What would you get if you combined the Justice League with business school? Singularity University. The startup university, located at NASA Ames smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley, is now finishing its third Graduate Summer Program (GSP), with a new flock of students ready for launch. While many educators talk about their students changing the world, Singularity University takes the idea quite literally. They inform, train, and push their students to improve the lives of billions of people through the careful leverage of accelerating technology. Whether they end up with a for-profit enterprise or an NGO, Singularity University GSP attendees spend months learning how exponential trends are shaping our world, and then form groups around different tactics for harnessing those trends to benefit humanity. It’s an exciting school, and an exciting group of students, and I can’t wait to see their presentations and graduation at their upcoming closing ceremony on August 26th. Until then, here’s a video of the faculty and GSP class of 2011 discussing the power and importance of Singularity University. Oh SU, you work so hard to present yourselves well, but this clip doesn’t come close to doing your students justice. Not by a long shot.
Singularity University was founded by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil, it has a stellar faculty including Dan Barry, Vint Cerf, and Ralph Merkle, and brings students on one of a kind site visits to some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley: Google, Cisco, Autodesk, Kicklabs, Zynga, Willow Garage, etc. Yet for all the setup, it’s the students that really make SU so promising. Those young(ish) faces you see starting around 1:28 that don’t say much are members of GSP ’11. This year’s class is 80 students selected from 2200 applicants, representing 11+ nations and a huge range of demographics. They have advanced degrees, they’ve built businesses, they’ve survived wars, and they are looking to reshape the world. We’ve seen plenty of killer ideas come from the last two Graduate Studies Programs, and even a few killer companies. I’m sure that this year’s crop of students are going to keep up the proud tradition.
So take some unsolicited advice, Singularity University. Give your faculty a break, and let your students speak their minds. It’ll make for better videos, and it will give the world a taste of the change GSP ’11 hopes to serve.
[image and video credit: Singularity University]
[source: Singularity University]