Fede Pacheco, MBA 21, woke up one day with an idea for a fun way to connect his classmates for a lifetime. He decided to design a non-fungible token (NFT), which would be as unique as the class’ pandemic experience—and the first of its kind to be given as an MBA class graduation gift.
The Haas 2021 NFT, a short GIF featuring a young and older bear reflecting at sunset, is a nod to the students’ journey, which Pacheco said was full of MBA traditions that went virtual during the pandemic. (An NFT is a digital asset connected to unique physical or digital items, such as art, video, or music.)
So far, 102 alumni have signed up to claim the NFT, which Pacheco worked on with another 2021 classmate, who did the coding.
Pacheco, who is now living in Seattle and working for Microsoft, was chosen as student speaker at 2021 commencement. He urged students, virtually, to savor the good times and reflect on the moments when they found creative ways to lean on each other, in spite of the unprecedented year they all endured.
He said the Haas 2021 NFT, a short GIF that runs on a Gameboy-style screen, is available to everyone in the class and will last forever. “You will have ownership of it and it’s something we will all share through the community it creates. I want the Berkeley and Haas community to see that we’re doing this, that we’re celebrating the digital experience.”
The Class of 2021 NFT opens with two bears watching the sunset.
“The bigger bear is the graduating you,” Pacheco said, narrating the YouTube video that introduces the NFT collection. “You are hugging your younger self before you started that journey. There are so many things that you wish that you could tell yourself but there’s nothing like actually living it.”
Together, the bears let go of a celebratory balloon.
As the balloon approaches the horizon, one of four Berkeley Haas Defining Leadership Principles, Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Students Always, or Beyond Yourself, (a different one for each NFT) slowly appears. Then a “press start” button appears, representing the beginning of the next chapter of your life.
Caitrin Hall, MBA 21, said the NFT represents the innovation, creativity and generosity of their class: “Innovation, since we’re likely the only MBA class to own an NFT from our school; creativity, as it is a cutting edge art form; and the generosity of Fede Pacheco to gift it to us all.”
“I’d learned about blockchain in school, but this brings it alive—and into my wallet—in a whole new way,” she said.
To learn more about the NFT watch the video.