TEN LESSONS LEARNED FROM SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY’S EXECUTIVE PROGRAM

This week I had the honor and privilege to moderate Singularity University’s Executive Program; a one week deep dive into exponential thinking, technology, disruptive change and the global grand challenges.

One of our participants, Eddie Ng, sent me an email toward the end of the program, highlighting his ten key takeaways. I found them insightful (and funny) — he kindly gave me permission to repost them here:

  1. Failure: Fail fast, often and forward. Capture the learnings from your failures and make them reusable. Design for rapid experimentation and share what you have learned. (Talk: Introduction to Silicon Valley)
  2. Digitization: When you take major decisions, ask yourself what will happen when everything you “touch” is digitized and becomes exponentially faster/cheaper/better in ever shorter periods of time. How does this affect your decision making? (Talk: Introduction to Exponential Thinking)
  3. Change: There are boundaries to change. Turbulent boundaries are the most productive zones for change and provide the greatest opportunities. Rapid experimentation occurs fastest here. Find the “turbulent boundaries.” (Talk: Future Forecasting)
  4. Artificial Intelligence: Anything that is repetitive or has a pattern driven by data will be replaced by AI. We are screwed unless we learn to imagine/create/feel and base the value we drive on these factors. Be more human! Most of my coworkers/friends are going to be out of a job faster than they think! (Talk: Artificial Intelligence)
  5. Open Innovation: You don’t need to have expertise, you can crowdsource. You don’t have to have money, you can crowdfund. Having the challenging/big/exciting/questions or ideas and knowing how to “package” it, matters more than having the answers. (Talk: Collaborative Innovation)
  6. Organizations: There will be no more management or managing people, the system/AI will be the manager. If there is no more managers/boss then… I am going to be unemployed. I am going to drive my wife crazy! (Talk: Future of Work)
  7. Insights: Reason from first principals, boil everything down to fundamental truths. Then work backwards and find the inefficiency in the process. (Talk: Methods for Predicting the Future)
  8. Poverty: The Blockchain and abundant energy will be the key to ending poverty. Figure out how to bring either one of these to the poorest! (Talks: Blockchain & Energy)
  9. Methods: Start with the solution, design a protocol diagram for your problem, and then attack it from every point and angle. (Talk: Hacker Mentality)
And lastly and most importantly:

  1. The Future: A lot of your friends/colleges/loved ones will be left out/displaced/frightened by this rapid change… communicate/educate/share with them. The next 10 years is going to scare the “shit” out of them. YOU DON’T WANT THEM TO END UP HATING YOU!
Build What Matters.
Pascal ツ