Learnings From Singularity University

We’re thrilled to announce that our own Nick Kindler & Andrea Sampson are two of the leaders and innovators launching the SingularityU Canada Summit as Co-Directors of Programming this October. As a result of the partnership, Nick was asked to visit SingularityU – read about his experience below.

“…Then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing.”

It is apropos that as Bob Dylan, the man who wrote the words, “The times they are a changing…” was receiving his Nobel Prize for Literature, I was in a room surrounded by one hundred C-Suite professionals at a unique program where the topic of discussion was change. And not just change, but massive, exponential change and how it’s impacting our world right now.

Where was I? Singularity University (SU). SU is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to solve the world’s biggest challenges. It’s essentially a think tank, founded to inspire and educate leaders and entrepreneurs to leverage rapidly accelerating technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics and synthetic biology to unlock solutions that can positively impact billions of lives.

The three-day meeting, filled to the brim with speakers exploring such topics from Artificial Intelligence to robotics to digital security to mixed reality (and more), was, to say the least, mind blowing.

At this moment, we are witnessing some of the most remarkable advances in the history of mankind. When Gutenberg invented the printing press, he ushered in a new era of learning and advancement. As SU speaker Salim Ismail says, “There are dozens of ‘Gutenberg’ moments happening simultaneously.” Sensors, mixed reality, robotics and AI are all making what was seemingly impossible, possible. And in many cases these technologies are intersecting with each other with unforeseen results.

I could go on and on about the unique technology I witnessed (a musical performance in Virtual Reality!), the disruptive business models we explored or the unique strategies we discussed that organizations can embrace to prepare for exponential growth and change.

But my biggest takeaway, and one that my words will not be able to fully convey is this:

Change is coming. Massive, unpredictable, unthinkable, unrecognizable change stemming from an explosive growth in technology. This change will impact all industries and the lives of every person on the planet. No one and no company will be immune to it.

Don’t misconstrue my language to infer that I believe this change is going to be negative. Far from it. In fact, it will likely move us from a world of scarcity to one of abundance. But no matter who you are, transformation is challenging. And for some, it’s downright scary. The question is: Will we have the fortitude, foresight and mindset to properly embrace this change and run with it?

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