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Nicholas Haan

Nicholas Haan

Faculty Chair, Global Grand Challenges, Singularity University


Nicholas Haan has worked at the intersection of science, technology, social challenges, and innovation for the last 25 years. His issues of focus have included disaster relief, food security, environment, energy, public health, education, genetics, and information systems. And his affiliations have included the United Nations, governments, universities, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations. Nick is currently Director of Global Grand Challenges and Team Project Leader at Singularity University. His introduction to global perspectives began as a science teacher in a remote Kenyan village with the Peace Corps. This experience led to more than 20 years of living and working internationally, mainly in East and Southern Africa (including living four years in villages without running water or electricity, which gives him a unique perspective on social challenges). Prior to joining Singularity University, Nick served as Senior Economist/Global Program Manager with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization where he oversaw a food security project operating in over 30 countries. He is the creator of an international standard for classifying the severity of food insecurity and disasters called the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Nick is also involved with several Startups, including as strategic advisor to a mobile app company called eMobilis. He has a keen interest in the crowdsourcing movement and is on the regional board of directors for crowdfunder.com . He has been a visiting professor at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and was awarded a NASA Research Fellowship.Originally from California, Nick has a PhD in Geography, a Master in International Development, a Master in Geographic Information Systems & Remote Sensing from Clark University, and a Bachelor in Genetics from U.C. Berkeley. He is an avid sea kayaker and explorer, most recently completing an 500 km expedition across Lake Victoria by kayak.

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From This Author


Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems Are Within Our Reach

At Singularity University (SU) we believe it is possible to solve today’s most pressing problems within the next couple decades. We call these the global grand challenges (GGCs). Our ambition and optimism stem from...

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Have you ever wondered if the water in your house is safe to drink? While many have been angered by the news that children in Flint, Michigan were exposed to abnormally high amounts of...

Why We Need Government to Evolve as Fast as Technology

From deep learning to gene editing, the world of technology is moving fast. But at Singularity University, we believe amazing tech is only half the equation. Equally important is how we use technology. The...

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