“Singularity University is proud to be working with Standard Bank and Mann Made Media to host the second annual SingularityU South Africa Summit, and to connect with Africa’s leaders and organizations shaping the future,” remarked Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO of Singularity University. “South Africa represents a microcosm of the challenges facing humanity worldwide and is fast gaining a solid reputation as a global centre. Through this Summit, we hope to connect and inspire leaders in the region to effect global impact.”
Fred Swaniker is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the key missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. This belief led him to launch the African Leadership Group, which aims to groom 3 million leaders for Africa by 2035. Prior to launching his entrepreneurial pursuits, Swaniker worked at McKinsey & Company in South Africa.
Swaniker has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa. Fred has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class. He holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematical Statistics from Macalester College (magna cum laude). He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.
Professor Mark Post first got involved in a Dutch government-funded programme investigating “in vitro meat” in 2008, when he was a professor of tissue engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The programme had been initiated by Wilem van Eelen, an 86-year-old entrepreneur who held a long-time fascination for the possibility of culturing meat.When the director of the programme fell ill, about mid-way through the programme, Post took over supervision of the PhD students. Motivated by the potentially high societal impact, he continued research even after the funding had ended in 2010.
Renewed funding by a private partner enabled the realisation of a project to create a processed meat product using muscle cells from a cow.Professor Post received his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1982 and trained for a PhD in Pulmonary Pharmacology, graduating from the University of Utrecht in 1989.He joined the KNAW Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands before being appointed full-time Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA in 1996. Five years later, he moved with his lab to Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, and was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and of Physiology.
In July 2002, Dr. Post returned to the Netherlands as a Professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and Professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven. Since January 2004 he has been Chair of Physiology at Maastricht University.
Nathaniel Calhoun helps guide Singularity University’s approach to changemaking and impact as a founding member and Vice Chair of its Global Grand Challenge Faculty. He has moderated numerous SU Executive Programs and Directed SU’s flagship impact program, the Global Solutions Program (GSP).
Nathaniel closely tracks innovations in emerging decentralized and platform cooperative technologies that create brand new business models and opportunities. He tracks disruptive and precedent setting changes within policy, especially related to governance and civic technologies. He specializes in helping both private and public sector actors to understand how to leverage and prepare for the growth of these and related trends, offering a unique take on the options facing an aspiring “exponential organization.”
Nathaniel also supervises the creation and implementation of digital technologies at a global scale that help alleviate poverty while increasing business literacy along with digital and financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. He does this work through CODE Innovation, a consulting company he founded in 2009 to help organizations like UNICEF and Plan International to use web and mobile technologies more effectively. Code Innovation has received financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop their Self Help Group digital platform, which is growing exponentially in nine languages and more than a dozen countries.
Nathaniel has two decades of experience in the field of education, public speaking, moderation and resilience building. He tracks the threat of technological unemployment and the relative merits of the solutions that humanity is offering around this issue. After living and working in Africa for more than a decade, Nathaniel enjoys helping organizations to think through their strategies with new and emerging markets.
Nathaniel is available for a variety of customized speaking and consulting packages. A sampling of keynote presentations is described below. Talks below can be given in 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 minute varieties. Prices vary depending on industry, location, duration and special requests.
Ramez Naam is a computer scientist, futurist, and award-winning author. Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams developing early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and the Bing search engine. His career has focused on bringing advanced collaboration, communication, and information retrieval capabilities to roughly one billion people around the world, and took him to the role of Partner and Director of Program Management within Microsoft, with deep experience leading teams working on cutting edge technologies such as machine learning, search, massive scale services, and artificial intelligence.
Between stints at Microsoft, Ramez founded and ran Apex NanoTechnologies, the world first company devoted entirely to software tools to accelerate molecular design. He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Ramez is also the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of four books: The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet (non-fiction), which looks at the environmental and natural resource challenges of climate change, energy, water, and food, and charts a course to meet those challenges by investing in the scientific and technological innovation needed to overcome them, and by changing our policies to encourage both conservation and critical innovations.
He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois. In his leisure, Ramez has climbed mountains, descended into icy crevasses, chased sharks through their native domain, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.
Jamie Wheal is an expert on peak performance and leadership, specializing in the neuroscience and application of Flow states. He has advised everyone from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command, the athletes of RedBull, and the owners of NFL, NBA, MLB and Premier League teams, to the executives of Google, Deloitte Cisco and Young Presidents’ Organization. He studied historical anthropology under MacArthur Fellow Patricia Nelson Limerick, specializing in utopian social movements and his work has appeared in anthologies and peer-reviewed academic journals.
Wheal co-authored Stealing Fire; a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.
Jamie Wheal is Partner at Fulcrum Advisors and Executive Directive of Flow Genome Project, an international trans-disciplinary organization dedicated to reverse-engineering the genome of Flow, or the peak performance state, by 2020.
David Roberts is regarded as one of the world top experts on disruptive innovation and exponentially advancing technology. His passion is to help transform the lives of a billion suffering people in the world through disruptive innovation.
David served as Vice President of Singularity University and two-time Director (and alum) of the Graduate Studies Program. He is an award winning CEO and serial entrepreneur, and has started ventures backed with over $100 million of investment from Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla, Cisco, Oracle, Accenture, In-Q-Tel, and others.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and medals and has led the development of some of the most complex, state-of-the art systems ever built, to include satellites, drones, and fusion centers. He also worked as an Investment Banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs Headquarters. He received his B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from M.I.T. was a Distinguished Graduate, and majored in Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Computer Engineering. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
David is Chairman at HaloDrop, a revolutionary global drone services company, Chairman at 1QBit the world first software company for quantum computers, and is a formal adviser to Made-In Space, responsible for manufacturing the first object in Space with a 3D printer on the Space Station.
Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley Business schools have all written and taught case studies on David leadership, management, and decision making. He has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, and in USA Today, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, and dozens of others. His startups have received many awards to include Internet World Net Rising Stars,Red Herring Catch, top 50 Private Companies in the World, Red Herring Top100 Private Companies in the World, USA Today Tech Reviews Best Picks, Internet Outlook Investors Choice Award, Enterprise Outlook Investors Choice, Best of the Web from PC World, and Apple Computer Premier Systems Integrator Award.
His fascination with technology began In fourth grade after building a hovering electric drone, to carry his younger sister to the bus stop, powered by what was formerly his mother’s vacuum cleaner, and fortunately limited by the length of an electric power cord.
Tiffany Vora is an educator, writer, research scientist, and entrepreneur who is excited to bring her diversity of experience to Singularity University as Principal Faculty in Medicine and Digital Biology.
After earning undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry at New York University, Tiffany worked on cutting-edge drug-discovery technologies at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Her PhD research in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, which was funded through NASA, brought her into the emerging fields of genomics, systems biology, and computational biology. It was during this time that Tiffany developed an interest in the cultural shifts that accompany new technologies and new ways of thinking. She translated this interest into a global perspective by joining the American University of Cairo as a Visiting Assistant Professor, where she spearheaded curriculum development for core classes in scientific thinking as well as computational biology classes for non-programmers.
Upon her return to the United States, Tiffany founded Bayana Science, an editing, writing, and consulting company dedicated to excellence in science communication. Tiffany also served as an instructor for the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. She has contributed to literally thousands of grant proposals, research articles, presentations, textbooks, and other works spanning medicine, computer science, applied physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, and the life sciences; her biology expertise encompasses fields as diverse as the microbiome, ancient molecules, biophysics, environmental monitoring, tissue engineering, biohacking, and the quantitative analysis of large biological datasets.
Tiffany loves encountering the natural world through hiking and scuba diving. She travels extensively with her family, seeking out new experiences and cultures. She enjoys sharing her passions through teaching, writing, and public speaking.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging.
He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively.
His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the characterization of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage.
He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies longevity escape velocity.
Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.
Jason co-founded Made In Space in 2010 as a result of analyzing the best possible approaches to enabling a fully sustainable form of space colonization.
With a core focus on space manufacturing, the company has since built, flown, and operated the first and second 3D printers in space. Installed on the International Space Station (ISS), the first Made In Space Zero Gravity 3D printer began space manufacturing in November 2014. Today, Made In Space operates the second generation 3D printer on the ISS, called the Additive Manufacturing Facility, enabling groups across the planet to have hardware manufactured in space.
Additionally, Made In Space is working with NASA in the development of the Archinaut program to enable in space robotic manufacturing and assembly of large space structures. In 2016, Made In Space announced the first space mission to manufacture goods in space for use on Earth; an exotic optical fiber expected to have 100 times lower attenuation than traditional silica fiber when produced in the weightlessness of space.
Jason holds a B.S. and M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida, has studied at the Singularity University Graduate Summer Program, and is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of space exploration, advanced manufacturing, and the theory of disruption.
He serves on the University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean’s Advisory Board, the Advisory Council to the Waypaver Foundation, the Technical Advisory Board for Space For Humanity, and on the Board of Directors for the Future Space Leaders Foundation. In 2014, Forbes recognized Jason on the prestigious 30 under 30 list.
Stacey Ferreira is an Arizona native who co-founded her first company, a single sign on company called MySocialCloud, when she graduated from high school. She attracted investors like Sir Richard Branson, Jerry Murdock and Alex Welch through Twitter who invested $1.2M in the business when she was just 18 years old.
In 2013, Stacey sold MySocialCloud.com to Reputation.com and went on to publish her first best-selling book called 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers & Changing the World.
Stacey is currently the CEO of Forge, an enterprise workforce management software that empowers hourly employees to work on-demand while providing retailers the tools needed to source, hire, manage and retain their workforces.
In addition to her entrepreneurial work, Ferreira was selected as one of twenty Thiel Fellows selected for the 2015 Thiel Fellowship and is a US State Department Speaker who has given speeches about entrepreneurship in Russia, Egypt, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to name a few.
Jody is the Director of Design for SU Labs, where she provides design and innovation direction for corporate, startup and field impact teams. She employs a radical approach to Human Centered Design to create exponential solutions to the world’s toughest problems. She also speaks about Augmented and Virtual Reality for SU.
In her 23-year design career, Jody has created just about everything from holograms to physical products and R&D.
Today, she is Director of Design for Singularity University Labs, where she incubates solutions to Global Grand Challenges using exponential technologies. She specializes in the avant garde of technology, covering everything from Artificial Intelligence to Robotics. She’s spent the last 9 years on AR/VR, most notably as Principal Experience Designer on the HoloLens Project at Microsoft and Principal UX at LEAP Motion.
She has traveled the world, speaking about the future of these technologies and their impact on the world for groups like WIRED, Google, and TEDx. Previously, she co-founded and directed Kicker Studio, a design consultancy specializing in Natural User Interface, Perceptual Computing, and R&D for companies including Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, and DARPA.
Jody is also a practicing artist with an MFA in Painting and Design & Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute. She’s a collaborator with the art crew Five Ton Crane, and in her spare time, makes her own clothes while building robots and rockets
Dr. Geci Karuri-Sebina
Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina has been Executive Manager at South African Cities Network since 2011. She previously worked with National Treasury, the CSIR, HSRC, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Advanced Policy Institute. Dr. Geci holds Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA, and a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand.
Her interests span a range of development foresight, policy, planning and practice topics, particularly relating to urban governance, the built environment and innovation systems. She has two decades’ experience working and publishing in these fields. She recently published the book Innovation Africa (Emerald Books, 2016).
Dr. Geci is a Council Member on the South African Council of Planners, a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance, and an Research Associate of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) and the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chairon Innovation and Development.
She is also a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, co-founder of ForesightForDevelopment.org, an Associate Editor for the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Taylor & Francis), and Africa Regional Editor forForesight: The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy (Emerald).
Anita Schjoll Brede
Anita is the CEO and Co-Founder of Iris.ai; one of the 10 most innovative artificial intelligence startups in 2017 according to Fast Company. Iris.ai is an AI Science assistant, able to read, digest and connect scientific knowledge, that will grow up to be the world’s first AI Researcher within a decade.
Set out to democratize access to science, Iris.ai can reduce R&D departments’ time to map out existing research by 95% and remove current requirements of having deep domain expertise involved in the process, thus allowing more people to solve more difficult problems.
Anita is a highly sought after public speaker, one of Inspiring Fifty Nordic’s most inspiring women in tech, twice TEDx speaker and 500 startups, SU Global Grand Challenges Awards and TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield alumni. Anita is also the first Norwegian to attend Singularity University’s Global Solution Program in 2015 – and she put on the first Global Impact Challenge Norway in 2016.
Anita has never had what she refers to as “a real job” and Iris.ai is her fourth own startup. The past 10 years of her career have spanned over 9 industries including developing an e-learning tool in Silicon Valley, performing theatre for babies, reducing energy consumption in the process industry through heat exchanger network optimization, getting 30 (mainly middle-age, male) engineers to dance to ABBA in front of their co-workers, facilitating solar light business creation in Kenya, being in the centre of several startups crashing and burning, organizing entrepreneurial conferences and trying to disrupt the recruitment industry. She also dropped by 6 universities on the way. And built a race car
Nathana O’Brien Sharma
Nathana O’Brien Sharma is the Program Director for Faculty Affairs at Singularity University. She’s also faculty in Law, Policy, Ethics and Blockchain, where she writes and speaks on the impact of accelerating technologies and the future of law and governance to audiences of technologists and business leaders. Nathana is a principal at Crypto-Lotus, a cryptocurrency hedge fund and is an Advisory Board Member for the Creative Destruction Labs in Toronto, the leading academic startup accelerator in North America which supports companies in specialized technology tracks including machine learning and quantum machine learning.
Nathana is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified privacy expert in both the US and the EU and advises companies on navigating complex cross-border privacy issues, particularly in connection with the use of emerging technologies. Nathana was previously a technology transactions associate at Gunderson Dettmer, where she advised high growth VC backed startups and venture funds on a range of technology and business issues. Nathana is a JD/MBA graduate of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Management.
Nathana was a lead researcher at MetaMed, a VC backed medical research start up and has a background in the lab in immunology and neuroscience. She is also a graduate of Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program..
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