Stellar speakers to help audiences think exponentially at SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018

SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 – which will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, on 15-16 October 2018 – has an exciting line-up of international and regional experts that promise an educational look into the future and how exponential technologies can help to solve some of Africa’s grand challenges.

“Attendees at our second annual conference can expect an incredible group of inspirational expert speakers that will present on exponential technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, fintech and the blockchain, nanotechnology and biotech among others,” says Mic Mann, Director of Mann Made and co-organiser of SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018. “We will have two stages delivering thought-provoking and insightful presentations during the two days of the summit that will appeal to first-time attendees as well as Singularity University alumni, who want to go deeper into certain topics. These talks will present on how to drive and navigate innovation within your businesses, organisation or sector, so as not to become disrupted, and how to prepare for an exponential future that will change the way we live and work.


How to thrive in a time of disruption

Every entrepreneur asks themselves, “What is the future of my business and how long will it last? While the stats vary, more than half of start-ups fail within the first year. High-growth tech start-ups, that are predominantly studied by venture capitalists, fail more than 90% of the time. The question is, “Why do they fail and is it possible to effectively make changes that can turn the odds?”

Vice-Chair of SingularityU Global Grand Challenge Faculty and SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 speaker Nathaniel Calhoun says you can. He tracks innovations in emerging decentralised and platform-cooperative technologies that create new business models and opportunities. He specialises in helping the private and public sector better understand how to leverage and prepare for the growth of these and related trends and offers a unique take on the options facing aspiring ‘exponential organisations’.

“When we talk about disruption,” says Calhoun. “The odds are not in our favour. A small number of companies disrupt, while a larger number are disrupted. You can’t possibly stay aware of all of the different disruptions that may affect your company or your society, so how can you prepare to endure?” Learn from others’ mistakes at the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018.


Disrupting a six-trillion-dollar industry

Returning to address SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 audiences, speaker Ramez Naam will speak on the future of energy, and how exponential energy technologies, such as renewables, will affect the cost and accessibility of energy across the continent and the rest of the world.

“There are still 1.3 billion people, who don’t have access to electricity and modern energy.  With sufficient energy, we could solve a lot of the world’s issues. But there are side effects of how we generate electricity today,” says Naam. “There are 10 times more people killed by pollution from energy generation than all the wars combined. Fortunately, the way that energy is being generated is being disrupted.”


Transforming lives through disruptive innovation

Leading expert on disruptive innovation and exponentially-advancing technology David Roberts returns to share more of his learnings on the technologies that are helping transform the lives of billions of people across the world. He enables government officials, entrepreneurs and students to embrace a solutions-driven mindset that doesn’t focus on the shortcomings, but rather on how to look beyond the here and now with the attempt to create business and humanitarian solutions for the future. Roberts served as Vice President of SingularityU and is a two-time Director (and alumnus) of the Graduate Studies Programme. He is an award-winning CEO and serial entrepreneur, who started ventures backed by more than $100 million of investment from Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla, Cisco, Oracle, Accenture, In-Q-Tel among others.


Out of this world ideas

“Imagine communication satellites that are essentially gigantic antennas the size of a football stadium, with microelectronics built into the structure that could provide global broadband internet to the entire planet. Is a planetary surface the best place for advancing our industrial needs?” These are the kinds of big ideas that co-founder of Made In Space speaker Jason Dunn thinks about every day. He’s always been outward focused, wondering how we get people living on the Moon or Mars, or how we create a sustainable environment where people can live. Dunn will share his experiences, learnings and will reveal the possible future of additive manufacturing, with a focus on extra-terrestrial manufacturing. 


Radical approaches to human-centred design

Speaker Jody Medich will discuss how human-centred design can create exponential solutions to the world’s toughest problems. “Exponentials obliterate assumptions. Self-driving cars obliterate the assumptions that humans need to drive. Our problem is, that we get so good at our jobs that we start making assumptions about what the problem is, that we focus more on the solutions than on the problem that we are solving. Then a novice comes in who doesn’t care at all about best practices, or what we have been doing in the industry for hundreds of years and they do it completely differently and that’s your company out.” 


To learn more about the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 speakers and to buy your ticket, visit:


About the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018:

In its second year, the two-day SingularityU South Africa Summit – hosted in collaboration with Standard Bank, global partner Deloitte and strategic partners HP, Liberty, SAP and MTN – continues its quest to accelerate South Africa’s culture of innovation. The summit will bring together some of the world’s most forward-thinking individuals and the continent’s most curious minds to help #futureproofAfrica.


Delegates at the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 can expect compelling presentations and discussions on exponential technologies that can be used to create positive change and foster economic growth on the continent. The above speakers will be joined on stage by:

  • Fred Swaniker – Ghanaian founder of Leadership Group, which aims to groom 3 million African leaders by 2035
  • Mark Prost – professor in physiology and tissue engineer, who is working on lab-grown meat
  • Aubrey de Grey – biomedical gerontologist, mathematician and longevity expert
  • Tiffany Vora – Singularity University Principal Faculty in Medicine and Digital Biology
  • Stacey Ferreira – Entrepreneur and bestselling author of 2 billion under 20
  • Jamie Wheal – world-renowned author of Stealing Fire and executive director at The Flow Genome Project

Save the date for the mind-expanding, innovation-stimulating, SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018, taking place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the 15-16 October 2018.


Contact Edelman South Africa to secure your media pass.