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Interviews


Listen and read along as we interview some of the world’s leading futurists and innovators. Our interviews section offers deeper insights and understanding.

Inside a $1 Billion Real Estate Company Operating Entirely in VR

Born during the aftermath of the financial meltdown a decade ago, a publicly-traded real estate brokerage called eXp Realty is establishing itself as one of the brightest rising companies in its industry—and one of...

The Most Innovative Companies Thrive When People Disrupt Themselves

While the popular phrase “disrupt yourself before someone else disrupts you” is often meant for organizations, Whitney Johnson believes that people should be in the practice of disrupting themselves, too. After spending nearly a...

The Power of Unsafe Thinking to Bring Bold, World-Changing Ideas to Life

Jonah Sachs is a storyteller, entrepreneur, and “unsafe thinker.” Sachs is the founder and former CEO of Free Range studios, a pioneering creative firm that helped create some of the first viral marketing campaigns around...

Why Slowing Down Can Actually Help Us Achieve More

Leah Weiss believes that when we pay attention to how we do our work—our thoughts and feelings about what we do and why we do it—we can tap into a much deeper reservoir of...

Just a Few of the Amazing Things AI Is Doing in Healthcare

In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Neil Jacobstein shared some groundbreaking developments in artificial intelligence for healthcare. Jacobstein is Singularity University’s faculty chair in AI and robotics, a distinguished visiting scholar at...
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How to Unlock Creative Collaboration With Presence and Play

Dan Klein is an improviser, performer, and educator. For the last 20 years, Dan has been teaching classes on improvisational theater, creativity, and storycrafting to Stanford students and executives around the world. He believes...
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The Future of Digital Health: Personalized Health Care Beyond the Doctor’s Office

In an interview at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine in San Diego, Leslie Saxon, founder and executive director of the USC Center for Body Computing, spoke about the Virtual Care Clinic her team is building. The concept for...

How Netflix and Amazon Earn Customers for Life

Robbie Baxter helps companies reinvent their businesses by shifting relationships with customers from transactional to long-term membership. Leaders in this approach, like Amazon and Netflix, are successful and resilient because they clearly identify a...
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Why Nothing Cuts Through Complexity Like Visual Thinking

Dan Roam is a management consultant who uses visual thinking to make complicated ideas simple. His books Back of the Napkin and Draw to Win explain how anyone can use visual thinking to improve...

Design Takes Tech From Useful to Irresistible—and It Can Be Learned

Nathan Shedroff is one of the pioneers of experience design as a strategy. He is the founding director of the groundbreaking MBA in Design strategy and firmly believes design is a critical and teachable...

How ‘Humanomics’ Is Giving Cities With Vision the Tools to Realize It

Suhit Anantula is an entrepreneur whose work focuses on “humanomics”—the practice of combining business and systems design to make positive human impact. He’s been working closely with the elected officials of the city of...

Collective Intelligence Is the Root of Human Progress

Many of us intuitively think about intelligence as an individual trait. As a society, we have a tendency to praise individual game-changers for accomplishments that would not be possible without their teams, often tens...
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This AI Assistant Helps Demystify Complex Research

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Anita Schjøll Brede talked about how artificial intelligence can help make scientific research accessible to anyone working on a complex problem. Anita Schjøll Brede is the...

The Best Leaders Know a Complex World Demands an Improvised Response

Today’s world is a hectic place full of problems to deal with. That’s one way to frame things. But Oxford’s Robert Poynton thinks there’s a better angle: The world is full of offers. Poynton is...
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Why Doing What You Love Matters More Than Getting Top Marks

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Esther Wojcicki discussed the future of learning and how to give students the skills they most need. Wojcicki founded the Palo Alto High Media Arts Center and is...
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Abundance Is Possible, But Only If Everyone’s Along for the Ride

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Mark Brand suggested abundance won’t happen on its own—we’ve all got to pitch in to bring everyone along for the ride. Brand is a social entrepreneur and restaurateur...
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Online Dating Pioneer: Algorithmic Insights Can Help Us Become Better People

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, J. Galen Buckwalter said the quantitative study of personality is finding new tech applications. Buckwalter developed the matching algorithm at eHarmony and is now chief technology officer at...
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Why Improvisation Is a Crucial Skill for Great Leadership and Innovation

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Stanford’s Dan Klein explained how he’s taking improvisational theater beyond the stage and into business, leadership, and life. Klein is faculty in Stanford’s Drama Department and the...

How to Supercharge Problem Solving With Visual Thinking

Dan Roam believes we are all capable of using visual thinking to solve complex problems. His first book, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas With Pictures, helped ignite a movement...
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We Need Space’s Endless Resources to Expand as a Species

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, space entrepreneur Bob Richards gave us a rundown of current efforts to explore, mine, and even settle the moon. Richards is co-founder, president, and...
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How We Can Filter Fake News and Make Media More Trustworthy

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, web pioneer Craig Newmark talked entrepreneurship and his work to make journalism more trustworthy. Newmark founded Craigslist in 1995 and has since focused on technology...
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There’s Hope for the Planet: The ‘Greatest Era of Exploration Is Just Beginning’

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle said we live in a remarkable time when “the greatest era of exploration is just beginning.” Earle is a National...

Is the Brain Augmentation Hype Justified? Here’s an Expert’s Take

Despite bold predictions from several tech firms about the future of neural interfaces, the science of brain augmentation is still in the early days. So, what do academics think of all the hype coming...
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Watch: Where AI Is Today, and Where It’s Going in the Future

2016 was a year of headlines in artificial intelligence. A top-selling holiday gift was the AI-powered Amazon Echo; IBM Watson was used to diagnose cancer; and Google DeepMind’s system AlphaGo cracked the ancient and complex Chinese...

Solar Is Now the Cheapest Energy There Is in the Sunniest Parts of the World

Manufacturing is about robots and assembly lines, supply chains and finished products. It’s about the roof over your head, the car you drive to work, and the computer you stare at all day. We...
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Star Trek or Mad Max? Why What Happens in the Future Is Up to Us

Is humanity headed toward a Star Trek-like utopia or a Mad Max-inspired dystopia? This is one of the big questions Vivek Wadhwa examines in his new book, co-authored with Alex Salkever, The Driver in the...

The Rise of a New Species of Human Being

Today, what survives on Earth can be determined entirely by human beings. We can alter the genetics of almost any life form and potentially design entirely new ones. According to renowned physicist Freeman Dyson,...

The Power of VR as an ‘Empathy Machine’ and Office Holodeck

Virtual reality has a long history in science fiction. From the Lawnmower Man to the Matrix, the idea of VR has inspired artists and gamers alike. But it’s only very recently that the technology...

If We Can See the Future We Want, We Can Shape It Too

Alida Draudt and Julia Rose West are not only co-authors, business partners, and best of friends, but most importantly, they have differing points of view—which is ideal for two budding Silicon Valley futurists. Alida currently...

Are We Ready for Cyborgs? The Tech Is on Its Way

Are we ready for cyborgs? More specifically, people with implants that enhance beyond the superficially cosmetic and into the realms of evolved beings? Jorge Pelegrín-Borondo (Universidad de La Rioja), Eva Reinares-Lara (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)...

Why the Best Innovators Ask the Most Beautiful Questions

Warren Berger believes questions are more important than answers. A best-selling author and self-proclaimed “questionologist,” Warren is on a mission to help all leaders learn how to use questioning to support innovative, resilient and...

When Electronic Witnesses Are Everywhere, No Secret’s Safe

On November 22, 2015, Victor Collins was found dead in the hot tub of his co-worker, James Andrew Bates. In the investigation that followed, Bates pleaded innocent but in February was charged with first-degree...

‘New York 2140’ Is a Sci-Fi Vision of the World Reshaped by Climate Change

If a trip to Venice is your ideal holiday, then you’re going to love the future. Most of us, however, will be quite sobered by Kim Stanley Robinson’s upcoming novel, New York 2140, a near-future...

A Simple Blood Test Helps Cure Cancer by Catching It Early

Today, it’s an unfortunate reality, but most people have either lost a loved one to cancer or know of someone who has. Miroculus, a precision medicine startup, wants to create widespread access to affordable early-stage...

VR Pioneer Chris Milk: Virtual Reality Will Mirror Life Like Nothing Else Before

“I don’t think the future of VR looks like video games; I don’t think it looks like cinematic VR; I think it looks like stories from our real lives. It’s the most amazing afternoon you’ve...

Master Your Own Destiny: An Interview on Entrepreneurship with Pascal Finette

In case you haven’t noticed, entrepreneurship is on the rise. In the US, 2015 had the most startup growth seen annually in over 20 years. Some attribute this growth to the recovery of the US...

How Nanotech Will Lead to a Better Future for Us All

How do we gain the immense benefits of advanced nanotechnology while avoiding its potential misuse? This was Christine Peterson’s big question when she co-founded the Foresight Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on nanotechnology, three decades...

Staying Human in the Machine Age: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff

At the dawn of the internet Douglas Rushkoff wrote the book Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace. A whirlwind tour through the lens of various web subcultures, Cyberia lay the philosophical foundation for...
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Digital Currency Tech Will Be as Transformative as the Internet

Exponential Finance celebrates the incredible opportunity at the intersection of technology and finance. Watch live as hundreds of the world’s leading investors, entrepreneurs and innovators gather in New York to define the future of...

MIT’s Sandy Pentland: Big Data Can Be a Profoundly Humanizing Force in Industry

Visit Singularity Hub for the latest from the frontiers of manufacturing and technology as we bring you coverage of Singularity University's Exponential Manufacturing Summit.  How many times have you read or heard the term “big data”...

The Last Frontiers of AI: Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness?

Is creativity a uniquely human trait? What about self-awareness or intuition? Defining the line between human and machine is becoming blurrier by the day as startups, big companies, and research institutions all compete to build...

What Happens to Factories If You Can Manufacture in Your Home?

The story of “robots eating jobs” is pervasive in the manufacturing industry—but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. We’ve seen automation eat up jobs, but even as we lost roughly 22 million manufacturing jobs worldwide...

Inside OpenAI: Will Transparency Protect Us From Artificial Intelligence Run Amok?

Last Friday at the Neural Information and Processing Systems conference in Montreal, Canada, a team of artificial intelligence luminaries announced OpenAI, a non-profit company set to change the world of machine learning. Backed by Tesla...
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Stay Tuned for the Technological Transformation of Governance

For a decade or more, many people have understood that educational technologies are likely to change how we teach and how our schools work. People can also see how medical technologies will impact the...

Want a Life of Purpose? Find a Career Dedicated to a Cause Beyond Yourself

Isaac Castro: Biomedical Technology, Entrepreneur Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate Bogotá, Colombia True passion is tough to fake. Name it a calling or a career, when your life’s work is dedicated to a cause beyond yourself; your...

Smartphones to Bionic Body Parts: Our Tech Can (and Will) Be Used Against Us

What might a crime headline look like in 2025? According to Marc Goodman, author of Future Crimes, it may read something like this: “Man arrested for shooting his wife, acquitted on all charges after forensic evidence...

Adaptability: The Entrepreneur’s Way

Einstein Ntim: Entrepreneur  Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate Ghana, United Kingdom “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ―Søren Kierkegaard Great leaders and entrepreneurs are not born overnight—our lives are ever-unfolding, a welding together...

Building the Maker Movement in Baghdad

Ali M. Ismail, Entrepreneur Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate Baghdad, Iraq Ali Ismail had been patiently waiting in Baghdad for the arrival of a visa the US embassy was mailing him. However, as the first week of Singularity...

Technology Is the Great Amplifier of Our Humanity

Emilia Lahti: M.Sc., MAPP (Master of Applied Positive Psychology), Entrepreneur Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate Finland and the US When faced with extreme adversity, why do some people persevere and grow from the challenge, while others call it...

Meet the Engineer Bringing Wearable Sensors and AI to Autism Therapy

Andrea Palmer: Mechanical Engineering & Entrepreneur Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate British Columbia, Canada We often cannot plan for the transformative moments in our lives. Though we try, these moments tend to occur when we’ve taken...

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