Insights in Opportunity Zones: Immutably™ for OZ in Kansas City and Beyond

Context Labs (CXL) is proud to announce the launch of Immutably™ for Opportunity Zones – a new type of offering in an emerging opportunity for economic inclusiveness and urban reinvestment. Our first public partnership will occur in Kansas City, MO with investment firm Blueprint Local under the development and leadership of partner organization Spherical | Analytics (S|A).

Opportunity Zones (OZ) emerged as a result of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These areas represent historically under-served or economically distressed census tracts designated by each of the fifty states as eligible for preferential tax treatment. These tax breaks are then intended to incentivize investment into these communities that would typically not see the same level of financial flows compared to their more affluent neighbors.

The goal of the platform is to provide deep, specific insight into these OZs along several critical dimensions:

  1. Existing infrastructure investment, both public and private, to baseline what services exist in that OZ

  2. Industry and business clustering to best understand the present state of economic activity in the OZ

  3. Social graphing of ownership and investment to gain insights into existing investors and industrials operating within these OZs

The journey towards accomplishing these goals starts with data: meaningful, insightful, and provenanced data. With the platform’s all-source ingestion microservice, Immutably™ for OZ has the ability to ingest and scrape relevant, contextual data to begin painting the picture with existing data. To combat the era of fake news and noisy data, S|A then runs all data through our Proofworks™ multi-point cryptographic proofing service to ensure the continual veracity of the data through time before running it all through the Scrivener™ blockchain ledger to maintain the immutable record through time. Only then, after we have ensured that all data inputs into the platform are of the highest quality, do we begin the work of developing our descriptive and predictive analytics modeling and visualizations. This process ensures the highest level of pedigree across the board for data, models, analytics, and everything in between.

Making a significant capital or operational investment in a historically under-served area comes with a number of risks for investors. Many of these OZs have relatively low levels of urban innovation, early stage investment, financial inclusion, and social equality. Investment-grade intelligence around investment opportunities, infrastructure, and the local ecosystem exists in highly fragmented pockets – if it exists at all. Local investors and business owners require more information to feel more confident taking the leap and investing in an area that may be otherwise overlooked.

We believe that’s where Immutably™ for OZ comes in.  

“Achieving immutable truth is our core mission,” stated CXL and S|A Founder and CEO Dan Harple. “We believe in making a positive social impact just as strongly as we believe in our core mission of being the world’s trusted repository of environmental data. Our platform has the potential to revolutionize the way under-served communities achieve economic prosperity and social equality like never before through data, analytics, blockchain, machine learning, and strong partnerships. We are really excited to begin this work here in Kansas City.” 

As with most of our work, the collaboration with experts provides us with a tremendous and provides us with key differentiation. The insights and data that we have received from our partners at Blueprint Local, the City of Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation, and countless other organizations, foundations, and agencies have enabled us to maximize the effect and impact of our work.

One of the most exciting aspects of the launch of Immutably™ for OZ is the potential impact the platform will have for the local people in these communities. By stimulating investment and re-investment in these places, we hope to see local leaders, business owners, and community organizers informed, engaged, and leading the way for the next generation of Kansas City residents to reap the benefits.

Stay tuned for updates on the Kansas City OZ platform, future work in Opportunity Zones, and everything else we do at: 

Context Labs



Twitter: @contextlabsbv

Spherical | Analytics



Twitter: @SphereAnalytics



Our CEO Keynotes at the O'Reilly Strata Data Conference

Context Labs and Spherical | Analytics CEO, Dan Harple, recently presented an expo-floor keynote speech at the annual O’Reilly STRATA Data Conference in New York City. Dan’s keynote shared our team’s experiences to the assembled crowd in learning how and why we should build trust into distributed big data, small data and IoT-enabled systems.

Current digital systems do not offer the level of trust needed to enable substantial performance gains in complex supply chains or other multi-stakeholder environments. Too much of the data remains inaccessible in siloed clouds where all trusted entities in these ecosystems are unable to truly collaborate towards innovation. With standards only for policy, but not for technical implementation or practical application, a distinct lack of trust exists within most decentralized systems.

The keynote posited trusted decentralization, through context and interconnected relationships, as the next frontier in the future of technology and digital systems. “Digital trust requires tracking the digital thread from inception to the end of life (EOL),” Dan stated. “One must trust, but verify. Distributed ledger technology and blockchain technology are well-suited for this purpose.”


Minimum Viable Interoperability (MVI), a concept introduced by Context Labs Dan Harple as part of the Open Music Initiative (OMI), inherently implies decentralization and serves as a model for how ecosystems can collaborate with trust embedded in their distributed architectures. One example profiled how the OMI and Context Labs’ newest collaborative ecosystem, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI - MOBI press release), operates on MVI principles at the forefront of their activities in defining, designing, developing and deploying future systems.  

To learn more about Context Labs, our technology offerings or our upcoming news, visit us at or on Twitter @contextlabsbv.

Speaking at Ingram Micro's TrustX Alliance on IoT and Blockchain

Context Labs Chief Business Officer, Chris Rezendes, led a workshop on emerging opportunities for systems integrators in IoT blockchain.  

The workshop was at Ingram Micro’s recent Trust X Alliance Invitational.

The main theme of the workshop was the future of organization in Industry 4.0 is the trusted ecosystem.

Across almost every industry, incumbents and upstarts are putting pressure on existing centralized systems to push capabilities to the edges of those systems. For the Fortune 5000, this pressure translates into the need to expand their local sources of product and service supply. For upstarts, this pressure comes from their need to access customer and capital markets.

Chris argued for a “physical-to-digital-to-physical” leap that must occur to fully enable and optimize these new trusted ecosystems. This process begins with establishing a physical asset’s digital twin – the unique, individual record for a given asset in a supply chain. This digital twin then allows machines to run real-time analytics and share specific event-based information across systems and networks inside a trusted ecosystem. These shares/ trades/ sales of information increases transparency and efficiency. Finally, using these advanced analytics and visualizations, machines can generate and automate physical action inside the chain without needing manual human input.

While many of these highlighted capabilities are not new, the need to push them to the edge of ecosystems and networks – the austere edge in some cases, where the participants have limited history, credit and capabilities and where the networks might need to be built out – represents a new set of performance, policy and privacy challenges.

“And this” Chris argued “is where blockchain, among other tools enabling the distribution of high levels of pedigree, provenance, accuracy, security and privacy could enable the new distributed models to accelerate, scale and persist.”

By enabling the “physical-to-digital-to-physical” leap with enhanced solutions and systems, participants are beginning to see a new series of benefits.


Through its experience exploring and deploying blockchain-enabled distributed trust systems in complex supply chains, Context Labs has elevated a shortlist of critical outcomes necessary to justify the initiation of an investigation of blockchain. These experiences shape Context Labs’ approach to enabling these ecosystems with its Immutably™ Trust Platform.

To learn more about Immutably™ and its microservices or how we can enable your supply chain in Industry 4.0, visit us at and on Twitter (@contextlabsbv) or email us at  

CIO Applications Magazine Features Context Labs Among “Top 25 – Blockchain Technology Solution Providers – 2018”

This month, CIO Applications Magazine honored us with the distinction of being named one of their “Top 25 Blockchain Technology Solution Providers – 2018.” The publication illuminates new technologies and companies for industry leaders and decision-makers to understand and incorporate these new innovations and innovators into their revenue-oriented operations and offerings.

Intentional innovation has solved the planet’s grandest problems since time immemorial. It drives us and sits at the heart of everything we do. We would not be able to achieve our goals without pragmatic, solution-oriented, intentional innovation at the forefront at all times.

That drive to innovate makes this announcement all the more meaningful.

In an interview with the publication, Context Labs Founder and CEO, Dan Harple, summed up the core of our mission for the publication by stating, “Everything we share and use is part of a supply chain – digital and physical. We are all interconnected in a supply chain of relationships, ideas, intellectual property, invention, products, and services. This supply chain has innate value, and in today’s digitally interconnected world, must be protected and secured.”

Harple went on to state, “Irrespective of the industry vertical, starting at the inception of an idea and its intellectual property and all the way through until delivery of the completed product, Blockchain can build ‘confidence and trust, into the supply chain of everything.”

Here at Context Labs, we believe our technology offerings to be at the leading edge of innovation in revolutionizing supply chains, IP protection, distributed ledger technology, network graph analytics, and providing the most immutable data and solutions to our clients, customers, and partners.

We would also like to offer congratulations to the other featured vendors across other applications including Nasdaq Bwise, EngiLifeSciences, Riskonnect, Verterim, Verge Health, eCustoms, and ShipChain.

To learn more about how Context Labs can help your company build its next generation of trusted systems, visit here.

Blockchain for Mobility and Autonomous Vehicles

Context Labs CEO and MOBI Advisor Dan Harple Keynotes at Foley+Lardner Star-Studded Event on Autonomous Vehicles


The “Emerging Automotive Technologies: Tomorrow’s Trends Today” program was hosted at Foley & Lardner’s Boston office on May 22, 2018. The event included three panel sessions as well as a keynote address from Dan Harple (CEO, Context Labs), “The Digital Transformation of Mobility Convergence of the Digital Thread," where he discussed the challenges and opportunities for technology that will shape the future of the automotive industry.

Dan Harple, CEO, Context Labs and Spherical|Analytics, delivered the keynote on digital trust systems, including blockchain, in future public and private mobility and transportation systems.

The keynote emphasized how much more transparent and secure the global automotive supply chain would be when utilizing today’s blockchain technology. “New technologies enable never-before-possible capabilities that can help automakers adapt and defend to new mobility paradigms”, he stated in his presentation. 

Harple first explained his belief that the world is an interconnected ecosystem facing new opportunities as well as challenges and risks. He ended with an overview of a new global initiative he advises and co-founded, called the “Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI)”. MOBI is a consortium of manufacturers, startups and technology companies including GM, Ford, BMW, Daimler, Bosch, and many others.

According to Harple, “central to the mission of MOBI is the establishment of a global, open source, interoperable, distributed ledger technology for stakeholders associated with the automotive mobility ecosystem”. Those familiar with blockchain technology know it is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) with the ability to create a decentralized database for information that is accessible to everyone but owned by no single entity. It will therefore be vital to MOBI’s mission of creating an ecosystem where businesses and consumers: have sovereignty over their secure driving data, store vehicle identity information and usage records and manage ride-share and car-share transactions. 

Various entrepreneurs, industry leaders, legal advisors and investors heard from the following three panels of experts: 

1.   The first discussion revolved around electric vehicles (EVs) and emphasized protecting their IP (intellectual property) assets. Ben Horst, the co-founder and president of Eddy Motorworks, believes electric vehicles are the future and is currently working on hardware for them, but believes the IP his company wants to protect is software for EVs. Isaac Wittenstein, co-founder and CEO of TEQ Charging, believes wireless charging capabilities will be essential in getting people to embrace electric vehicles. 

2.   The second panel discussed financing and investment strategies for advancement in the auto space. Anish Patel, co-founder and general partner at transportation-focused venture firm Blue Victor Capital, thinks there are still plenty of opportunities for capital in cybersecurity, fleet management and chipsets for embedded systems. For example, he anticipates that many more cybersecurity companies will emerge in the near-future. 

3.   The final panel covered regulatory changes and legislation that will affect autonomous and connected vehicles. Attendees learned that there are currently two bills circulating Congress: the SELF DRIVE Act and the AV START Act. Also, the state of California has recently adopted a new regulation that permits the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads so long as they adhere to numerous safety, communications, certification and training requirements.

Read more about MOBI here:

To learn more about how Context Labs can help your company to build its next generation of trusted systems, visit:



Context Labs co-founds MOBI:The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative

Today we announced our co-founding membership in a new global effort called MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative).  Our efforts with this began at its inception with a growing relationship between MOBI's CEO Chris Ballinger and Context Labs CEO Dan Harple.  Chris' vision, as the former CFO of Toyota and understanding of the automotive sector and its opportunities, combined with Dan's extensive technology and ecosystem experience, formed a partnership.  MOBI has further used the MIT-researched "Pentalytics"/Innovation Dynamics work, that served as the underpinning for the Open Music Initiative in early 2017.  

Dan joins  MOBI's advisory board as well.

Why are we placing such emphasis and effort into the new MOBI?

Global mobility and transportation is one of the most complex systems on the planet.

The planet IS a decentralized place.  Companies, people, products.  Distributed ledger technology is a strategic overlay on the reality of distributed supply chains- how we design, build, share, sell, and support products and services.  By using Pentalytics as the MOBI underlayment, MOBI allows industry stakeholders to interoperate together, generate global network effects, and with that stem the tide of big tech disruption, and instead, lead with transformative differentiation.  MOBI and its ecosystem partners have a voice to innovate and differentiate, leveraged by their combined network effect.  Disrupt?  We say "no."  Provide transformative differentiation, at-scale in one of the world's largest industry ecosystems?  We say "yes."

Some background facts support this thesis-

1.     Mobility and transportation is one of the most powerful requirements enabling both advanced and developing economies to achieve social mobility, economic stability and more.

2.     Mobility and transportation supply chains are among the most complex in the world, with mounting pressure related to transformations in transportation systems globally:

a.     Exponential advances in subsystem, vehicle and system intelligence

b.     Commensurate growth in risk – especially cyber/ digital

c.     The need for higher levels of supply chain integrity, transparency and accountability

3.     New mobility and transportation business models are emerging in every market in the world, highlighted by:

a.     Advance of autonomous vehicles and the digital systems enabling them

b.     Emergence of mobility/ transportation as a service and vehicles as pooled/ shared assets versus privately owned

c.     The need for greater environmental resilience and social equity in future systems

The Immutably™ platform technology provided by Context Labs is designed to provide the immutable digital thread from product inception, through manufacturing, and consumer use.  We look forward to working with the MOBI ecosystem and to making our platform available in a variety of ways.  

We look forward to hearing from you!  Please ping us!



Context Labs acquires IoT ImpactLABS

A Deal combination with a perfect fit-

We're really excited to announce today that Context Labs (CXL) has acquired IoT ImpactLABS (  They have a great team who'll be joining us on our journey to transform and improve how value transfers from producers/creators/inventors to users/consumers- the Supply Chain of Everything.  We do this at Context Labs using an integration of blockchain technologies with big data ingestion, machine learning, analytics and dashboard-style visualizations. 

The Supply Chain of Everything- Why Context is Everything

The way value is delivered to businesses and consumers is what we call the "Supply Chain of Everything."  And we mean everything- physical, digital, virtual.  Ideas are at the inception, representing intellectual property (IP).  IP is the beginning of all supply chains, and our platform is designed to start there.  IP can be digital, in the form of documents, drawings, images.  It can be physical, in the form of prototypes and experiments.  It may be virtual, in the form of online demos, etc.  The pairing of these is what is often called the "Digital Twin" in IOT-speak.  Central to the Digital Twin is context, for with context, we can seamlessly and securely share and differentiate between models.  Our solutions empower the Digital Twin to have provenance, data veracity, accountability and resilience.  This is the power of adding context to blockchain.  

All of these things, collectively together, are the reason our company exists.  They form a Context.  This is why we are called Context Labs.  Our technology reaches into this multi-dimensional reality we live in, physical/digital/virtual, encapsulates it in time, as a "proof," (which we do with our ProofWorks™ platform), which is then registered immutably, in a blockchain-enabled space, using our Immutably™ platform.  With that, we produce the glue that binds the physical, digital, and virtual into a context.  And, we do this using our platform technologies.

The net effect of this means we have realized one of the visions for blockchain use.  We insure provenance.  We enhance and validate veracity.  This reinforces authenticity, trust, and a better world.  And, we can deploy it in an infinite variety of contexts and markets.  

Why "Going Upstream" Combats Fake Data, Fake News, Fraud and Counterfeit Goods-

Going as far upstream as possible in a supply chain requires the use of sensors, data acquisition devices, embedded devices, etc.  This is what has come to be known as the Internet of Things (IoT).  Our deal with IoT ImpactLABS now accelerates our push upstream.  

In practical terms, this means that supply chains for perishable goods such as food can be tracked from field to table, water from source to tap, device firmware from burn-in to upgrade, and climate data from sensor to research to analytics. This key functionality will further provide what the industry has coined the “birth certificate” or “passport” of physical things to be cryptographically encoded and tracked, from the point of inception, through its end of life.  Our move to deploy an interoperable API for the plug-and-play of multi-vendor sensors is a big step toward taking the market into the mainstream.  

With that, our acquisition of IoT Impact Labs is important.  It helps us get upstream faster than others.  It accelerates the "going upstream" with the integration into Immutably™, Proofworks™, and Impact Analytics™, our core offerings.  The acquistion will enhance and accelerate CXL solutions for customers requesting a seamless lower-friction integration with its blockchain-enabled supply chain product line, and IoT-connected devices, sensors, and systems.

See you up river!  And, welcome to the IoT ImpactLABS team!

Click here to review the press release.

Click here for Twitter feed.


Climate Data Matters!

At this point in time, everyone has heard of "fake news," "fake data," and the increasing lack of trust today's Internet delivers.  In many ways, the ability of digital technologies to allow the copying and sharing of information, has also created a world where trust has lessened. Spammers, trolls, scammers, piracy, and frauds are perpetrating and degrading civil society.  We believe that is time to declare NO FAKE DATA, and provide a technology-driven solution. 

This is something Context Labs has been focused on, and we've developed a solution to solve this problem.  It's called Proofworks™, a new component of our Immutably™ product family.  While there are are many potential use cases for it, we have signed up to one that impacts everyone on the planet, climate change.  


Climate Data Matters: "No Fake Data"

Our efforts in building this technology have been shaped by our collaborations with the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, as well as technology we've delivered for the Environmental Defense Fund.  We have also enjoyed working with the MIT Media Lab in its Future Law efforts, where our CEO Dan Harple recently gave a talk called "A Systems Model for an On-Demand Solar Microgrid- Deploying Blockchain-Enabled Technologies."  

It was  MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), and Michael Casey who introduced us to the team at Hack4Climate.  And thanks to Michael's intro,  today we're also announcing our role in the Hack4Climate Initiative.  Click here for the announcement.  

We're excited and looking forward to participating in and growing a global ecosystem for climate, and relentlessly focused on insuring that #NoFakeData pollutes our thinking and analytics.  

Background on H4C-

Hack4Climate is a 4-day Climate/Blockchain hackathon event. Its objective is to mobilise the Blockchain/DLT (Digital Ledger Technology) community for#ClimateAction, assuring that the Paris Climate Agreement is successfully implemented. Hack4Climate is held with the support of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany - during the COP23 climate conference in November 2017. It is financed by public and private sponsors, and organised as part of the Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI), an international, multi-stakeholder initiative at the intersection of climate and DLT.

Blockchain at MIT with Context Labs

It was a pleasure today for Context Labs CEO Dan Harple to collaborate with some thought leaders in the blockchain industry:  Michael Casey, Senior Advisor at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), and Professor Simon Johnson.  The event was Simon's MIT Sloan course "Entrepreneurs without Borders."  Simon's innovation as a leading economist, researcher, and professor has brought blockchain to the forefront at MIT, in partnership with the Media Lab's DCI.  Fall 2017 has focused on blockchain technologies and the impact potential for the economy.  Dan Harple was an invited speaker for the day at MIT Sloan, bringing the Context Labs perspective to Simon Johnson's classroom, co-led by Michael Casey.

MIT's involvement in blockchain took off in the Fall 2014, where all MIT undergrads were given access to bitcoin.  This work was preceded by an event in August 2014 at the Media Lab, "The Ecology of Digital Assets: Identity, Trust, and Data."  Since then, the research and interest level at MIT has rapidly grown.  This seminal event in many ways informed and shaped the concepts and frameworks used in the founding of Context Lab's blockchain-enabled solutions.  One of the outcomes of this effort was a movement to endorse a new digital framework for digital identity, and open data, put forth in an announcement by 21 top bitcoin and digital currency firms.  These core topics of Identity, Trust, and Data are still top of mind and fundamental to any successful deployment of blockchain technologies.  

A range of topics were covered:

  • Challenges and opportunities for IoT, and how a trust protocol is critical 
  • What price to put on trust, centralized IT versus distributed?
  • Can current blockchain implementations scale to support the demands of IoT
  • Supply Chain(s) and Blockchain
  • The role of trust and data veracity

 Dan's talk focused on the Context Labs interpretations of these demands, and its realization via the company's Immutably™ Product family, including its Proofworks™ solution for veracity and provenance.  Dan introduced the concept of the "super aggregator" and their impact on markets.  He discussed the potential transformative impact blockchain solutions could have on super aggregators, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, as a more peer-to-peer "creator to consumer" model is enabled with new blockchain technologies.  All of this was framed also in the context of the Pentalytic Ecosystem modeling Context Labs employs to help model and organize innovation ecosystems such as the Open Music Initiative.  

Thank you Simon Johnson and Michael Casey for the collegiality and thought provoking day!

All in all, a fun day at MIT "Drinking from the Firehose"

All in all, a fun day at MIT "Drinking from the Firehose"








Context Labs at MIT Media Lab Session on Future Law

Today Context Labs CEO Dan Harple was an invited speaker at the MIT Media Lab for a session on Future Law, a graduate seminar in the future of law, "Reimagining Rules & Legal Services in light of Novel Technologies and Enabled Code." The site for Future Law is-

also on github at-

Dan's talk today focused on the use of Context Labs Proofworks technology, and the role it can play in providing data veracity for legal data, briefs, opinions, "facts and circumstances, etc."  The session kicked off with MIT's Sandy Pentland, framing the discussion, and adding insight through the lens of his extensive body of work and research at MIT's Human Dynamics Lab.  

Dan's talk was next, providing an overview of Proofworks in the supply chain of digital content, and Immutably, Context Labs solution.  Two short demos were provided as well.

Adam Ziegler, from Harvard Law School's Innovation Lab, was up next and spoke about the Caselaw Access Project, an innovative initiative to make all US Case Law freely accessible online.  

All in all a great session with some interesting insights. Thanks to our MIT friends Sandy Pentland, Joost Bonsen, and Dazza Greenwood for the invitation.

 It was live streamed and can be reviewed here-

Here's the session outline-

Topic: New Technologies & Business Models in Context of Global Law Exploring how new inventions and approaches move faster than updates to the legal system; historical examples including Law of the Sea and Space Law, plus domains such as radio frequency allocation, patentability of life, liability of autonomous vehicles, drones, etc.
Focus Area: Computational Systems and Social Physics Focus Area: Common API’s for Reliable Verifications

We will also have 3 minute lightning talks from:

MIT Enterprise Forum- "Emerging Applications of Blockchain for Supply Chains"

CEO Dan Harple presented as an invited guest to the MIT Enterprise Forum session on "Emerging Applications of Blockchain for Supply Chains," on September 12th at MIT's Stata Center.  The event was filmed by PBS station WGBH and we'll post once it's available.

The overview of the event is here-

and here,

Thanks to the MIT Enterprise Forum and the great participants assembled that evening-


Samantha Radocchia, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Chronicled

Brigid McDermott, Vice President, Blockchain, IBM

Dan Harple, Founder and CEO, Context Labs

Dan Doles, CEO, Mojix

Bill McBeath, Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research


Michael Casey, Senior Advisor - Blockchain Research, MIT Media Lab



Open Music Initiative - A New Paradigm for Music

We're excited to announce that Context Labs is a co-founding member of the new Open Music Initiative (OMI) with the Berklee Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE)  IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, and the MIT Media Lab. Context Labs will be providing strategic guidance and operational management of the technical platform for the project.  

The Announcement

The launch announcement also included kick-off blog postings from OMI's three co-founders: 

Working with Panos and Michael, as we designed and structured OMI over the past six months has been extremely rewarding.  Our engagement and collaboration at the Media Lab for the last four years also provides a solid foundation for collaboration.

The OMI launched today with more than 60 members, representing the global digital music ecosystem.  Joining were leaders from more than 60 leading founding entities, organizations and startups across the music industry ecosystem having signed agreements to participate, including, among others: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, BMG, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Netflix, SiriusXM, WBUR (Boston’s NPR news station), CD Baby, Tunecore, Downtown Music Publishing, the French collective rights management organization SACEM, mechanical licensing service provider Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and its rights management affiliate, Rumblefish, Righsshare, the trade groups Featured Artist Coalition, Music Managers Forum, Future of Music Coalition, and a wide variety of startups in the developing area of music rights licensing.

A Watershed

For me, personally, this is a watershed event.  The companies I've founded were seminal for realtime media, streaming and voice over IP (VoIP), seeding media experiences for billions of Internet users.  A collaboration with Todd Rundgren nearly 20 years ago envisioned a platform that would digitally empower the creator/artist to have a direct digital connection with fans, Patronet.  Today's technologies will bring us to this vision, with greater accountability and less friction.  Further, the work we did at MIT  with the co-founding of MIT's REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab) and the frameworks we developed that we call Innovation Dynamics, are now being deployed within OMI, bringing together and shaping its structure, resulting in the largest ever music industry cohort to come together to solve major issues.  

Context Labs intends to extend the work it's done for the traditional publishing supply chain to music publishing. Our blockchain-enabled platform (Chainplate Foundation™ for Publishing, Snapshackle™ for Publishing, coupled with VUEgraph Analytics™), will provide contributions to the OMI, with an eye toward accelerating a reference platform for OMI's goals for music.  Our role at OMI, for strategic guidance and operational management of OMI's technical platform project, will also be crucial in developing an interoperable framework suitable for the transformative at-scale improvements the music industry so needs.  


The outcome of the OMI will ultimately lead to the value chain pendulum swinging back closer to the artist/creator. As appropriate digital licensing rights are discovered and tracked in the digital ecosystem, more revenue will flow back to those who create.  

This means that fans and music lovers everywhere, will get:

  • more choice,
  • more music,
  • and more joy.  

Now that's a great mission statement.

- Dan

Transforming Publishing on a Global Scale

We're excited to announce today a strategic licensing deal with the world's largest publishing global supply chain provider, RR Donnelley (RRD)!

RRD is the global leader in print-to-digital supply chain solutions, with over 65,000 employees, and $12 billion in revenue.  RRD's decision to embed our blockchain-enabled platform (Chainplate Foundation™ for Publishing, Snapshackle™ for Publishing, coupled with VUEgraph Analytics™) with their Print-to-Digital Supply Chain Solutions is a signal to the tech industry that blockchain/distributed ledger technologies can be taken mainstream.  The Context Labs team is thrilled, and we look forward to transforming how global publishers reach their audiences to develop deeper and more trusted and private connections with consumers.  Here's the announcement-




Solution Would Enable Publishers To Open New Direct Channels and

Have Deeper Relationships With Customers

CHICAGO, March 14, 2016 -- R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company (Nasdaq:RRD) announced today that it is teaming with Context Labs (CXL) to pursue leading-edge blockchain-enabled technology for its global publishing customers.  The companies have extended their strategic relationship to further integrate the CXL platform technology within RR Donnelley’s Print-to-Digital supply chain solutions. 

“RR Donnelley has continually invested in new technologies, proactively leading and evolving our company through ongoing disruptions in communications channels for over 150 years. We look forward to bringing these innovative and state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities to our customers,” commented Thomas J. Quinlan III, President and Chief Executive Officer of RR Donnelley. “This new offering from CXL, using blockchain technology, has great potential to deliver extended consumer reach for publishers while reducing their supply-chain costs and providing them with deep, direct, and secure relationships with the consumers who purchase their products.” 

“RR Donnelley, with its global footprint, is uniquely positioned to bring this level of digital transformation to publishers, enabling them to more seamlessly and securely reach their customers. Using this digital technology, we feel that RR Donnelley can leverage its scale in the market to enhance the economics for its customers,” commented Dan Knotts, Chief Operating Officer at RR Donnelley. 

“The mission at Context Labs is to provide platform solutions that enable publishers to reach consumers with less friction, reduce their channel costs, and provide better direct one-on-one customer relationships. The strategic relationship with RR Donnelley, a leader in publishing supply chain solutions, brings the key capabilities of our platform technology products (Chainplate Foundation™ for Publishing, Snapshackle™ for Publishing, coupled with VUEgraph Analytics™) to RR Donnelley’s large global customer base,” commented Dan Harple, Chief Executive Officer of CXL. “Blockchain technology has been evolving for several years and is now becoming integrated into work flows in supply chains and financial tech. We are delighted with RR Donnelley’s decision to pursue these technologies for the publishing sector to enhance the role of publishers with the end consumers, at global scale.” 

About RR Donnelley

RR Donnelley (Nasdaq:RRD) helps organizations communicate more effectively by working to create, manage, produce, distribute and process content on behalf of our customers. The company assists customers in developing and executing multichannel communication strategies that engage audiences reduce costs, drive revenues and increase compliance. RR Donnelley’s innovative technologies enhance digital and print communications to deliver integrated messages across multiple media to highly targeted audiences at optimal times for clients in virtually every private and public sector. Strategically located operations provide local service and responsiveness while leveraging the economic, geographic and technological advantages of a global organization. 

For more information, and for RR Donnelley's Global Social Responsibility Report, visit the company's web site at

About Context Labs

Context Labs, with offices in Cambridge, MA and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, provides enterprise grade platform solutions that help customers develop new channels to market, reducing channel friction, while concurrently retaining and growing direct customer relationships. The company achieves this by delivering platform innovation integrating secure distributed and shared ledgers (Blockchain), network graph analytics and visualizations, data interoperability, trusted identity management, and micro-payment enablement. The platform consists of Chainplate Foundation™, Snapshackle Interoperability™, and VUEgraph Analytics™.

Contact Information 

RR Donnelley

Media:                                                                                 Investors:

Phyllis Burgee, Director Communications                 Dave Gardella, Senior Vice President Finance

630-322-6093                                                                    312-326-8155                                         

Context Labs

Web:       Twitter: @contextlabsbv         E-mail:

Use of Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and any such forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the following cautionary statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and are based on current expectations and involve a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Readers are strongly encouraged to read the full cautionary statements contained in RR Donnelley's filings with the SEC.  RR Donnelley disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Announcing Context Labs

Our company and team exist for a clear and simple reason.  We aim to more fluidly enable direct connections and relationships between those offering value, and those who wish to purchase it, with privacy, trust, and security.

We aim to do this by using leading technologies, to reduce friction in sales and distribution channels, in a way that provides a degree of trust and privacy that the Internet has seemingly taken away.


Our team's collective history has deeply focused on collaboration, sharing, and connecting people and ideas.  We have introduced technologies and companies that pioneered Voice-over-IP (VoIP), shared whiteboards and screens, media streaming, big data interoperability, and social/local/mobile.  All this prior work spanning 20+ years had, at its core, a spirit of unification, to unite people and their ideas, using the power of the Internet.  More recently, Context Labs formed, incubated and evolved from work at MIT Sloan and the MIT Media Lab focusing on innovation dynamics.  With this work, we built a platform called InnovationScope™, to deeply describe innovation and its contributing components.  With all of this as a backdrop, we're excited to announce Context Labs!


We feel that the value chain pendulum of the Internet has swung too far away from those producing innovation, value, and products, to those who simply take and process orders, and provide "fulfilment."  Our aim to to sway the momentum.  Context Labs uses technology to reduce "connection friction" in the supply chain, allowing the value chain pendulum to swing back more toward the creative, the innovative, the inventive.  We believe this change will ultimately enable the production of more creative work, more innovation, and more invention.  Our pre-launch work in modeling innovation dynamics has shown us that this is a path for creating and generating value.


We aim to streamline the ways innovators, creators, and publishers, reach their customers.  We aim to enable both those producing and those consuming, to have a more direct and personal connection, with privacy and trust built-in.  We aim to flatten the supply chain from creation to delivery of the product or service.  Reducing friction equates to higher margins for those selling their products.  This provides value to the producers and to the consumers.  The result, we believe, will be a renaissance in publishing, music, the arts, and new innovative product development.  Our aim is to accelerate and empower new companies to bring their solutions to market, more directly, more securely, with a more consumer-friendly privacy model.  


Blockchain has emerged as a key technology and been experimented with in a variety of ways.  We see it as a component tool that when integrated with other key enabling technologies, has the potential to create a simple, private, and direct relationship between those who offer value for sale, and those who purchase it.  However, Blockchain and secure distributed ledgers alone, are not solutions.

Context Labs provides a platform solution designed for at-scale deployment.  It is not a single instrument.  It is an ensemble of instruments: secure distributed shared ledger technology, network graph analytics, data interoperability and visualization, with trusted identity, and micropayment enablement.  

Our platform ensemble is called Chainplate Foundation™, with Snapshackle Interoperability™ providing ease of integration and APIs for rapidly connecting a variety of supply chain functions.  The overall platform includes monitoring dashboards and embedded analytics, known as VUEgraph Analytics™.  This is the ensemble product platform from Context Labs.