A most Singular project
POSTED AT Feb 03, 2009  |   Blogging | 20 Comments

Over the last 2-3 months, a lot of people have been watching my tweets and listened to my various conversations wondering what exactly I’m up to. I haven’t been able to say much, but can now finally talk about it. Biting lips for this long has been tough, but I can finally say I’m heading up Singularity University – some great coverage from TechCrunch and CNet (among others).

I’ve been fascinated with innovation and growth for many years, and my experience at Yahoo building and running Brickhouse was very foundational. Analyzing thousands of ideas, putting together great teams and working with some of the world’s best engineers to launch cutting edge products was a hell of a privilege. While at Yahoo, I established an important relationship between Brickhouse and NASA, which led to an invitation to the founding meeting of this initiative.

Once there, I was pretty well hooked. The vision that Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis laid out was extremely compelling: Fundamentally, the world is facing some very large challenges and the technologies identified by Ray can lead to scalable solutions to address these global issues. Add to that the interdisciplinary expertise brought by Peter’s experience and it was too much to pass up. They only had to ask once.

The full press release is here.

Great innovation almost always happens when two disparate concepts are brought together. At SU, we’ll be bringing together dozens of experts across several distinct, accelerating technologies and letting them think about some of the grand challenges facing humanity.

A well-publicized example is 3D organ printing. Scientists are combining 3D printing with stem stell research to ‘print’ human organs. And that is one idea…

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20 Responses to A most Singular project

  1. Pingback: The Collaborative Quotient

  2. Potential Student says:

    You folks have posted everything except how much it costs to attend your university.

  3. Salim says:

    Hi PS, the official tuition is $25,000 for the whole whack (incl. room and board), but extensive scholarships are available…

  4. Dana Frandsen says:

    I am very interested in attending. $ are an issue. I have a daughter in the area and I will subsist on bread and water(I need to diet anyway:-). Please let us know as soon as possible how to apply.

    Congratulations! I look forward to watching this University grow!

    May we all learn something new today!
    Chris Frandsen

  5. Congratulations! I hope that you will include some design folks (like John Maeda or David Kelly) in your advisory group.

    I will continue to follow the progress on my blog at http://andDESIGNmagazine.blogspot. com

  6. Kent Beatty says:

    This is great news! Finally the singularity is being taken seriously. Many thanks to you, Ray and the others who have been sounding the alarm regarding the approaching challenges. One of our most pressing needs is to maintain a vision and awareness that sees past four year election cycles.

    SU will be in the forefront of preparing for and dealing with the challenges of our future.


    Kent Beatty

  7. Giselle says:

    Hi Salim…
    I’m very excited about the formation of SU!
    It will feel like being a part of the Science Channel – for nine weeks – which is absolutely great.
    I’m interested in the scholarships too…


  8. David says:

    Wow, this is exciting! I hope to be a part of something so life changing, not for me personally but for future generations. Please keep blogging. love to keep up to date with the latest happenings and sincerely hope that I can be a part of this history.

  9. Austin says:

    It is funny how this idea is considered new. German philosopher Martin Heidegger articulated the latent potential for social evolution stemming from technological innovation in 1954. In his “The Question Concerning Technology,” Heidegger explores reality’s plasticity as it interacts with human ingenuity. In sum he admits technology holds opposing potential implementations, whether it destroys or sustains society will be a matter of difficult choices and sound vision. Heidegger also explored what is being called a singularity: a societal revolution stemming from creative development. In many ways the tractor was a singularity for American farmers. It seems as if “singularity” is another word for a period of social evolution that in hindsight is seen as a foundational change in life style.
    Here is a URL of the Heidegger essay in English: http://www.wright.edu/cola/Dept/PHL/Class/P.Internet/PITexts/QCT.html

  10. Austin says:

    Yet nonetheless, the idea of a university dedicated to the world of tomorrow is exciting. One wonders what suffering endured today will exist only in the history books of tomorrow.

  11. Austin says:

    I wonder if this community/university would have any use for an aspiring social revolutionary with non-violent anarchocommunist, Epicurean-existentialist-Lacanian, Christian-ethic derived tendencies. I am trained in the art of politics, and in law school my current project uses a classic Epicurean Ode to analyze and critique prevailing legal and political dogma, while at the same time I advance an alternative (more pragmatic) understanding of Marx’s key insights.

    I just see this community’s trajectory as fixed on providing the catalyst required to convert raw capacity into sustainable progress. I cannot picture a place more exciting than the institution devoted to turning dreams of tomorrow into today.

  12. SSSIXXX says:


    LOVE. IT.



  13. Congratulations Salim sounds to be a fun job.

    I have been interested in Singularity since I heard Ray’s lecture in 2005. http://tinyurl.com/apo76q

  14. Syed Husain says:

    I know you guys are working really hard at Singularity University but I wish you guys would update the blog on the Singularity University site more frequently.

  15. Love to chat Salim.

    Maybe we can connect via Linkedin. I think the Singularity University is a great idea using Education 1.0. I would love to explore taking the idea further. We are looking to completely evolve global education into something I call education 2.0 and I think its something you’d be all over. Why not be the fist university to run with it?

    IMO education 1.0 is silly given the collaborative solution available.. over the next 5 yrs you see a whole new model for education emerging. Not only will you be able to identify the best and brightest minds with it, but it will put the “fun” back into it.

    I hope we can chat,


  16. Prokofy Neva says:

    This isn’t a real university.

    If the Singularity doctrine was as self-evident as you claim, there’d be no need to huddle for $25,000 a pop with freaky cult leaders, tekkie has-beens and seduced investors — we could openly study this subject for free on the Internet or at least for normal college tuition costs at public instiututions for credit.

  17. Pingback: The singularity university is open « Mike Linksvayer

  18. Hi Salim,

    Myself Pushpendra Singh from mumbai.I came to know that your were resided in mumbai-bandra,that is why i want your email to contact you.
    Hope it is fine.

    I would like to know how to get connected with SU and what qualifications are required.

  19. Nitin says:

    I’ve got you Ismail !!!

    I am Nitin I am student and one of the coordinators of Extra Mural Lectures team at IIT Madras.

    I read about Singularity Project and you for the first time a couple of months back in an Indian edition of a business Magazine.

    We invite on regular basis experts from wide variety of fields to provide student community at IIT Madras. I won’t name whom we had in the past to avoid useless comparisions.

    We, student community at IIT M, will be more than excited to listen to your entrepreneurial stints and get inspired.

    If you happen to visit India sometimes in coming year, It would be great if you can spare a few hours for IIT Madras and enlighten student community.

    I won’t put official email ID of our team here for risk of spamming, but will contact you via official channels once you make your mind regarding delivering a short lecture at IIT M.
    You can reach me for a reply: nitinsangwan_iitm@yahoo.com or + 91 9281392712

    warm regards,

    Nitin Sangwan
    EML, IIT Madras

    PS- I am sorry to use this channel for this purpose. I tried a lot but I didn’t find a more suitable channel to convey the message.

  20. Pingback: A most Singular project | KurzweilAI

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