SingularityU Summit – Learning about exponential technologies

Last month I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the Singularity University Australia Summit. Singularity University is a global community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

“Exponential technologies are those which are rapidly accelerating and shaping major industries and all aspects of our lives. Exponential technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), data science, digital biology and biotech, medicine, nano tech and digital fabrication, networks and computing systems, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.”

“We evolved in a linear world. Our brains are not built for grasping exponential developments. That’s why we need to understand exponential technologies so deeply to even have a chance of making meaningful predictions about our future.” Kaila Colbin, Singularity University Australian Ambassador.

All the speakers and workshops brought a unique perspective to innovation and adapting to change. For me one of the most inspiring, and youngest speakers was Marita Cheng. She focused on innovating with a purpose, for her that was the visually impaired, children with terminal illness and those who are physically impaired. Marita created a tele robot solution for terminally ill children to still be able to attend class. These robots are also free, so if you know any children who would benefit, contact Marita Cheng at hello@martiacheng.com.

The main take away for me was a simple solution with high impact, using technology as the enabler not the focal point of the solution. This philosophy is something we can take to our clients and focus on the purpose of our deliverables.

A common theme that came through the presentations on Blockchain, Digital Biology, Abundance mind-set and Corporate Innovation was the need for transparency and abundance. Innovation that has been built upon our demand to know all the facts instantly. Platforms such as “Expedia.com” was one of the first to tap into this demand, collating all the services of travel providers to one single site, cutting out the middle man and reducing our travel costs by providing a pull of providers and discounts. A reach that could not be attained by travel agents, this is seen also through sites such as “Comparethemarket.com”. The next wave is the transparency and accessibility of reading our DNA and the use of Blockchain technology identifying the authenticity of products such as jewellery and fine art.

A final message from the summit was from Carlo van de Weijer who spoke on the Future of Transport, “robots should be used to complete tasks in the box and humans should keep colouring outside the lines and challenging the boundaries of the box”, allowing us to create, innovate and determine the direction of our future.


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