Based on various talks from the “Exponential Medicine” stage
November 11th, 2015 in San-Diego
When we started developing as a species in Africa millions of years ago, anything that could have affected us was within a day’s walk and nothing would have changed from a century to century or even from millennia to a millennia. Things were pretty much constant. And only nature itself could have had a vast impact on the world. As a result, the wiring of our brains and the very way that we think is best described as “local and liner”.
But the world is nothing like that anymore.
As we developed agriculture and started domesticating animals, we scaled our communities beyond what was possible before. All of a sudden, for the first time, kings of vast kingdoms could change the world and impact thousands of people. A few hundred years ago we no longer needed kings to change the world as big companies started building the railroads and factories, effectively leading the way to an industrial revolution that impacted all of us. Today, as technology gets digital, cheaper and more powerful, it becomes available to everyone. Small startups and individuals now have access to technologies that in any previous time in history were limited to big companies or countries. This fundamental force of change is what turned our world from local and linear to global and exponential.
The challenge for big legacy corporations and governments that try to keep up with a global and exponentially speeding reality is that trying new things with high probability of failure is the easiest way to get a senate investigation or have your stock price plummet. The people who run those organizations are the same as all of us, they really don’t want to have these consequences as a result of their actions - so they don’t take these risks.
We’re already seeing the first signs of this change. Just look at the time it takes now for startups to reach 1$ billion dollar in evaluation, while on one end the average lifespan on the S&P500 index has shrunk from decades in the 1960s to about 15 years now. It is even suggested that in just 10 years, 40% - nearly half – of today’s Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist. These trends are moving so fast that it is becoming extremely difficult to extrapolate what the world is going to be like more than a couple of years from today.
Which brings us to what Singularity University really is.
Beyond an educational institute and a business incubator, it is really a community of people. Uncommon partners of scientists, authors, innovators and expert entrepreneurs. People who can help you look at the world through a different lens. They do that through mind-blowing programs and events that will transform your understanding of the world by witnessing what is already possible today. Hearing it first-hand from the visionaries who are hard at work creating new ways for us to live and work.