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Humanitarian


Connecting work to a meaningful purpose beyond growth and profitability. Our humanitarian section provides leaders insights on work and social impact.

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How Will We Meet the Energy Demands of the Coming Megacities?

Odds are you live in a city. In fact, more than half the world today lives in cities and by 2050, it's expected that two-thirds of the world will be residing in cities. While smaller cities struggle to modernize to...

Extreme Wealth Should Be Transformed Into Global Impact—Here’s How

With immense respect to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, I'd like to suggest an alternative to the giving pledge…an "impact pledge." Specifically, a pledge where philanthropists actually pledge to solve (i.e., eradicate, eliminate, exterminate) a...
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You don’t know the Dark Web and that’s probably a good thing [Video]

Discussing security and internet privacy on a panel with California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Singularity University CEO Rob Nail, Goodman nicely distinguishes the Surface, Deep, and Dark Webs. In all likelihood, you probably have never opened your browser and searched for...

Muhammad Yunus to GSP 2015: ‘Every Time I See a Problem, I Create a Business to Solve It’

Visiting Singularity University (SU) for the first time, social entrepreneur and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus said he wasn’t sure what to expect. But on meeting this year’s Graduate Studies Program (GSP) participants at the...

How Mobile Technology Can Bring Trauma Relief After Ebola

This article was co-written by Elie Calhoun. Nathaniel Calhoun focuses on the intersection of last mile development work challenges, mobile education for poverty alleviation and ecological design. Follow Nathaniel on Twitter @codeinnovation. The promise of mobile technology...

Tim Ferriss and the Secrets of Accelerated Learning

Five days to learn a new skill, no experience coming in, and some very high stakes—welcome to the Tim Ferriss Experiment. Over the past year, bestselling author, angel investor, and all-around life hacker extraordinaire, Tim...

How Excited Would Buckminster Fuller Be at the Prospect of 3D Printed Buildings?

The Experimenters is an excellent new web series of animated interviews with some of the great minds and original thinkers of the last century. Its first episode highlights Buckminster Fuller, best known for his...

Tesla’s Powerwall Is the Latest Step Toward Our Clean-Energy Future

Most people are skeptical that we’re heading into a clean-energy future. They find it hard to believe that solar energy is fewer than 14 years away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs....

Feeding Tomorrow’s Billions: Lab-Grown Meat Products, Vertical Farms, AI-Designed Recipes, and More

Food and agriculture accounts for about 5.9% of the global GDP. Global food retail sales alone account for about $4 trillion/year, and food accounts for 15% of what American households spend each year. It is an...

2015’s Most Electrifying Emerging Tech? World Economic Forum Releases Annual List

Writing lists forecasting technology is a bit like writing science fiction. Prerequisites include intimate knowledge of the bleeding edge of technology, the ability to separate signal from noise, and more than a little audacity. Looking back,...

Here’s How We Can Reinvent the Classroom for the Digital Age

When I was in elementary school, about 50 years ago, teachers used to stand in front of a class of 40 or 50 children and write on a blackboard with chalk. To make sure...

How to 3D Print Instant Disaster Relief

For the first time, late last year, astronauts 3D printed tools and replacement parts in space. It was a momentous occasion. Astronauts are at the mercy of resupply missions, and it can take weeks...

Finland’s Latest Educational Move Will Produce a Generation of Entrepreneurs

Last Friday marked the fifth anniversary of the iPad, a device heralded for triggering the broad adoption of tablet computers and for further spurring our always-connected, digital lives. Like the iPod and iPhone before it, the iPad significantly impacted a number...

Which Industry Will Produce the Next Henry Ford…Space? 3D Printing? Biotech?

Modern machines, powerful and clever, have enabled us to attempt seemingly impossible tasks, like traveling to the moon. Now, mere decades after Apollo’s computers guided us to the lunar surface, millions carry vastly more processing...
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The End of Meaningless Jobs Is a Win For Us All

Many experts studying the topic of automation believe that the current rate of advancement is leading us into a future with fewer and fewer available jobs. Maybe that’s a good thing. In his 2013 essay, “On the Phenomenon...

Why We Need Local Economies to Balance Technological Unemployment

Exponential technologies and digitization lure our focus to global markets, dangling the potential of massive profits and dizzying scale. Entrepreneurs and investors look for opportunities to create the next platform, which may be the innocuous...

The Growing Precariat: Why We Need a Universal Basic Income

There is an adage in economics known as ‘the lump of labor fallacy’. It is that technological change is destroying jobs and generating rising unemployment. It rests on an image of a finite number...
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When It Comes To Jobs, Automation Can Be a Force For Good

Advances in automation will create an enormous increase in productivity and wealth, and potentially, a world where that wealth is unavailable to the majority of the world’s population. However, properly applied, these same advances...
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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Future of Work: We’ve Got To Out-Educate If We’re Going to Out-Compete

"How can we reconcile these sort of concerns that we all have around how quickly things are changing?" So asked California's Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, in a recent interview at Singularity University. Newsom sat down with...

Putting America Gainfully Back to Work

Years ago, my brother, Matt, explained to me that there are three ways to push out the productivity curve: technology, capital, or people. When we increase productivity, we increase wealth. However, when we discuss how...

On-Demand Employment: How Today’s Workers Are Choosing Journeys Over Jobs

The American industrialist Henry Ford, regarding diminishing customer surveys on early cars, once famously quipped, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” What’s less widely known is...

Technology Doesn’t Just Erase Jobs—It Creates Them Too

Worries about the future often share a critical flaw. They sometimes assume nothing changes, or that change happens more slowly than it does—when instead, awareness of a problem drives people to find solutions to...

Interview: Neil Jacobstein Discusses Future of Jobs, Universal Basic Income and the Ethical Dangers of AI

As part of Singularity Hub's Future of Work series, I had a chance to sit down with Neil Jacobstein, the co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics track. Neil has worked on AI applications...

Future of Work Series Launches Today

Singularity Hub is devoting this week to exploring a topic on many of people’s minds recently: The Future of Work. Have we already entered an era where exponentially growing technologies, among them AI and robotics,...

Smart Cities Built on Emerging Tech is India’s Latest Initiative

Update: India's Global Impact Competition Announced Winning Entry Focused on Pollution Free Cities for India. 24-year-old Shubhojit Mallick won the contest for his innovative project in Bangalore that captures pollutants from automobiles using Nanocylinders...

Summit Spain: What Is The Greatest Challenge Humanity Faces Today?

“What is the greatest challenge humanity faces today?” This question was posed by Nick Haan, Director of Global Grand Challenges at Singularity University, to the audience gathered at this year’s Summit Spain in Seville. “It depends...

Revolution in Fundraising

Over the last 30 years, I've raised hundreds of millions of dollars for my startups and XPRIZEs. This is a critical blog for any entrepreneur trying to raise money. As the saying goes, no bucks,...

What’s Wrong With Online Education—and How to Fix It

There are many things right with online education—like the plethora of free and easily accessible content developed by Udacity, Coursera and others. In particular, online education excels at teaching while using simulations and improving instruction...

Disrupting Yourself

If you aren't disrupting yourself, someone else is. In this post, I want to teach you about a powerful tool you can use to disrupt yourself. Your survival as a company and as an entrepreneur depends...

What Bitcoin Can Teach Us About Education

Bitcoin, the digital currency and network protocol, has commanded a great deal of attention lately. Investors have poured money into bitcoin related businesses. Many believe bitcoin has the same disruptive potential today as the...

The Future of Crime: Our Digital Lives Are Hackable, But There’s Hope—If We Act Now

Last week, we posted the first half of an interview with Marc Goodman, author of the upcoming book Future Crimes. In that first installment, Goodman looked ahead to the weird world of future crime....

Hyperloop Is Coming

Have you heard of the Hyperloop? It's the concept described as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and a bullet train." Think: Los Angeles to Vegas in 20 minutes or LA to San Francisco...

The Future of Crime: Smartphone Tracking, Neurohacking, and AI Assisted Murder

The world Marc Goodman outlines in exhaustive detail in his forthcoming book, Future Crimes, is as real, gritty, and frightening as life outside the Matrix. Indeed, Goodman opens his book by quoting the classic...

Book Review: Peter Diamandis’s ‘Bold’ a reminder of how entrepreneurs will control the world’s fate

Just as an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs that ruled the Earth and made way for small furry mammals, a new wave of planetary disruptions is about to occur. The new asteroid is called...

What’s the Future of Chocolate? Tech, Innovation, and Human Connection

The path of consumer goods from production to consumption is mainly invisible to the general public. Where do the raw materials for our clothing come from? Who are the people who sew them? For...

Singularity University’s Top Six of 2014

From launching hardware to the International Space Station to hosting events in San Diego, New York City, and Amsterdam—it was a big year for Singularity University. The summer's Graduate Studies Program inspired 21 team projects,...

Future of Work: What Skills Will Help Us Keep Pace?

From Elon Musk’s tweet that artificial intelligence may be more dangerous than nuclear weapons to the growing clamor of voices warning robots will take away our jobs, it is clear we are focusing more...

Futuristic Chinese Megastructure Would Include Soaring Towers, Massive Skyways, Urban Farms

Many of the world’s cities are hundreds, even thousands of years old. They evolved from the bottom up as populations changed and demanded change. A new road here, new building there. The result is...
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Visualizing the Future of Food, Well-Being, and Work with Three Incredible RSA Videos

Powerful lectures chock full of information sometimes can be challenging to process and the need for visualization is so great that ultimately it takes an organization like the RSA to find a highly creative way to illustrate this...

Solar PowerCube Provides Electricity, Clean Water, and WiFi in Disaster Zones

Following a major disaster, water, energy, and communications can be in short supply—challenging for residents and relief workers alike. But what if you could provide these necessities using only sunlight? Ecosphere's all-in-one solar solution, the Ecos...
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Inside Singularity University: Talking Technology, Innovation, and Grand Challenges With UNICEF

Singularity University has a mission—use technology to positively impact the lives of a billion people in ten years. That's easy enough to say, but you don’t make big changes without big ambition. And if...

100% Renewable Energy Is Feasible and Affordable, According to Stanford Proposal

Stanford University researchers led by civil engineer Mark Jacobson has drawn up detailed plans for each state in the union that show how the United States could move to 100 percent wind, water and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available.

Lessons From Crowdsourcing The Boston Bombing Investigation

What started as an atypical request by the FBI to gather evidence from the public quickly morphed into a much uglier digital witch hunt, one where the crowd’s fears, prejudices, and suspicions were given credence, while guilt and innocence were doled out based on shreds of circumstantial evidence. In the four days, three hours, and nine minutes between the detonation of the first bomb and the Boston Police Department tweeting that the final suspect had been captured, a new approach for conducting crowdsourced investigations was established.

Setback For Student In Fight Against RFID Chips

Andrea Hernandez is a student at John Jay School, a magnet school in Texas whose students were recently required to begin wearing Smart ID badges with radio-frequency identification (RFID) locator chips in them. She...

RFID Tracking Of Students? Electronic Roll Call in Texas Stirs Debate

The eyes of Texas are upon you—if you happen to be a student from San Antonio that is. John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in the Northside Independent School District are...

Younger Generation Embracing A New View Of Privacy

For four years, nearly 200 high school students in Dallas voluntarily allowed every text, email, and IM to be monitored. That these youth would sign off on such an invasion of privacy, especially in light...

Police Recording More and More: Cars, Uniforms, and Equipment With Cameras

“Don’t Tase Me Bro,” the YouTube video of University of Florida student Andrew Meyer getting tased by campus police spread across the Internet as fast as an electric shock through the nervous system. While...

Waterproof Nanotech Sand Could Change Deserts into Farms

Nanotechnology may conjure up images of tiny robots, or machines in our blood stream, but what about really cool dirt? DIME, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, has licensed a nanotech process...

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