All Things Exponential: Update for Singularity University Alumni in the UK

This is a copy of the update sent to SU UK alumni today.  The links may be useful for anyone interested in exponential technologies, and the “technology : innovation : impact” work we do here at iFutures.

Pascale Scheurer
UK Ambassador, Singularity University

 

SU-UK NEWS

Mike Halsall and the Isle of Man government recently launched the IoM Grand Challenge Competition, for two EP places.  Fantastic work, Mike.  Info here:
bit.ly/SU_UK_IoM

The first European SU Summit is in Budapest Nov 15-16th - most of the Faculty will be there and presenting an updated curriculum – there is a selection process so do include your alumni status on the form and referral via SU-UK:
bit.ly/SU_UK_summit

We had a visitor:  Barbara Silva Troncoso (GSP12) was invited to London for the prestigious G8 Young Summit, which collates a document presented to the G8. Barbara is very influential in the tech community in Chile, if you are thinking of applying for StartupChile (see below) we can connect you.  Info on G8YS here:
bit.ly/SU_UK_G8YS

Did you spot Ray Kurzweil on the cover of WIRED UK’s May edition?  Excellent review of SU inside:
bit.ly/SU_UK_WIRED

UPCOMING CONFERENCES

June 11-14th, Edinburgh – TED Global:  Two GSP11 alumni presenting:  Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet in Session 2 “Those Flying Things”, and Andras Forgacs in Session 10 “Imagining Beauty”, Modern Meadow’s non-animal leathers for consumer products.
bit.ly/SU_UK_TEDG

June 12th and monthly thereafter – Health 2.0 London Chapter Meetups:  FutureMed13’s Maneesh Juneja organises these great events and would love to hear from SU alumni wishing to present on ‘Information Obesity’, ‘Mobile Health Sensors’, ‘End of Life Care’ or ‘3D BioPrinting’:
bit.ly/SU_UK_Hlth20

June 21st, Cambridge - Technology Ventures Conference by Cambridge University Technology & Enterprise Club (CUTEC): Andras Forgacs again, in a brilliant line-up of speakers:
bit.ly/SU_UK_CUTEC

July 1st, London – WIRED Money:  SU team member Sophie Hackford is curating the conference, SU alumni can get 15% discount using code: WMSHW15
bit.ly/SU_UK_WMoney

Sept 19th, London – RE.WORK Technology Summit:  20% discount for SU UK alumni & referrals, use code SUREWORK20 by July 20th:
bit.ly/SU_UK_ReWork

Oct 17-18th, London – WIRED UK Conference:  bit.ly/SU_UK_WiredConf

OPPORTUNITIES, FUNDS & ACCELERATORS

8-9th June, Hartwell - Satellite Applications Catapult Hackathon:
bit.ly/SU_UK_SatApps

Apply by June 24th for Telefonica’s Wayra-UnLtd Accelerator, specifically for global impact startups:
bit.ly/SU_UK_WayraUL

StartupChile Round 8 opens June 11th, apply by July 9th:  1570 startups applied for Round 7, with 100 selected to receive $40k funds and spend 6 months in Chile developing their business. A truly amazing opportunity in a beautiful country:
bit.ly/SU_UK_StartChile

NEXT STEPS FOR SU UK – HOW YOU CAN HELP

UK Global Impact Competition seeking sponsors:  We continue to talk to potential sponsors for a UK Global Impact Competition.  We have had some success but still need to raise more support in June/July to be able to launch in the autumn.  If you can think of any companies who might be interested to sponsor, please get in touch:  pascale.scheurer@singularityu.org

Referrals to EPs – support UK activities:  If you know someone considering attending an Executive Program at SU, please let me know.  All referrals to EP programs that are tracked in this way can return a 10% of the fee to the referring country program to support alumni events and projects.  This is a great way to build up a budget for even better SU UK activities.

And of course, send me your news for inclusion in the next update.  Suggest a future event you’d like to see happen.  Would you like to be profiled in the next update, write a short piece or be a guest editor?  Let me know.  Your feedback on this update would be very welcome too.

Thank you for reading, I hope to see you soon.

Pascale Scheurer
MA(Cantab) MSc RIBA FRSA

Director & CEO, Intelligent Futures
: Technology : Innovation : Impact :
+44 777 358 4477

UK Ambassador, Singularity University
NASA Research Park, Silicon Valley

Building a Brave New World

Award-winning writer Arundhati Roy’s most famous quotation is also one of the most beautiful and powerful statements of our time:

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

I like to pair it with one from another of my heroes, Buckminster Fuller:

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Is it a coincidence that both trained as architects?  Coincidence or not, it makes perfect sense.  Whilst young and naïve, future architects look at the world around them, and the way people interact with each other and with artefacts in physical space, and say to themselves: “Another world is possible.  I will build it.”

More than that, the profession – the vocation – of architecture demands collaboration and holistic thinking.  It demands that we remain artists – creative, curious, challenging – whilst using existing technologies, engineering, science, economics and politics, as our tools.  ”I will build it” becomes “I will help build it, we will build it together”.

Here at Intelligent Futures, we are architects and engineers.  We are unashamedly – perhaps naïvely or even arrogantly – committed to building a brave new world.  One which we hope will owe more to Arundhati Roy’s vision than Aldous Huxley’s.  Huxley warned us of techno-dystopia, as George Orwell did in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Both, I am sure, did so in order to help us focus on building a different new world.  Perhaps not a techno-utopia, but something better than we have now, or than we will have if we fling up our hands and proclaim the search for progress futile.

If we wish to have a less dystopian future, we must build it together.  When we see the people working around us in innovation projects – as showcased on our website and at our events – we can hear the new world breathing.