Three Singular Years
POSTED AT Sep 10, 2011  |   Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Private meeting with President Shimon Peres of Israel

We just closed out our third spectacular third at Singularity University.  Aaron Saenz has a great summary of the final Team Project presentations.

It’s been a hell of a twelve month period for me personally and my primary focus has been about spreading the word about SU around the world. Here are some of the highlights.

In September 2010, my wife and I traveled to Israel and had a private meeting with President Shimon Peres. In November, we traveled to Brazil and Chile and ran a one-week course in Sao Paolo.  In December, we went to Milan, met the Mayor and laid the groundwork for a major deal between the 2015 World Expo and SU.  In April we again did a roadshow with the faculty for a short course in Abu Dhabi to some of the royalty there.  In June, we kicked off our third summer with 80 students from 35 countries.  The summer ended in fine style, with 10 new startups spinning out of SU.  Probably the highlight was Matternet, which uses drones to deliver medecine and food in areas where there is no road infrastructure (ie. in most developing countries).

We had our closing ceremonies 10 days ago keynoted by Reid Hoffman and Vinod Khosla. There’s a great story about it at Singularity Hub (  In the closing talk, I describe a breakthrough idea from one of our students about how we could use an Elance-type platform to dissolve conflict zones around the world.  Truly inspiring (if a bit grainy).

Couldn’t get much better right?  Oh, but wait.  At TED, Chris Anderson invited me onto the main stage and I gave a (very) short talk on the structural issue with democracy (basically, how does one do long-term planning in a democracy with short-term, high metabolism election cycles?) It’s a question that’s been bugging me for a while now and it was good to pose it to some of the smartest thinkers in the world.

Giving a short talk at TED 2011

2011 certainly has been unique… sorry, Singular!




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