“The Future Can Be African” – SingularityU Summit South Africa

The SingularityU Summit kicked off on Wednesday the 23rd of August 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two-day summit was hosted by Singularity University in collaboration with Standard Bank, global partner Deloitte and strategic partners MTN and SAP and looked to help the local leaders understand how to apply exponential technologies to create positive change and economic growth in their region.

Singularity University
The hosts, Singularity University, are a global learning and innovation community that uses exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Their collaboration platform empowers individuals and organisations to learn, connect and innovate breakthrough solutions that leverage emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. The community created by Singularity University spans across 110 countries with entrepreneurs, corporations, development organisations, governments, investors, and academic institutions all coming together to drive positive change through their 370 global impact initiatives.

SigularityU South Africa Summit
In what was the first SingularityU Summit to take place in South Africa, hundreds of African industry leaders and executives converged on the Kyalami Grand Prix Circut in Johannesburg to listen to thought provoking speakers who discussed the exponential technologies which are going to disrupt life as we know it.

With 9 other summits taking place across 9 other countries across the world, this was Africa’s turn. The summit, under the theme “future proof Africa”, looked to start the collective journey of engaging with the future.

Jason Silva an Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channels number one rated TV series, Brain Games, was the facilitator and host at the event. To educate, empower and foster collaboration, these were the three ideals of Singularity, which Silva pointed out during his welcome address.

“If Africa does not embrace change it takes the risk of falling behind, but what I have noticed about Africa is that it is not waiting for some magical cookie cutter to come and save the continent. No, rather using ideas such a Ubuntu, Africans have become some of the most forward thinking people as innovation comes out of necessity. The future can be African,” said Silva in concluding his address.

After this thought provoking intro, the summit got underway as world renounced speakers unpacked the various exponential technologies that will impact the future. These technologies included Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cyber Security, BlockChain, Space, Crowd-sourcing, Fintech and Medtech while various speakers also touched on relevant topics such as the Grand Global Challenges, The Future of Education and Banking, Innovation, Disruption and Decoding Democracy.

Those who attended the inaugural summit were not left disappointed as it gave them great insight into what the world will look like in the next 30 years.