We are not simply talking in terms of creativity and innovation anymore. A new vocabulary is emerging into popular conversation and it’s connected to both the business world and the way society operates and will operate into the future.
Words like exponential, democratisation, blockchain, the singularity and artificial intelligence are becoming common place. This is the new reality; and reality as we know it is changing exponentially.
Singularity University is based at NASA Ames and its goal is to “educate, inspire, and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges”. The organisation is on a mission to spread this message globally, working on the most effective fronts for change; local communities.
SingularityU was co-founded by Peter Diamandes and Ray Kurzweil. Ray is a Futurist with an 86% accuracy rate and predicted the exponential increase in Medtech, Foodtech, Agritech, Edutech, Robotech and all the other ‘techisms’ we look to for solutions to our problems.
As for The Singularity, Ray believes this to be the time when artificial intelligence will power over all human intelligence combined. He predicts intelligence will emanate out from earth and saturate the universe. Keep in mind his 86% accuracy rate.
The Singularity is also defined as the point at which machines, intelligence and humans would merge.Once-upon-a-time that thought inhabited the realm of sci-fi. Now that reality is approaching at an exponential rate. It’s important that before we enter a state of disbelief and fear, we consider what that could really mean. Remember Newton’s third law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As guru and marketer, Seth Godin states, “the person who invented the car, invented the car crash”. Consider all the benefits humans have experienced because of the car.
Today’s leading organisations are departing from a linear hierarchical structure with a top down management approach. Zappos, a leading online retailer in the USA has adopted a holocratic model where members of the team are responsible to other members of the team. This isn’t a new concept but its effectiveness in terms of productivity and the bottom line is now being recognised. Google the caring capitalist to find an example of implementation and success of this business model from the late 1990s.
Kaila Colbin is the Australian and New Zealand Ambassador for Singularity University. In 2016, she spearheaded the hugely successful SingularityU New Zealand Summit.
Unsurprisingly, Kaila’s CV hardly reads like a typical work history. Kaila is a Co-founder and Chair of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome, the starting point to make things happen in Christchurch; the Curator and Licensee for TEDxChristchurch in New Zealand and TEDxScottBase in Antarctica; Chair of the New York-based Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts; Deputy Chair of CORE Education Ltd; and a Director of Transition Holdings Ltd, the Christchurch agency responsible for tourism, major events and economic development.
Kaila will visit the Hunter on Monday to launch the SingularityU Australia Summit and to speak about exponential growth and how humanity will benefit.
Understand, Adapt and Thrive is the tagline being used to encapsulate the intent behind the summit. In order to progress we need to understand the conditions under which we exist. We need to understand that exponential technologies are changing the world and human society as we know it. In order to thrive we need to adapt to those changes.
The Hunter Launch of the SingularityU Australia Summit will take place on Monday, September 18, 5:30 pm at the Hunter School of Design.