University 2.0?

At this week’s TED Conference, a new kind of academic institution was announced. Singluarity University, founded by world-renown futurist Ray Kurzweil and backed by Google and NASA,  “aims to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

Singularity U will offer three programs to start: an Executive 3-Day Program will provide C-Suite execs with a strategic review of how technological change affects the overall business landscape; an Executive 10-Day Program for mid-level managers and business leaders; and a Graduate Studies Program lasting 9 weeks for graduate students and post-graduate students seeking to learn about various cross-disciplinary technologies. Programs will start in the summer of 2009, and be limited to about 30 students to start, the Singularity does intend to grow its class size over time. Singularity will focus on ten key areas of exploration and study:

  1. Future Studies & Forecasting
  2. Policy, Law & Ethics
  3. Finance & Entrepreneurship
  4. Networks & Computing Systems
  5. Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
  6. Nanotechnology
  7. Medicine, Neuroscience & Human Enhancement
  8. AI & Robotics
  9. Energy & Ecological Systems
  10. Space & Physical Sciences


More details about the ‘University’ will emerge over the next few months, to be sure. It’s interesting to see the landscape of ‘futurist’ studies beginning to change and grow. From an innovation perspective, it would certainly be beneficial to have more business leaders educated on topics and technologies that will shape the future of our world. Many organizations today seem to be much too rooted in the past, which keeps them from capitalizing on forward-thinking opportunities and ideas. What better antidote than to educate leaders on the future? 

Click here to learn more about Singularity University. [via ars technica]


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