Previous SingularityU South Africa Summit Speakers

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At each Summit for SingularityU South Africa, we bring on a selection of partners and work with them to drive their strategic goals. We deeply incorporate these partners into our events to provide everyone with greater value while enhancing the overall Summit experience for participants.

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Adetayo Bamiduro

Adetayo Bamiduro is the Cofounder and CEO of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) – a last-mile delivery platform that uses proprietary apps, maps and motorcycles to provide express delivery to retailers in Africa.


Adetayo graduated top 2% in his Computer Science Class at the University of Ibadan and earned his MBA from 2 of the world’s most prestigious institutions – MIT in the USA and London Business School in the UK. Before founding MAX, Adetayo worked as a Developer, Product Manager and Management Consultant across 4 continents for global companies such as PwC, Shell and Dalberg.


During his MBA program, Adetayo was awarded the MIT Legatum and MasterCard Fellowships to develop MAX. After graduating in summer 2015, Adetayo launched MAX and immediately led his team to remarkable success. Within 3 months, MAX grew 1500% and signed up over 100 retailers including


In September 2015, MAX became the first startup from Africa to join the exclusive Techstars New York Startup Accelerator Program. By December 2015, MAX had set another record as the 1st technology startup from Africa to win 1st runner-up at Techcrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield in London.


MAX is on a mission to fix Africa’s broken urban delivery and transport system using proprietary apps that connect independent drivers to businesses and consumers in real-time. MAX clocked 20,000 deliveries in July 2016 and is on its way to becoming Africa’s No 1 Urban Transport Network.

Alex Gladstein

Alex is Chief Strategy Officer at Human Rights Foundation. He has served as Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum since its inception in 2009. Alex’s writing and views on dissidents and dictators have appeared in ABC, The Atlantic, BBC News, CNN, Fast Company, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, NPR, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and WIRED. He has spoken at UC Berkeley, MIT, Parsons School of Design; the School of Visual Arts, Stanford, and the European Parliament. Before joining HRF, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the British Parliament.


Alex is a magna cum laude graduate of Tufts University where he majored in international relations and Middle Eastern studies. He currently lives in San Francisco

Ashley Anthony

Ashley Anthony is a Geophysicist and entrepreneur. As a co-founder of Isazi Consulting, he has spent much of his time developing an understanding of the mathematical levers that control how businesses make money and how AI can be applied to take advantage of these insights. He has been the driving force behind Isazi and has put Africa on the map for Artificial Intelligence and Optimization.


Isazi Consulting is now one of the most Advanced Algorithmic & Machine Learning companies in Africa that assist businesses to become data driven by using artificial intelligence and optimization. The word Isazi means ‘bearer of knowledge’ or ‘scientist’ in isiZulu. The company’s industry and platform agnostic

Bohdanna Kesala

Bohdanna is the Director of International Summits at Singularity University. She oversees the execution of close to 30 International Summits for SU, impacting and educating over 40,000 people on exponential technology and how to use that technology to solve the world’s largest challenges.


Prior to Singularity University, Bohdanna worked at The Thiel Foundation as their Event Curator, managing dozens of projects including CNBC Transforming Tomorrow, a documentary focused on the Thiel Fellowship and the series ‘Teen Technorati’ showcasing Fellows from The Thiel Fellowship. Bohdanna was also one of the architects of The Thiel Foundation Summit; a bi-annual assembly of young entrepreneurs and visionaries from around the world.


Working directly with entrepreneurs inspired Bohdanna to open 10 Forward Events, a full service event-curation firm specializing in producing innovative and one-of-a-kind events focused on education and collaboration for the science and tech industry, startups, entrepreneurs, and VC firms. Her vision and reputation is as a connector, getting a diverse group of people together to form the links needed to move projects forward. And, while working at SU, Bohdanna devotes time to her painting career, exhibiting her work in the US and internationally.


Bohdanna holds an M.F.A from San Francisco State University, a Post-Baccalaureate certificate from California College of the Arts, and a B.S. from Indiana University – Bloomington.

Carlo Van de Weijer

Carlo van de Weijer (1966) has a Master degree in Mechanical Engineer from the University of Technology in Eindhoven and a PhD degree with honors from Technical University in Graz. He started his career in 1990 at TNO Automotive, moved to SiemensVDO in 2001 to head the Eindhoven automotive navigation development lab, since 2007 part of TomTom.


Currently, Dr. Van de Weijer is director of the Strategic Area Smart Mobility at Eindhoven University of Technology, alongside his work for TomTom. He is chairman and member of the supervisory board of several high-tech companies and start-ups, and advises governments and industries around the world on the future of technology and mobility.

David Roberts

David Roberts is regarded as one of the world top experts on disruptive innovation and exponentially advancing technology. His passion is to help transform the lives of a billion suffering people in the world through disruptive innovation.


David served as Vice President of Singularity University and two-time Director (and alum) of the Graduate Studies Program. He is an award winning CEO, a serial entrepreneur, and has started ventures backed with over $100 million of investment from Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla, Cisco, Oracle, Accenture, In-Q-Tel, and others.


He is the recipient of numerous awards and medals and has led the development of some of the most complex, state-of-the-art systems ever built, to include satellites, drones, and fusion centers. He also worked as an Investment Banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs Headquarters. He received his B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from M.I.T. was a Distinguished Graduate, and majored in Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Computer Engineering. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


David is Chairman at HaloDrop, a revolutionary global drone services company, Chairman at 1QBit the world first software company for quantum computers, and is a formal adviser to Made-In Space, responsible for manufacturing the first object in Space with a 3D printer on the Space Station.


Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley Business schools have all written and taught case studies on David leadership, management, and decision making. He has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, and in USA Today, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, and dozens of others. His startups have received many awards to include Internet World Net Rising Stars,Red Herring Catch, top 50 Private Companies in the World, Red Herring Top100 Private Companies in the World, USA Today Tech Reviews Best Picks, Internet Outlook Investors Choice Award, Enterprise Outlook Investors Choice, Best of the Web from PC World, and Apple Computer Premier Systems Integrator Award.


His fascination with technology began In fourth grade after building a hovering electric drone, to carry his younger sister to the bus stop, powered by what was formerly his mothervacuum cleaner, and fortunately limited by the length of an electric power cord.

Divya Chander

Dr. Chander is a physician and neuroscientist who trained at Harvard, UCSD, UCSF, and the Salk Institute. She has been on the Anesthesiology Faculty at Stanford University since 2008 and Neuromedicine Faculty at Singularity University since 2010. Her postdoctoral training in optogenetic technology was conducted in the laboratories of Karl Deisseroth and Luis de Lecea at Stanford, where she used light-activated ion channels inserted in DNA to study sleep and consciousness switches in brains.


In the operating room, she applies EEG technology to understand what human brains look like when they lose and regain consciousness, and has recently developed a precision medicine initiative aimed at understanding genetic variability in responses to anesthetic drugs. Her goal is to understand neural mechanisms of consciousness and eventually utilize this knowledge to develop improved algorithms to create better brain monitors. She is currently working on applications of neural wearable devices to crossover consumer and medical markets

Dr. Adriana Marais

Theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa and aspiring extraterrestrial with the Mars One Project.


Adriana studied theoretical physics and philosophy at the University of Cape Town. She completed her MSc summa cum laude in quantum cryptography at the in the Quantum Research Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and was awarded her PhD in quantum biology at the same institute in 2015. She continued as a postdoctoral researcher studying quantum effects in biology as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself. Since the beginning of 2017, she has joined the corporate world, in the role of Head of Innovation at SAP Africa, driving digitisation and innovation on the continent.


Adriana has been recognised by the Mail & Guardian as one of 200 Young SA achievers (2014), she was one of 15 recipients worldwide of a L’Oreal-UNESCO International Rising Talent Grant for Women in Science (2015) and she is the 2016 Royal Society of SA Meiring Naude Medal awardee for a young researcher. During 2016 she was selected as one of 400 most qualified young physicists worldwide to attend and speak at the prestigious 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, as well as one of 20 worldwide selected to attend & speak at the Women’s Economic Forum in theWomen’s Forum Rising Talents Programme. She is one of 100 astronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in the next decade with the Mars One Project. She hopes one day to contribute to the establishment, and potentially detection of evidence of, life on Mars- one of the most profound possible contributions of science to society.

Dr. Ryan Noach

Dr Ryan Noach is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Health, appointed in October 2014. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer since July 2009. He plays a significant role in leading company strategy and directly oversees operations, clinical services, managed care and claims risk strategy, the digital strategy and also Discovery Health’s supply-side services to members.


He qualified as a medical practitioner at Wits University in 1997 and pursued a post graduate career in emergency medicine and disaster management, including trauma, critical care, orthopedics and paediatrics. He completed the Diploma in Primary Emergency Care with the College of Medicine (SA). He attended the Executive Development Program at GIBS Business School, University of Pretoria.


During his tenure at Discovery Health, Dr Noach has been responsible for many of the companies’ major innovations including amongst others HealthID, MedXpress and Discovery’s entry into the supply-side of the healthcare system.

Funeka Montjane

Funeka Montjane is the Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking South Africa (PBB SA).


Funeka joined Standard Bank in 2008 and prior to her current role as Chief Executive, Funeka held the following positions:


– Chief Financial Officer, PBB SA

– Head of Home Loans, PBB SA

– Head of Credit PBB SA


Funeka is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters in Commerce degree from the University of Johannesburg. Before joining Standard Bank, Funeka worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she became a partner at the age of 27.

Amongst many of her achievements Funeka was voted Top Woman Executive and Top Woman of the Year in Business at the 2012 Top Women Awards.


In 2015 she was honoured with the following awards:

  • The Woman of Significance award by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP)
  • Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum

In August 2016, Funeka won the Business Women of the Year award in the Corporate category of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa. She was also acknowledged by the African Woman Chartered Accountants (AWCA) as the 2016 Private Sector CEO of the Year.

Jaya Baloo

Jaya Baloo the CISO of KPN Telecom in the Netherlands. She won the Cyber Security Executive of the Year Award in 2015. Baloo works with an amazing information security team of highly driven specialists. Working in the information security arena for the past 18 years, she has worked mostly for global telecommunications companies such as Verizon and France Telecom. Baloo is also a frequent speaker at security conferences on subjects around lawful interception, mass surveillance and cryptography.

Larry Keeley

Larry Keeley is a strategist who has worked for over three decades to develop more effective innovation methods. Larry is President and co-founder of Doblin Inc, aninnovation strategy firm known for pioneering comprehensive innovation systemsthat materially improve innovation success rates and innovation return
on investment. Doblin is now a unit of DeloitteConsulting LLP, where Keeley serves as a Managing Director.


Since 1979 Keeley has worked with many global companies on innovation effectiveness, among them Abbott Labs, Aetna, American Express, Amoco, Apple, Baxter, BlackRock, Boeing, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Consignia, Coty, Diageo, Ford, Gillette, GE, GM, Hallmark, Kaiser Permanente, Lloyds Banking Group, Liberty Global, Mars, Mayo Clinic, McDonald’s, Monsanto, Motorola, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, P&G, Pfizer, Principal Financial, Qwest, RSA, SAS, Shell, Sony, Steelcase, Stryker, Target, Texas Instruments, VHA, WellPoint, Whirlpool, and Zurich Financial Services. He has also shaped innovation strategies in the philanthropic sector working closely with Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and others, plus governments around the world.


Keeley lectures and publishes frequently on strategic aspects of innovation. Keeley’s book Ten Types of Innovation, the Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, from Wiley codifies much of the research and tradecraft that drives effective innovation, available in ten languages. Bloomberg Businessweek named Keeley one of seven Innovation Gurus that are changing the field, and specifically cited Doblin for having many of the most
sophisticated tools for delivering innovation effectiveness. They also separately selected Keeley as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world.


Keeley teaches graduate innovation strategy classes at the Institute of Design in Chicago, the first design school in the U.S. with a Ph.D. program, where he is also a board member. He lectures in executive education programs at Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is an adjunct faculty member for their core MBA and their Masters of Manufacturing Management programs where he was recently named a Distinguished Fellow. He also lectures at many other business schools worldwide. Collectively, Keeley has helped educate more than 5,300 Masters or PhD level innovation specialists worldwide. In 2016, Keeley was named one of the five global Deloitte Creative Tigers, used to deepen and shape the firm’s most valuable IP and client relationships.


Keeley was a Senior Fellow of the Center for Business Innovation in Boston. He was also a long time board member for Chicago Public Radio, where he worked to make it one of the most innovative public radio stations in the US—by developing This American Life and other path breaking radio and media programs. Keeley also serves as a member of Mayo Clinic’s External Advisory Board which, combined with Doblin’s applied innovation tradecraft, has been credited with helping Mayo Clinic to create advanced innovation initiatives to help transform one of the world’s leading healthcare providers in the midst of radical industry shifts.

Mandy Simpson

Mandy Simpson is Chief Executive at Wellington based consultancy Cyber Toa, helping companies secure their digital footprint. She has deep capital markets expertise, including four years as Chief Operating Officer at NZX, where she was an advocate for the development of blockchain technology for financial markets. Prior to that she was Chief Financial Officer for technology company Fronde.


Mandy has lived in Wellington for ten years, arriving from the UK where she worked in financial investigation and surveillance roles for Deloitte and the London Stock Exchange. She is a member of SingularityU New Zealand faculty.

Mandy sits on the boards of Punakaiki Fund and NZTech, is an active investor in early stage companies and an advisory board member at BraveNewCoin, a Queenstown based company providing digital currency news and insights.


Mandy has a law degree from Cambridge University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Mxolisi Mgojo

Mxolisi Mgojo has been in the mining industry since 2001. Previous experience includes 10 years’ experience as a software engineer as well as a career in international banking and investment banking when he was working at Societé Generale Investment Banking. Mxolisi has been with Exxaro since its inception in 2006, heading the Base Metals and Industrial Minerals business before being appointed as the Executive Head of Coal in August 2008.


In May 2015 Mxolisi was appointed as CEO Designate to follow up Sipho Nkosi as Chief Executive Officer in April 2016. Before joining Exxaro Mxolisi was a founder member of Eyesizwe Coal formed in 2001 where he was the Marketing and Logistics Manager. Mxolisi has a BSc degree in Computer Science (North Eastern University, USA), an Honours degree in Energy Studies (Rand Afrikaans University), a Diploma in International Financial Management and an MBA (Henley Management College, UK).


He also attended a Societé Generale Investment Banking and Corporate Finance Programme (Kellogg, USA) and an Advanced Management Programme (Wharton).

Nicholas Haan

Nicholas Haan has worked at the intersection of science, technology, social challenges, and innovation for the last 25 years. His issues of focus have included disaster relief, food security, environment, energy, public health, education, genetics, and information systems. And his affiliations have included the United Nations, governments, universities, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations. Nick is currently Director of Global Grand Challenges and Team Project Leader at Singularity University.


His introduction to global perspectives began as a science teacher in a remote Kenyan village with the Peace Corps. This experience led to more than 20 years of living and working internationally, mainly in East and Southern Africa (including living four years in villages without running water or electricity, which gives him a unique perspective on social challenges). Prior to joining Singularity University, Nick served as Senior Economist/Global Program Manager with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization where he oversaw a food security project operating in over 30 countries.


He is the creator of an international standard for classifying the severity of food insecurity and disasters called the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Nick is also involved with several Startups, including as strategic advisor to a mobile app company called eMobilis. He has a keen interest in the crowdsourcing movement and is on the regional board of directors for . He has been a visiting professor at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and was awarded a NASA Research Fellowship.Originally from California, Nick has a PhD in Geography, a Master in International Development, a Master in Geographic Information Systems & Remote Sensing from Clark University, and a Bachelor in Genetics from U.C. Berkeley. He is an avid sea kayaker and explorer, most recently completing an 500 km expedition across Lake Victoria by kayak.

Stephen van Coller

Stephen van Coller joined MTN Group in October 2016. His role as Vice President: Digital Services, Data Analytics and Business Development will be instrumental in shaping MTN’s
strategy to futureproof the business.


The MTN Group is a leading emerging market mobile operator and is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange as MTN. As of 31 December 2016, MTN recorded 240.4 million subscribers across its operations in 22 countries in Africa and in the Middle East. MTN Mobile Money has 50 million registered customers, 17 million active on a monthly basis. Stephen has been tasked with rapidly digitizing the customer experience and creating a data driven culture in MTN.


Stephen is a member of the MTN Group Executive Committee, Group Transformation Board and the Group Operations Committee. He is also a keen participant at World Economic Forum where he is a committee member on the Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and Society working on the Internet for All project as well as the Shaping the Future of Financial and Monetary Systems committee.


Before joining MTN Group, Stephen had over 20 years within the Banking Sector. He was at Barclays Africa Group from 2006-2016 where he was Chief Executive of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), a member of the Barclays Africa Group Limited Executive Committee and chaired the Citizenship and Innovation Committees across Africa. He was also a member of the Barclays Plc Global Investment Committee, the Barclays Social Innovation Fund and was Chairman of The Absa Foundation Trust.


Prior to joining Barclays, Stephen was at Deutsche Bank in Johannesburg from 1996-2006. His last role was Managing Director Head of Corporate Coverage and Advisory. He was a member of the Executive Committee, a member of the Transformation Committee, and was also a trustee of Deutsche Bank’s social trust – which oversees the firm’s corporate social responsibility spending in the country.


Stephen’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Stellenbosch and a Higher Diploma in Accounting from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Ramez Naam

Ramez Naam is a computer scientist, futurist, and award-winning author. Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams developing early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and the Bing search engine. His career has focused on bringing advanced collaboration, communication, and information retrieval capabilities to roughly one billion people around the world, and took him to the role of Partner and Director of Program Management within Microsoft, with deep experience leading teams working on cutting edge technologies such as machine learning, search, massive scale services, and artificial intelligence.

Between stints at Microsoft, Ramez founded and ran Apex NanoTechnologies, the world first company devoted entirely to software tools to accelerate molecular design. He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Ramez is also the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of four books: The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet (non-fiction), which looks at the environmental and natural resource challenges of climate change, energy, water, and food, and charts a course to meet those challenges by investing in the scientific and technological innovation needed to overcome them, and by changing our policies to encourage both conservation and critical innovations.

He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois. In his leisure, Ramez has climbed mountains, descended into icy crevasses, chased sharks through their native domain, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.

Raymond McCauley

Raymond McCauley is a scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur working at the forefront of biotechnology. Raymond explores how applying technology to life ‘ biology, genetics, medicine, agriculture ‘ is affecting every one of us. He is known for using storytelling and down-to-earth examples to show how quickly these changes are happening, right now. Raymond is: Chair of the Biotech Track at Singularity University ( /), a Silicon Valley think tank devoted to training leaders about exponential technologies. Co-founder and Chief Architect for BioCurious ( /), the hackerspace for biotech, a not-for-profit where professional scientists, DIYbio hobbyists and entrepreneurs come together to design the next big thing to come out of a Silicon Valley garage.

Part of the team that developed next generation DNA sequencing at Illumina, where he worked in bioinformatics, cancer sequencing, and personal genomics. His work and story have been featured in Wired, Forbes, Time, and Nature. Raymond’s postgraduate work includes studies at Texas A&M University, Stanford and UC Berkeley in electrical engineering, computer science, biophysics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and nanotechnology. Past employers are Genomera, Illumina, Ingenuity Systems, TANSTAAFL Media, QIAGEN, Viatel, NASA, and the other federal agencies. Raymond develops and advises a variety of companies and organizations, including Genomera (crowd-sourced clinical trials), Vecoy Nanomedicines (synthetic biology anti-virus platform), Androcyte (longevity research), and Nanokit (DNA origami).

Sarah Bergbreiter

Sarah Bergbreiter runs the Maryland Microrobotics Laboratory at the University of Maryland, where she develops innovative technologies that could advance medicine, consumer electronics and other sciences. She joined the university in 2008 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Having received her B.S.E degree in electrical engineering from Princeton, she worked on her M.S. and Ph.D. at Berkeley, which is where she focused on microrobotics. 


She has received multiple awards for her work, including the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2008 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists in 2013.

Sizwe Nxasana

Mr. Sizwe Errol Nxasana holds a BCom, BCompt (Hons), CA (SA) qualifications.


He started his career at Unilever. In 1989 he established Sizwe & Co, the first black-owned audit practice in Kwazulu Natal. In 1996 he became the founding partner of Nkonki Sizwe Ntsaluba now called SizweNtsaluba Gobodo which is the fifth largest audit firm in South Africa. In 1998 he joined Telkom SA as Chief Executive Officer and was responsible for its listing on the JSE and New York Stock exchanges. Sizwe was the CEO of FirstRand Banking Group since 2005 until he retired in September 2015. Sizwe serves as Chairman on various Foundations and Trusts. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of the National Education Collaboration Trust. He was appointed Chairman of the NSFAS in August 2015 and Chairman of the Ministerial Task Team developing a new funding model for students who come from poor and “missing middle” backgrounds.


Sizwe is now a social entrepreneur who recently founded Future Nation Schools which is a chain of affordable private schools in South Africa. He also founded Sifiso Learning Group which is involved in Edtech, academic publishing and real estate.


Sizwe Nxasana has been conferred with honorary doctorates by the Universities of Fort Hare, the Durban University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg and the Walter Sisulu University.

Valter Adão

As the Chief Digital and Innovation Officer for Deloitte Africa, Valter Adão leads a team of diverse specialists that create leading digital ecosystems to assist clients and employees understand the Digital Transformation journey, uplift their digital experiences and become digital at the core, in order to thrive in a world of ever changing digital technologies.


By bringing in strategic and innovative thinking and capabilities at the intersect of emerging and exponential technologies and creative design, Valter and his team guide organisations to understand, and embrace emerging exponential and disruptive technologies by helping them move beyond potential disruption towards creating new opportunities for relevance, growth and expansion.


He is a corporate entrepreneur with extensive experience in creating new businesses across a variety of industries. He works with organizations in identifying high value, innovative opportunities, and rapidly commercialising them into viable businesses.


Valter holds an MSc and an MBA. He has been with Deloitte for 9 years.  Valter is also a member of Deloitte’s Global Innovation Executive Committee.

Vivienne Ming

Named one of 10 Women to Watch in Tech in 2013 by Inc. Magazine, Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, technologist and entrepreneur. She co-founded Socos, where machine learning and cognitive neuroscience combine to maximize students’ life outcomes. 


Vivienne is also a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, where she pursues her research in neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has developed a predictive model of diabetes to better manage the glucose levels of her diabetic son and systems to predict manic episodes in bipolar suffers. She sits on the boards of StartOut, The Palm Center, Emozia, Engender, and Genderis Inc., and is a Chief Science Advisor to Cornerstone Capital, Platypus Institute, Shiftgig, and Bayes Impact.


Dr. Ming also speaks frequently on issues of LGBT inclusion and gender in technology. Vivienne lives in Berkeley, CA, with her wife (and co-founder) and their two children.

Adam Pantanowitz

Adam Pantanowitz is a fanatical technologist, who was inspired to learn by growing up in the age of the world wide web. Since studying biomedical and electrical engineering, he has worked in the field of biotech and software. Adam is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and is chartered internationally as an engineer. He is part of the first group of faculty for Singularity University South Africa, with a focus on biotechnology.


Adam has lectured Engineering and Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand since 2009. In academia, Adam’s innovations have resulted in a number of patents, academic papers and the creation of the media interest piece “Brainternet”, with its world-first, portable brain-internet livestream. Some of his other projects, on which he has worked alongside colleagues, include an eye-controlled wheelchair, a non-cognitive brain transmission channel that uses light and a thought-controlled robotic arm with a light-to-brain on/off switch. Their other innovations include a hands-free controlled surgery interaction system, a CPR monitoring system, a computer-based sign language interpreter and an innovative eye-controlled cursor.


He enjoys solving seemingly unsolvable problems and co-founded businesses AURA, Tariffic, Lawbuntu, among others. He also acted as CTO of VATIT, the world’s largest VAT reclaim business from 2015 until 2017.


Adam speaks around the world on the future of technology with a focus on tech-human convergence and also does motivational speaking.

Anita Schjøll Brede

Anita is the CEO and Co-Founder of; one of the 10 most innovative artificial intelligence startups in 2017 according to Fast Company. is an AI Science assistant, able to read, digest and connect scientific knowledge, that will grow up to be the world’s first AI Researcher within a decade.


Set out to democratize access to science, can reduce R&D departments’ time to map out existing research by 95% and remove current requirements of having deep domain expertise involved in the process, thus allowing more people to solve more difficult problems.


Anita is a highly sought after public speaker, one of Inspiring Fifty Nordic’s most inspiring women in tech, twice TEDx speaker and 500 startups, SU Global Grand Challenges Awards and TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield alumni. Anita is also the first Norwegian to attend Singularity University’s Global Solution Program in 2015 – and she put on the first Global Impact Challenge Norway in 2016.


Anita has never had what she refers to as “a real job” and is her fourth own startup. The past 10 years of her career have spanned over 9 industries including developing an e-learning tool in Silicon Valley, performing theatre for babies, reducing energy consumption in the process industry through heat exchanger network optimization, getting 30 (mainly middle-age, male) engineers to dance to ABBA in front of their co-workers, facilitating solar light business creation in Kenya, being in the centre of several startups crashing and burning, organizing entrepreneurial conferences and trying to disrupt the recruitment industry. She also dropped by 6 universities on the way. And built a race car.

Aubrey de Grey

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in ageing.


He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively.


His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the characterization of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage.


He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies longevity escape velocity.


Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

Danielle Strachman

During the founding of the Thiel Fellowship in 2010, Danielle Strachman joined to lead the design and operations. She is the visionary behind the Thiel Summit series that has been attended by around 2 000 young entrepreneurs. Previous to her work with Peter Thiel, Danielle founded and directed Innovations Academy in San Diego, a K-8 charter school serving 350 students, with a focus on student-led, project-based learning and other alternative programmes.


Danielle is passionate about disrupting education and has worked with home schoolers, co-founded the Innovations Academy and 1517 Fund. The latter supports young entrepreneurs and technology start-ups with grant, pre-seed, and seed funding. 1517 Fund understands that not everyone is suited for higher education, hence it focuses on makers, hackers and scientists, who are interested in working outside tracked institutions. It motivates people to work on their passions, learn by doing and create new technologies.

Evan Mawarire

Evan Mawarire is a civil rights activist, pastor, and leader of the #ThisFlag movement in Zimbabwe.


Mawarire first gained considerable attention on social media following a video he posted in April 2016 that expressed his frustration with the state of the nation and Robert Mugabe’s government. In the video he encourages peaceful protest and urges people to refuse to pay bribes and stand up for their rights. In July 2016, the #ThisFlag campaign resulted in a mass movement of Zimbabweans shutting down the capital in a series of protests against corruption, poverty, and abuse of office by the Mugabe regime. Mawarire was charged with inciting public violence and “attempting to overthrow the government.” The court later threw out the charges and released him. Mawarire played a leading role in the peaceful protests which brought down Robert Mugabe in December 2017.

Fred Swaniker

Fred Swaniker is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the key missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. This belief led him to launch the African Leadership Group, which aims to groom 3 million leaders for Africa by 2035. Prior to launching his entrepreneurial pursuits, Swaniker worked at McKinsey & Company in South Africa.


Swaniker has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa. Fred has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class. He holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematical Statistics from Macalester College (magna cum laude). He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.

Geci Karuri-Sebina

Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina has been Executive Manager at South African Cities Network since 2011. She previously worked with National Treasury, the CSIR, HSRC, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Advanced Policy Institute. Dr. Geci holds Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA, and a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand.


Her interests span a range of development foresight, policy, planning and practice topics, particularly relating to urban governance, the built environment and innovation systems. She has two decades’ experience working and publishing in these fields. She recently published the book Innovation Africa (Emerald Books, 2016).


Dr. Geci is a Council Member on the South African Council of Planners, a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance, and an Research Associate of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) and the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chairon Innovation and Development.


She is also a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, co-founder of, an Associate Editor for the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Taylor & Francis), and Africa Regional Editor forForesight: The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy (Emerald).

Gilan Gork

Known as the ‘Master of Influence’ by his clients, Gilan Gork is an internationally renowned Mentalist, Corporate Speaker, Trainer and Entertainer.


In 2016 Gilan founded the Influence Institute, where he and his team believe that everyone has ideas, products or services that deserve attention.


“We want to empower people with the ability to get the buy-in, agreement or support they need from others, so they can reach their highest success”, says Gilan.


Gilan has presented for Fortune500 companies in almost 30 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and America, and is the author of the bestselling book “Persuasion Games”. With two decades’ experience as a professional mentalist, Gilan creates unique learning experiences that help you unleash your influence.


He teaches how to apply a working knowledge of influence and persuasion to real-life practical situations, to be able to lead, sell, negotiate, market and inspire on a new level.


As part of Gilan’s distinctive presentation style, he interactively demonstrates a remarkable ability to decode and influence people’s thoughts. He demonstrates how through psychology you can rapidly increase your levels of trust, credibility and influence with others.


Want to work with Gilan and the Influence Institute? Drop us a mail at


For more information about Gilan and how he uses his experience as a Mentalist to help others learn how to positively influence outcomes visit


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As a mentalist, I am passionate about using influence to not only entertain, but educate my clients on how they can unlock their potential and achieve their objectives faster and more effectively. The techniques I use are as accessible to anyone as the ability to breathe, all you need to do is learn how to apply them.

Jamie Wheal

Jamie Wheal is an expert on peak performance and leadership, specializing in the neuroscience and application of Flow states. He has advised everyone from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command, the athletes of RedBull, and the owners of NFL, NBA, MLB and Premier League teams, to the executives of Google, Deloitte Cisco and Young Presidents’ Organization. He studied historical anthropology under MacArthur Fellow Patricia Nelson Limerick, specializing in utopian social movements and his work has appeared in anthologies and peer-reviewed academic journals.


Wheal co-authored Stealing Fire; a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.


Jamie Wheal is Partner at Fulcrum Advisors and Executive Directive of Flow Genome Project, an international trans-disciplinary organization dedicated to reverse-engineering the genome of Flow, or the peak performance state, by 2020.

Jason Dunn

Jason co-founded Made In Space in 2010 as a result of analyzing the best possible approaches to enabling a fully sustainable form of space colonization.


With a core focus on space manufacturing, the company has since built, flown, and operated the first and second 3D printers in space. Installed on the International Space Station (ISS), the first Made In Space Zero Gravity 3D printer began space manufacturing in November 2014. Today, Made In Space operates the second generation 3D printer on the ISS, called the Additive Manufacturing Facility, enabling groups across the planet to have hardware manufactured in space.


Additionally, Made In Space is working with NASA in the development of the Archinaut program to enable in space robotic manufacturing and assembly of large space structures. In 2016, Made In Space announced the first space mission to manufacture goods in space for use on Earth; an exotic optical fiber expected to have 100 times lower attenuation than traditional silica fiber when produced in the weightlessness of space.


Jason holds a B.S. and M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida, has studied at the Singularity University Graduate Summer Program, and is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of space exploration, advanced manufacturing, and the theory of disruption.


He serves on the University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean’s Advisory Board, the Advisory Council to the Waypaver Foundation, the Technical Advisory Board for Space For Humanity, and on the Board of Directors for the Future Space Leaders Foundation. In 2014, Forbes recognized Jason on the prestigious 30 under 30 list.

Jeffrey Rogers

Jeffrey Rogers is a facilitator, speaker and programme designer, who creates interactive educational experiences driven by storytelling, engagement and play. He’s an academically trained social scientist (University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas-Austin) with a knack for future-thinking and a deep belief in the transformative potential of exponential technologies as tools to de-risk experimentation, accelerate learning and create change.


Jeffrey speaks frequently across the world on exponential thinking and leads workshops on creative problem-solving and storytelling. He’s connected dots, ideas and people as a moderator recently for the Singularity University Executive Programme and Exponential Tech and Strategy programmes for Oracle, Google, Roche, NBC, Aegon among other global brands.


Prior to joining Singularity University, Jeffrey spent a decade building learning and development solutions across sectors and designing and delivering award-winning educational and training programmes. He currently serves as Singularity University’s Director of Faculty and Facilitator Development. Jeffrey works closely with the faculty to help individuals discover their unique strengths as communicators and teachers, and to co-create rave-worthy, learner-centred experiences online and at Singularity University.

Jody Medich

Jody is the Director of Design for SU Labs, where she provides design and innovation direction for corporate, startup and field impact teams. She employs a radical approach to Human Centered Design to create exponential solutions to the world’s toughest problems. She also speaks about Augmented and Virtual Reality for SU.


In her 23-year design career, Jody has created just about everything from holograms to physical products and R&D. Today, she is Director of Design for Singularity University Labs, where she incubates solutions to Global Grand Challenges using exponential technologies. She specializes in the avant garde of technology, covering everything from Artificial Intelligence to Robotics. She’s spent the last 9 years on AR/VR, most notably as Principal Experience Designer on the HoloLens Project at Microsoft and Principal UX at LEAP Motion. She has traveled the world, speaking about the future of these technologies and their impact on the world for groups like WIRED, Google, and TEDx. Previously, she co-founded and directed Kicker Studio, a design consultancy specializing in Natural User Interface, Perceptual Computing, and R&D for companies including Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, and DARPA.


Jody is also a practicing artist with an MFA in Painting and Design & Technology from the San Francisco Art Institute. She’s a collaborator with the art crew Five Ton Crane, and in her spare time, makes her own clothes while building robots and rockets.

John Sanei

John Sanei (Sah-nay) is an entrepreneur, innovation strategist, best-selling author and global speaker who talks about the future with a unique twist. By combining human psychology, future studies and business strategy, he guides audiences and leaders into an exponentially different future with excitement and optimism.


In What’s Your Moonshot? (his first book) he inspires the reader to ask bigger, bolder and more courageous questions about the future. In MAGNETiiZE – his second book, he invites the reader to focus on elegant, conscious and deliberate questions about the future.


John is also proudly the first African faculty member of the prestigious Singularity University in San Francisco and The Duke Corporation.

Mark Post

Professor Mark Post first got involved in a Dutch government-funded programme investigating “in vitro meat” in 2008, when he was a professor of tissue engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The programme had been initiated by Wilem van Eelen, an 86-year-old entrepreneur who held a long-time fascination for the possibility of culturing meat.When the director of the programme fell ill, about mid-way through the programme, Post took over supervision of the PhD students. Motivated by the potentially high societal impact, he continued research even after the funding had ended in 2010.


Renewed funding by a private partner enabled the realisation of a project to create a processed meat product using muscle cells from a cow.Professor Post received his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1982 and trained for a PhD in Pulmonary Pharmacology, graduating from the University of Utrecht in 1989.He joined the KNAW Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands before being appointed full-time Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA in 1996. Five years later, he moved with his lab to Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, and was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and of Physiology.


In July 2002, Dr. Post returned to the Netherlands as a Professor of Vascular Physiology at Maastricht University and Professor of Angiogenesis in Tissue Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven. Since January 2004 he has been Chair of Physiology at Maastricht University.

Mic Mann

Mic believes that the future will be abundant as the power and potential of exponential technologies increase and their price gradually drop to zero, ultimately democratising numerous industries and improving the lives of all.


As co-founder of Mann Made – an award-winning experiential brand agency that has worked with top global and local Fortune 500 companies – Mic Mann has 19 years of experience in the media, marketing and eventing industry. Mic is a prolific speaker and strategist on exponential technologies, the future of work and the changing role of professionals.


After completing the Singularity University Executive Programme in 2015, he realised that in order to #futureproofAfrica we need to embrace exponential technologies. He subsequently brought the SingularityU South Africa Summit – the first of its kind on the continent – to South Africa. Mic’s passions are entrepreneurship and break-through technologies. He is also involved in the local start-up and maker community.

Monique Giggy

Monique Giggy runs SU Ventures where she works closely with impact-focused startups that are solving world problems with technology. She and her team create programs and provide key resources that truly accelerate breakthroughs through curated networking, experience based coaching and a solid focus on metrics.


She is a seasoned value creator with proven success building/exiting companies, driving turnarounds, and leading high performing global teams. Prior to SU she conceived and helped build the world’s most popular and successful mobile golf application- Swing by Swing Golf which she sold in 2014. After the sell of her company she participated in the 2014 Global Solutions Program where she fell in love with SU.


Monique has served as an advisor and entrepreneurship coach, Venture Partner, CMO, and has started and invested in several companies.

Nastassia Arendse

Nastassia Arendse is the host of the Classic Business Breakfast on Classic FM, which is South Africa’s first morning business show that focuses on breaking business news, expert analysis and investment insight.


Nastassia has been working in broadcasting for eight years and has worked in television and radio. As a television anchor, she presented Closing Bell East Africa and Open Exchange on CNBC Africa.


As an experienced reporter, she covered global commodity markets for Mineweb, where she wrote articles that track changes and trends worldwide in the commodity space. The beat focused on how prospects for the global economy, interest rates and currencies influence investor decisions in relation to gold, precious metals, fixed income and equities.


In 2015, she hosted a show called Africa’s visionaries for SkyTV, which aired in the United Kingdom. She has interviewed a range of business leaders, including Barclays CEO Maria Ramos, Bidvest founder Brian Joffe, Comair CEO Erik Venter and former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano among others.


Nastassia has a passion for technology and innovative. She represents a new breed of journalists that have managed to break the professional mould and explore different avenues in the media and public sphere.

Nathana O’Brien Sharma

Nathana O’Brien Sharma is the Program Director for Faculty Affairs at Singularity University. She’s also faculty in Law, Policy, Ethics and Blockchain, where she writes and speaks on the impact of accelerating technologies and the future of law and governance to audiences of technologists and business leaders. Nathana is a principal at Crypto-Lotus, a cryptocurrency hedge fund and is an Advisory Board Member for the Creative Destruction Labs in Toronto, the leading academic startup accelerator in North America which supports companies in specialized technology tracks including machine learning and quantum machine learning.


Nathana is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified privacy expert in both the US and the EU and advises companies on navigating complex cross-border privacy issues, particularly in connection with the use of emerging technologies. Nathana was previously a technology transactions associate at Gunderson Dettmer, where she advised high growth VC backed startups and venture funds on a range of technology and business issues. Nathana is a JD/MBA graduate of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Management.


Nathana was a lead researcher at MetaMed, a VC backed medical research start up and has a background in the lab in immunology and neuroscience. She is also a graduate of Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program.

Nathaniel Calhoun

Nathaniel Calhoun helps guide Singularity University’s approach to changemaking and impact as a founding member and Vice Chair of its Global Grand Challenge Faculty. He has moderated numerous SU Executive Programs and Directed SU’s flagship impact program, the Global Solutions Program (GSP).


Nathaniel closely tracks innovations in emerging decentralized and platform cooperative technologies that create brand new business models and opportunities. He tracks disruptive and precedent setting changes within policy, especially related to governance and civic technologies. He specializes in helping both private and public sector actors to understand how to leverage and prepare for the growth of these and related trends, offering a unique take on the options facing an aspiring “exponential organization.”


Nathaniel also supervises the creation and implementation of digital technologies at a global scale that help alleviate poverty while increasing business literacy along with digital and financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. He does this work through CODE Innovation, a consulting company he founded in 2009 to help organizations like UNICEF and Plan International to use web and mobile technologies more effectively. Code Innovation has received financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop their Self Help Group digital platform, which is growing exponentially in nine languages and more than a dozen countries.


Nathaniel has two decades of experience in the field of education, public speaking, moderation and resilience building. He tracks the threat of technological unemployment and the relative merits of the solutions that humanity is offering around this issue. After living and working in Africa for more than a decade, Nathaniel enjoys helping organizations to think through their strategies with new and emerging markets.


Nathaniel is available for a variety of customized speaking and consulting packages. A sampling of keynote presentations is described below. Talks below can be given in 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 minute varieties. Prices vary depending on industry, location, duration and special requests.

Nnamdi Oranye

Nnamdi is passionate about the power of technology and innovation to change the lives of Africans. He is the International Remittance Lead for Standard Bank Group and the author of two books on African innovation -Disrupting Africa: The Rise and Rise of African InnovationandTaking On Silicon Valley: How Africa’s Innovators will change its future, both books showing how African technology and digital payments can propel Africa as a technology powerhouse on the global stage.


His many travels and business experience across the continent have greatly contributed to his huge optimism for Africa and its bright future. He features frequently as a presenter and chairperson across various conferences in Africa, contributes regularly to media houses on the subject of innovation.


He has been named amongst the”100 most influential names in Africa’s telecoms, media and ICT industry”by the AfricaCom100 Research Board and more recently, been named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent”, a MIPAD initiative, as part of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent.

Phathizwe Malinga

As the Interim CEO of SqwidNet, Phathizwe Malinga will now also be responsible for building an IoT connectivity business in South Africa in partnership with International IoT giant Sigfox.


In addition to his new role, he will continue overlooking the development of the strategy and Connected Devices Solutions divisions for SqwidNet, a fully owned subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa. The role of leading the SqwidNet comes naturally to Malinga as he has been in various leadership roles over the years.


He is no stranger to the role of a strategist, as he consulted with both Max Healthcare and Life Healthcare Group in his previous position with the organisation. He has been involved in the information technology and telecommunication industry for over two decades, having held senior management level positions.


Before joining SqwidNet, Malinga was the Head of Application Strategy at Life Healthcare Group, and he was in charge of the IT Application strategy and Software Development for the group. Phathizwe completed his Executive MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Cape Town and he is also a Guest Lecturer with the university as well.

Richard Browning

Adetayo Bamiduro is the Cofounder and CEO of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) – a last-mile delivery platform that uses proprietary apps, maps and motorcycles to provide express delivery to retailers in Africa.


Adetayo graduated top 2% in his Computer Science Class at the University of Ibadan and earned his MBA from 2 of the world’s most prestigious institutions – MIT in the USA and London Business School in the UK. Before founding MAX, Adetayo worked as a Developer, Product Manager and Management Consultant across 4 continents for global companies such as PwC, Shell and Dalberg.


During his MBA program, Adetayo was awarded the MIT Legatum and MasterCard Fellowships to develop MAX. After graduating in summer 2015, Adetayo launched MAX and immediately led his team to remarkable success. Within 3 months, MAX grew 1500% and signed up over 100 retailers including


In September 2015, MAX became the first startup from Africa to join the exclusive Techstars New York Startup Accelerator Program. By December 2015, MAX had set another record as the 1st technology startup from Africa to win 1st runner-up at Techcrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield in London.


MAX is on a mission to fix Africa’s broken urban delivery and transport system using proprietary apps that connect independent drivers to businesses and consumers in real-time. MAX clocked 20,000 deliveries in July 2016 and is on its way to becoming Africa’s No 1 Urban Transport Network.

Scott Schiller

Global Head of Customer & Market Development, 3D Printing Business –


(Joseph) Scott Schiller is the Global Head of Customer and Market Development for HP Inc.’s 3D Printing business unit. His position has accountability for vertical market development, strategic customer engagement as well as strategic partnerships and alliances across HP’s 3D printing initiatives.


Since joining the 3D printing organization in 2014, Scott served as Business Director for the launch of Multi Jet Fusion™. Prior to that he spent eight years as part of the team that built a new business in HP focused on mass customization solutions for high volume print manufacturing. This business continues today as HP’s PageWide Press division.


Prior to joining HP, Scott had a variety of entrepreneurial and product development roles with companies such as Honeywell International Inc., Microsoft Corp. as well as leading several smaller businesses in Seattle.


Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and a master’s of business administration in Technology Marketing from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Shayne Mann

As co-founder and CEO of Mann Made – an award-winning, experiential brand agency for top local and global Fortune 500 companies – Shayne Mann has 17 years’ of experience in the media, marketing and eventing industries. Over the decades he has successfully driven Mann Made to become a 65-employee strong company that specialises in activations, events, media products and productions, as well as mobile and telecoms.


Shayne is a SingularityU alumnus and was also the co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa. He epitomises exponential leadership and is passionate about how exponential and disruptive technologies can drive change to positively impact South Africa and the continent.


Shayne is passionate about the drivers of entrepreneurship and is involved in the local start-up and maker communities. He has partnered with the Maharishi University of Management, Taddy Blecher and The Ubuntu Foundation. In partnership with an international private equity investor, he has invested in a variety of industries including property, medicine, music, media, and tech, alongside his brother Mic. His personal passions include cycling, meditation and leading a healthy lifestyle and creating a positive impact in the country through all he does.

Stacey Ferreira

Stacey Ferreira is an Arizona native who co-founded her first company, a single sign on company called MySocialCloud, when she graduated from high school. She attracted investors like Sir Richard Branson, Jerry Murdock and Alex Welch through Twitter who invested $1.2M in the business when she was just 18 years old.


In 2013, Stacey sold to and went on to publish her first best-selling book called 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers & Changing the World.


Stacey is currently the CEO of Forge, an enterprise workforce management software that empowers hourly employees to work on-demand while providing retailers the tools needed to source, hire, manage and retain their workforces.


In addition to her entrepreneurial work, Ferreira was selected as one of twenty Thiel Fellows selected for the 2015 Thiel Fellowship and is a US State Department Speaker who has given speeches about entrepreneurship in Russia, Egypt, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to name a few.

Tanya Knowles

Tanya Knowles is the Managing Executive of Fractal Solutions, a Division of Strate (Pty) Ltd. Fractal Solutions is tasks with the research and development of disruptive technologies, including blockchain / distributed ledger technology. Strate is South Africa’s authorised Central Securities Depository providing electronic settlement of securities concluded on various stock exchange in the country. Tanya is Chair of the South African Financial Markets Blockchain Consortium representing close to 50 of the country’s largest financial institutions. She is currently completing her certification in blockchain technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds a BA, PDM and MBA all from the University of the Witwatersrand. Having presented across four continents, Tanya is a well renowned speaker and thought leader in her area of expertise. In her private capacity, Tanya is involved in a number of women’s leadership and mentoring initiatives aimed at professional business women.

Taddy Blecher

Dr Taddy Blecher is CEO of the Maharishi Institute and the Imvula Empowerment Trust, CEO of the Community and Individual Development Association and former Chairperson of the South African National Government task team on entrepreneurship, education and job creation. He is a pioneer of the free tertiary education movement in South Africa and has helped establish six free-access institutions of higher learning.


Taddy co-founded the Branson School of Entrepreneurship with Sir Richard Branson and has raised over R500 million in cash, property and equity to support free access to post-secondary school education. As a result, over 17 000 unemployed South Africans have been educated, found employment and transitioned from living in poverty to the middle class. These formerly unemployed youth now have combined salaries in excess of R1 billion per annum and expected lifetime earnings of R27.2 billion. Over 600 000 young school-going South Africans have been reached with his one-week education and life-skills training courses.


Taddy was chosen as one of 21 Icons in South Africa, is a 2002 World Economic Forum “Global Leader of Tomorrow”​ award recipient, a 2005 World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader of the World”, a Skoll Global Social Entrepreneur, who has won a $1 million prize for his work and has been honoured with two honorary doctorates. In 2009, author Tom Peters named Taddy one of his top five most influential entrepreneurs in the world over the last 30 years. Over 50 published books have profiled his work, including three recent books by Sir Richard Branson.


As a qualified actuary and management consultant, Taddy is passionate about the approach of Consciousness-Based Education, a system of education that develops the full potential of each student. This has led the Maharishi Institute to win the first prize in a global competition to find the most promising and innovative education initiative in the world.

Tiffany Vora

Tiffany Vora is an educator, writer, research scientist, and entrepreneur who is excited to bring her diversity of experience to Singularity University as Principal Faculty in Medicine and Digital Biology.


After earning undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry at New York University, Tiffany worked on cutting-edge drug-discovery technologies at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Her PhD research in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, which was funded through NASA, brought her into the emerging fields of genomics, systems biology, and computational biology. It was during this time that Tiffany developed an interest in the cultural shifts that accompany new technologies and new ways of thinking. She translated this interest into a global perspective by joining the American University of Cairo as a Visiting Assistant Professor, where she spearheaded curriculum development for core classes in scientific thinking as well as computational biology classes for non-programmers.


Upon her return to the United States, Tiffany founded Bayana Science, an editing, writing, and consulting company dedicated to excellence in science communication. Tiffany also served as an instructor for the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. She has contributed to literally thousands of grant proposals, research articles, presentations, textbooks, and other works spanning medicine, computer science, applied physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, and the life sciences; her biology expertise encompasses fields as diverse as the microbiome, ancient molecules, biophysics, environmental monitoring, tissue engineering, biohacking, and the quantitative analysis of large biological datasets.


Tiffany loves encountering the natural world through hiking and scuba diving. She travels extensively with her family, seeking out new experiences and cultures. She enjoys sharing her passions through teaching, writing, and public speaking.

Laila Pawlak

Laila Pawlak is an angel investor, board member, political advisor, a SingularityU faculty member and the co-founder and CEO of SingularityU Nordic. She heads up the +7 000m2 SingularityU Nordic innovation campus based in Copenhagen. Ethics and purposeful business are key to Laila, which is why SingularityU Nordic is one of Scandinavia’s first Benefit Corporations.


She is passionate about innovation through human-centred design. Along with her partner, Kris Østergaard, she is the author of The Fundamental 4’s: How to Design Extraordinary Customer Experiences in an Exponential World as well as the Danish version of the bestseller Exponential Organizations.


Laila co-founded thinkubator – a corporate, crowd-funded accelerator programme that kickstarts innovation, leverages technology, and deep dives into the exponential mindset. She also co-founded the award-winning Copenhagen-based innovation hub DARE2mansion – a professional playground, incubator, co-working and event space, where entrepreneurs, companies and academia create disruptive businesses and scale positive impact.


She has been awarded the Experience Management Achievement Award, was recognised as one of Denmark’s top 100 most talented business executives by the leading national business magazine, and has been nominated for Female Entrepreneur of the Year twice.

Stafford Masie

Stafford Masie is a computer scientist, who has been involved in the IT industry for more than 25 years and thrives in the world of disruption. He has been closely involved in ICT companies, such as Telkom, Dimension Data, Novell and Google, and is a board member of the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research). Stafford was responsible for establishing Google’s presence in South Africa and orchestrating their initial broader Africa strategy.


After leaving Google in 2010, he founded several fintech businesses and has since established several technology start-ups, which have expanded globally, most notably Payment Pebble and Payment Blade. One of his recently-founded companies raised capital via an international venture capital firm and Visa Inc., the latter of which also acquired an equity stake.


Stafford continues his entrepreneurial journey as a mentor to early-stage tech start-ups – the two most notable of which are Gattaca (an artificial intelligence platform) and Snaptutor (a platform for social education interaction). He also guest lectures at several business schools, such as Wits, GIBS and Henley, and serves as a non-executive director on the board of ADvTECH – Africa’s largest private school education body.

Rachel Sibley

Rachel Sibley is a futurist, artist, and strategist who specialises in immersive technologies – primarily augmented and virtual reality. As AR/VR faculty at SingularityU, she helps Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs worldwide ramp into exponential mindsets and strategically deploy immersive technology.


While a VP at Leap Motion, Rachel led go-to-market efforts to bring physical interaction to augmented and virtual reality. Before that, she helped scale IBM Design by opening 29 global design studios within a year, catalysing culture change, and creating a more design-centric ethos.


As we move into the cyborg generation and technology becomes increasingly intimate, personalised and kinaesthetic, so Rachel’s background as an award-winning dancer and choreographer afford her an unique perspective on the possibilities and perils of embodying this complex new digital world. Rachel co-authored a Diversity Manifesto featured in VentureBeat and showcased her choreography at SXSW and the Cotton Bowl. WIRED named her a “Women to Watch” in VR and AR. Through consulting, speaking, and senior leadership roles at large companies (IBM) and start-ups (Leap Motion), Rachel helps envision, identify, and design how exponential technologies will shape our future.

Alix Rübsaam

Alix Rübsaam is a researcher in philosophy of technology, cultural analysis, and posthumanism. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). There, she researches the collaboration between human and nonhuman (technological) agents at the intersection of humans and computational systems.


As a faculty fellow at SingularityU, she investigates the societal and cultural impact of exponential technologies. Her focus is on changing ideas about humanity in technological contexts, such as artificial intelligence, autonomous robotics, information technologies, and digital environments. Her speaking topics include: how to make sense of abundant information; living in a computational era; why artificial intelligence doesn’t mean the end of humankind; and how to redefine humanity in the age of artificial intelligence, amongst others.


Alix has also written about cyberpunk and science fiction literature, autonomous weapons, and embodied robotics. She has an MA in Cultural Analysis and graduated from SingularityU’s Graduate Studies Programme in 2015. Her most recent publication is a chapter on Augmented Intelligence: The Future of Work and Learning (2018).

Suzanne Gildert

Suzanne Gildert is co-founder of Sanctuary AI, a company with a mission to build synthetic humans – so called synths – that are indistinguishable from humans physically, cognitively and emotionally. Sanctuary AI is structured to explore cutting-edge technology and the ethical issues that arise from creating human-like machines.


Prior to founding Sanctuary AI, Suzanne founded Kindred Inc., an artificial intelligence and robotics company. She built over 30 robots by hand to demonstrate Kindred’s core technology concept of human robot teleoperation for reinforcement learning. Suzanne grew the company to over 50 employees and opened offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and San Mateo. She helped raise over $50 million in venture funding for Kindred from top-tier investors, including Eclipse, Google Ventures, First Round Capital and Data Collective.


Suzanne holds a PhD in Physics and Electronics from the University of Birmingham. She is a SingularityU faculty member in robotics and artificial intelligence. Her speaking topics include, AI in Human-Like Bodies: Technology and Implications; and Robot Rights, among others.

Sivan Ya’ari

Sivan Ya’ari is the founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa, a New York-based non-profit that brings Israeli solar, agricultural and water technologies to rural African villages. She was born in Israel, raised in France, and educated in the United States with degrees in Finance from Pace University and a Master’s in International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University.


Early on in her career, Sivan identified an opportunity for a more sustainable energy solution and developed the groundwork for what would become Innovation: Africa. Having worked in Africa for over 20 years, Sivan has vast knowledge, experience, understanding and love for the African continent.


Innovation: Africa has received many awards, including the Innovation Award from the United Nations. Most recently, Sivan has been recognised as one of the “40 Under 40 Most Promising Israelis” by Globes Magazine, one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Israel” by Forbes Israel, and one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Israelis in International Business, Science and Culture 2017” by NoCamels.

Murendeni Mafumo

South African Murendeni Mafumo has always been curious by nature and asked many questions as a child. It’s no surprise then that he studied chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and was a 2014 Yale University Mandela Washington Fellow. Today, he is a water scientist with 10 years’ experience working within the water and sanitation sector. Murendeni worked as part of a team of scientists in designing and monitoring water treatment systems for the City of Cape Town, which only receives winter rains.


As the founder of Kusini Water, he has developed a mobile, solarpowered water purification system, with the mission to ensure that every African has access to safe drinking water. It uses Macadamia nut shells as activated carbon and a locally-produced membrane to treat larger amounts of water than current reverse osmosis best practices. Through the Internet of Things a variety of smart tools monitor water usage and quality. In the future, he hopes that Kusini Water, as a private water utility company, will work within communities to significantly improve access to drinking water across the continent.

Arturo Elizondo

Arturo Elizondo is the CEO of Clara Foods – a food-biotech company based in San Francisco that is disrupting food technology based on the realisation that the decades-old factory farm model cannot sustain the dietary needs of 7 billion people. He believes that technology holds the answer and that biotech foods can also help to address food security. Arturo is creating protein-based food products that cater to a growing appetite for sustainable foods that are humane. Clara Foods leverages advanced fermentation to brew proteins that are cleaner, greener and kinder to the environment. They are also developing performance protein products, which include the world’s first animal-free egg white. His number one priority is to get the price of their egg whites competitive with the market, so that anyone can afford them. “Clara” actually means egg white in Spanish.


Prior to founding Clara Foods, Arturo served under Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the US Department of Agriculture, and Credit Suisse. He holds a degree in Government and Comparative Politics from Harvard University.

David Bray

David Bray was named one of the top “24 Americans Who Are Changing the World” under the age of 40, by Business Insider. He was also named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for 2016-2021.


Since 2017, David has served as Executive Director for the People- Centred Internet coalition co-founded by Vint Cerf. He also provides support and expertise for community-focused projects that measurably improve lives using the Internet. David is also Chief Strategy Officer for the advanced geospatial company MapLarge, and serves as President of the non-profit start-up, which ensures individuals maintain continuous choice and consent about their personal data.


David has served in a variety of leadership roles within turbulent environments, including bioterrorism preparedness and response from 2000-2005. He spent time on the ground in Afghanistan in 2009, serving as the non-partisan Executive Director for a bipartisan National Commission on R&D, and providing leadership as a senior executive for a non-partisan federal agency.

Habib Frost

Habib Frost is an entrepreneur, inventor, researcher, physician as well as a SingularityU faculty member in the field of medicine. At the age of 23, he graduated as the youngest Medical Doctor in Denmark. In 2017, he made it onto the Forbes list of ‘30 under 30’.


Habib is the founder and CEO of Neurescue, which developes computeraided medical devices to help emergency patients. He is a speaker on the future of medicine and digital biology and how applied computing can save your life. Habib has experience working with sensors, robotics and the gene editing technology CRISPR. His interests lie in how these technologies will affect health in the future.


Habib is certified as a Trauma Team Leader by the American College of Surgeons (ATLS). In 2015, he won Denmark’s Global Impact Challenge at SingularityU Nordic and attended Singularity University’s 10-week Flagship Programme at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley.

Benji Rosman

Benji Rosman is part of the SingularityU South Africa faculty with a focus on Machine Learning, artificial intelligence, Robotics and Automation. He is a Principal Researcher in the Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa.


Benji is also a senior lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he runs the Robotics, Autonomous Intelligence and Learning Laboratory. He received his MSc in artificial intelligence and PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh.


He also has a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand. His research interests focus primarily on reinforcement learning and decision making in autonomous systems, in particular how learning can be accelerated through abstracting and generalising knowledge gained from solving related problems. Benji is one of the founders and organisers of the Deep Learning Indaba, the largest machine learning summer school in the world, based entirely in Africa.

Tilly Lockey

Fourteen-year-old Tilly Lockey’s life has been positively impacted by advancements in robotics and technology. Originally from the United Kingdom, Tilly serves as an inspirational role model and a real-life example of the possibilities that the future holds, as she travels around the world speaking.


She was diagnosed with meningococcal at a young age and sadly lost both of her arms. She now has customised hero arms, specifically designed to fit her needs, that are made by Bristol-based Open Bionics. They are the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arms that allow for multi-grip functionality and offer empowering aesthetics. This lightweight and affordable myoelectric prosthesis can grab, pinch, high-five, fist bump and give a thumbs-up. They also allow her to pick up small objects, play computer games and do online make-up tutorials. Tilly is at the forefront of testing the technology and has played a huge role in working with the company on various updates.

Kim Hulett

Kim Hulett is a SingularityU South Africa faculty member with a focus on biotechnology, advanced reproductive technologies, designer babies and longevity. She is the founder and CEO of Next Biosciences, a South African-based biotech company that combines medicine, science and technology to create innovative products. Next Biosciences is involved in stem cell research, genetics and biologics. It is the largest cryogenic bank on the African continent and the market leader in stem cell storage and reproductive genetic testing.


She is passionate about leadership and encourages people to invest in themselves through a curious mindset of continuous learning. Kim is committed to removing barriers and ensuring that talents are recognised to create employment and investment opportunities in South Africa and the continent. She believes this is possible with the right leadership, values, and by working smartly through leveraging technology with an abundance mindset.


Kim has a Computer Science degree and is a qualified Chartered Accountant with a certification in International Tax. Through her background in finance, she has been exposed to a number of industries from an advisory perspective and at the incubation phase for a number of businesses.

Bas Verkaik

Bas Verkaik holds an MSc degree in Sustainable Energy Technology from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. As part of his study programme, he became a member of the STORM Eindhoven team in early 2014 in the role of spokesperson. He was also responsible for establishing and maintaining technical partnerships. This team of 23 students managed to secure support from more than 150 sponsors to ride 23 000km around the world in 80 days on a self-developed electric motorcycle. Their goal was to illustrate the potential of e-mobility, as they only relied on existing electricity grids. The motorcycle had an electric range of 400km thanks to its modular and swappable battery pack.


After finishing the world tour in 2016, Bas co-founded a STORM spinoff called SPIKE Technologies. SPIKE designs and produces high quality Li-Ion battery solutions for electric vehicle applications. The company supports the entire process from engineering and prototyping to manufacturing and assembly. Moreover, SPIKE provides engineering services related to the integration of electric vehicle powertrains.

Andres de León

Known globally for his focused management style and creation of growth-oriented businesses, Andres de León was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of HyperloopTT, after serving as Chief Operations Officer, with the responsibility of overseeing the global operations. He has been critical to the development of HyperloopTT and leads the largest crowd-powered team of professionals ever assembled.


Andres brings 30 years of international experience as a senior executive in manufacturing, finance management, private-public business negotiation, as well as tax and audit supervision to HyperloopTT. He has transacted corporate affairs in Spain, Belgium, Portugal, France, Italy, Mexico, Chile and the United States. His experience is a perfect match for the globally collaborative entity

Kris Østergaard

Kris Østergaard is the co-founder and Chief Learning and Innovation Officer of SingularityU Nordic, as well as a faculty member of Singularity University. He designs and runs education and innovation programmes for organisations and start-ups at SingularityU Nordic’s +7 000m2 innovation campus based in Copenhagen.


Kris is the author of Transforming Legacy Organizations: Turn Your Established Business into an Innovation Champion to Win the Future, and co-author of The Fundamental 4’s: How to Design Extraordinary Customer Experiences in an Exponential World. He is currently writing a book on innovation in legacy organisations.


Together with his partner Laila Pawlak, Kris launched Thinkubator – a corporate, crowd-funded accelerator programme that kickstarts innovation, leverages technology, and deep dives into the exponential mindset. He also co-founded the award-winning Copenhagen-based innovation hub DARE2mansion – a professional playground, incubator, co-working and event space, where entrepreneurs, companies and academia to create disruptive businesses and scale positive impact.


He has more than 15 years of research experience with a specialisation in qualitative methodologies and gaining insights into the foundation of strategy building, designing extraordinary customer experiences, and affecting human behaviour in a positive way.

Amin Toufani

Amin Toufani is the CEO of T Labs. He was formerly the director of strategy and Vice President of Strategic Relations at Singularity University. He brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial and policy perspectives to the dialogue of innovation on campus.


Before Singularity, Amin founded for-profit and social impact organisations in a range of domains including: artificial intelligence, peer-to-peer lending, bitcoin, human rights, international development, carbon offsetting, and solar energy.


Google Search ranks him as the world’s best guitar player – a title he readily rejects. In addition to his work at SingularityU, he is building the world’s first hedge fund for the poor, as well as Reversopedia – a reverse encyclopedia composed of things we know we don’t know.


Amin has a degree in artificial intelligence from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Stanford, and an MPA in economic policy from Harvard. He attended Harvard and Stanford concurrently and graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.