Forum of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany. He is also on the Board of Directors of FiveT Fintech Fund, 21e6 Capital and Blockchain Founders Group — companies active in venture capital financing for blockchain startups and crypto asset investment management. The expertise of Prof. Sandner includes crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, decentralized finance (DeFi), the digital euro, tokenization of assets, and digital identity. You can contact him via mail (m@philippsandner.de) via LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter (@philippsandner).

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