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SU Faculty


Analysis and insight from Singularity University’s faculty. Stay updated as SU faculty discuss and provide insight on many topics.

The Value of Owning Your Business’s Values

Nikolay Storonsky, CEO of the UK’s hottest fintech startup Revolut, has been extremely vocal about his company’s values. “Ninety-five per cent of founders, they will bullshit you,” he told the Financial Times. “I’m not going...

The Moral Case for Lightning: A Global Private Payment Network

The other day, I went to buy dog food at my local pet shop. I bought a large bag of dog food and some treats for my dog that claimed to be able to...

What ‘Chernobyl’ Can Teach Us About Failure

I’ve been watching the outstanding HBO series Chernobyl, which details the worst nuclear reactor meltdown in human history—an event that was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. What occurred...

How Big Companies Can Simultaneously Run and Reinvent Their Businesses

We live in the age of entrepreneurs. New startups seem to appear out of nowhere and challenge not only established companies, but entire industries. Where startup unicorns were once mythical creatures, they now seem...

12 Ways Big Tech Can Take Big Action on Climate Change

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have invested $1 billion in Breakthrough Energy to fund next-generation solutions to tackle climate. But there is a huge risk that any successful innovation will only reach the market...

As We Democratize Biology, We Must Avoid Biologizing Democracy

Technology is rapidly being demonetized and democratized, and that includes biotechnology. Almost anyone can now access and apply powerful biotech tools like genetic testing for a broad range of purposes. In addition, recent scientific...

AI Is Rapidly Augmenting Healthcare and Longevity

When it comes to the future of healthcare, perhaps the only technology more powerful than CRISPR is artificial intelligence. Over the past five years, healthcare AI startups around the globe raised over $4.3 billion across...

The Power of Unlearning: Serena Williams’ Story

At the beginning of the 2010 season, tennis superstar Serena Williams was at the pinnacle of her sport. She was the top-ranked female tennis player in the world. However, while dining at a Munich...

Making Superhumans Through Radical Inclusion and Cognitive Ergonomics

Imagine trying to read War and Peace one letter at a time. The thought alone feels excruciating. But in many ways, this painful idea holds parallels to how human-machine interfaces (HMI) force us to...

CRISPR Babies: Stumbling Over Mankind’s Next Giant Leap

During the last weekend in November, MIT Tech Review broke a world-changing story: the birth of the first children to have undergone gene editing as embryos. The Associated Press swiftly followed with a longer...

How One Researcher Is Using VR to Help Our Eyes Adapt to Seeing in Space

It’s not like moon-walking astronauts don’t already have plenty of hazards to deal with. There’s less gravity, extreme temperatures, radiation—and the whole place is aggressively dusty. If that weren’t enough, it also turns out...

Thanksgiving Food for Thought: The Tech Helping Make Food Abundant

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on the future of food. Over the last few years, we have seen a dramatic rise in exponential technologies transforming the food...

Managing the Unintended Consequences of Technology

Last month, I attended the first annual Unintended Consequences of Technology (or UCOT) in San Francisco. I can’t say enough about the high quality of the content or the importance and timeliness of the...

Breaking Out of the Corporate Bubble With Uncommon Partners

For big companies, success is a blessing and a curse. You don’t get big without doing something (or many things) very right. It might start with an invention or service the world didn’t know...

Leading Transformation in a World of Uncertainty

Whether creating a disruptive business model, developing a radical innovation, or executing a cultural makeover, leaders know that their job is to drive organizational transformation to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world. They also...

Why Scaling Innovation Is More About Discipline Than Disruption

Again and again, we hear company founders complain in utter frustration that the larger they grow, the less they accomplish. “We built our first product in three weeks; now we can’t ship a new...

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...

Laws of Flight: As Drones Take Off, Regulation Lags

In 2014, a drone got tangled in the power lines outside a South Carolina prison carrying a small payload of marijuana and a cellphone. Police arrested a man in a nearby campsite who’d been...

The Biggest New Laws to Regulate Tech Giants—and Why They Matter

The world’s first stop sign appeared in Michigan around 1915, decades after the first privately owned passenger car came into being. Ever since, laws and regulations have piled up concerning everything from insurance requirements...

Will Europe’s Looming Tech Rules Prove to Be a Template for the World?

There was a time when people bought most of the software on their computer, but this is, of course, now ancient history. Some software you still buy, but much of today’s most-used software is...

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience

There’s an unsettling premise at the heart of Joe Brewer’s life’s work. Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less...

Unleashing Some of the Most Ambitious Women on the Planet

At Singularity University, we are unleashing a generation of women who are smashing through barriers and starting some of the most ambitious technology companies on the planet. Singularity University was founded in 2008 to empower...
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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...

This Startup Is Dreaming of a Global Brain on Blockchain

Artificial intelligence is one of the most celebrated and hyped concepts today. From science fiction to the nightly news, AI has been making record headlines, whether it will become the most dangerous technology around...

Why Startups Must Break the Failure Fetish and Focus on What Works

There is something curious going on in startup land: From learning to accept failure as part of the creative process we seem to have gone into overdrive and fetishized failure as something which is...

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...

Why Quantum Computers Will Be an Amazing Tool for Social Innovators

While most people think quantum computing is still a few years off, your next taxi ride in Bangkok may be attached to a quantum computer. Toyota Tsusho and Denso recently announced plans to use...

Machines Teaching Each Other Could Be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI

“The easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.” – James Burke, Science Historian During an October 2015 press conference announcing the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S, which allowed the car to...

How the Science of Decision-Making Will Help Us Make Better Strategic Choices

Neuroscientist Brie Linkenhoker believes that leaders must be better prepared for future strategic challenges by continually broadening their worldviews. As the director of Worldview Stanford, Brie and her team produce multimedia content and immersive learning...

Business Design Is a Powerful Tool for Breaking Down Bureaucracy

Designing the right business model and value proposition is fundamental to the success of any endeavor—yet rarely have governments used these practices. We caught up with Michael Eales, a business designer and partner at Business...

The World Needs More Scientists: How We Can Train Millions in Virtual Labs

California wild fires, melting arctic ice caps, and record setting temperatures suggest our climate is dramatically changing with potentially catastrophic outcomes for our species. Add to that an increase in the threat of infectious...

What Does Cryptocurrency Have to Do With Blockchain Anyway?

There’s a common misconception about cryptocurrencies that goes something like this: Blockchain is a revolutionary new way of sharing information and is clearly a valuable and transformative technology—but cryptocurrencies are just a fad, the...

The First Man-Made Meteor Shower Will Light Up Japan in 2019

The first ever man-made meteor shower has an official launch place and time. In early 2019, the meteors will create a light show in the sky above Hiroshima and the surrounding Setouchi region. The...

Design Thinking Is Your Secret Weapon for Building a Greater Good

Jeanne Liedtka is a strategy professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business, where she works with MBA students and executives on design-led approaches to innovation and growth. The author of...

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...

Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain Technology?

Amid steep gains in value and wild headlines, it’s easy to forget cryptocurrencies and blockchain aren’t yet mainstream. Even so, fans of the technology believe blockchain has too much potential not to have a...

What AI Can Now Do Is Remarkable—But How It’s Learning Is More Significant

Major websites all over the world use a system called CAPTCHA to verify that someone is indeed a human and not a bot when entering data or signing into an account. CAPTCHA stands for...

The Day-to-Day Practices That Will Help You Get What Matters Done

There’s a widely-held belief that extraordinarily successful people—be they artists, writers, actors, athletes, or entrepreneurs—are gifted with an innate talent, and that their talent is what gets them to the top. But people with...

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

At some point in the future—and in some ways we are already seeing this—the amount of physical stuff moving around the world will peak and begin to decline. By “stuff,” I am referring to...

Blockchain Will Be the Foundation of Trust in the Metaverse

“Virtual worlds are going to be one of the first killer apps for blockchains and perhaps the deepest users of them.” – Fred Ehrsam, Co-Founder, Coinbase Christian Lemmerz, a German-Danish sculptor who normally carves his...

Building the Blockchain to End All Blockchains

Bitcoin, the first practical implementation of blockchain technology, was the buying opportunity of all time. The price of bitcoin has risen faster than any other asset in history, including tulips at the height of...

The Coming Creativity Explosion Belongs to the Machines

Does creativity make human intelligence special? It may appear so at first glance. Though machines can calculate, analyze, and even perceive, creativity may seem far out of reach. Perhaps this is because we find it...

6 Things Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful For

Computers don’t exist in a vacuum. They serve to solve problems, and the type of problems they can solve are influenced by their hardware. Graphics processors are specialized for rendering images; artificial intelligence processors...

New Virtual World Sansar Is Ready to Pick Up Where Second Life Left Off

On its 14th birthday, a reflection on Linden Lab’s groundbreaking Second Life, and how their next project Sansar hopes to go even further. In May 2006, Bloomberg’s Businessweek ran a cover story detailing the business...

Why Interstellar Travel Will Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

The term “moonshot” is sometimes invoked to denote a project so outrageously ambitious that it can only be described by comparing it to the Apollo 11 mission to land the first human on the...

Here’s Why People Think Tesla Is the Most Innovative Company Today

I did a quick Twitter poll asking which technology companies you think are the most innovative today. The options were: Amazon Google Facebook Tesla (Note: Twitter polls only allow four options... yes, there’s also Apple,...

How Leaders Can Make Innovation Everyone’s Day Job

This article is part of a new series exploring the skills leaders must learn to make the most of rapid change in an increasingly disruptive world. The first article in the series, “How the...

This Is What Makes Quantum Computers Powerful Problem Solvers

In a previous article, I introduced the recent open-sourcing of quantum computing software by DWave. DWave is the maker of a quantum computer being used and studied by a number of groups, including NASA...

Arianna Huffington’s 10 Ways to Make a Big Impact and Stay Sane While You Do

How do top CEOs lead during this exponential age? How do you manage the explosion of information and onslaught of increasing competition? How do you prevent yourself from getting burned out? How do you...

How All Leaders Can Make the World a Better Place

This article is part of a new series exploring the skills leaders must learn to make the most of rapid change in an increasingly disruptive world. The first article in the series, “How the...

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