Mic Mann,co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa and co-organiser of the SingularityU South Africa Summit, wrote an opinion article for The Star about how virtual reality is transforming the work space and the future of the professional. Exponential technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality as well as immersive computing are transforming the way in which we work and network across all industries.
For the first time, the Classic Business Breakfast and Moneyweb team conducted a radio interview while immersed in the virtual world. Watch the video below as Aaron Frank, principal faculty at Singularity University, and Mic Mann, director at Mic Mann and co-organiser of the SingularityU South Africa Summit, share developments and trends in the VR space.
Delegates at the second annual SingularityU South Africa Summit witnessed the future of human flight as Richard Browning, Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries, showcased a Jet Suit flight.
01 October 2018: With two weeks to go until the much-anticipated second annual SingularityU South Africa Summit, organisers Mann Made have announced that delegates will witness human flight as Richard Browning, Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries, showcases a Jet Suit flight.
His invention is what the dreams of Dedalus, the Greek father of flight, were made of. It’s also in line with the advancements in mobility seen in recent years with the rise of autonomous vehicles; self-driving modular, electric pods; drone deliveries and single-seater quadcopters. South African export Elon Musk projects that the Hyperloop and SpaceX mega-rockets will reduce long-distance travel to and from any destination in the world to under an hour.
“We have seen that all forms of mobility are being disrupted by exponential technologies,” says Mic Mann, co-Organiser of the SingularityU South Africa Summit and co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa. “Africa has some of the most densely populated and mobility-challenged cities in the world. Human flight can make hard-to-reach parts of the continent much more accessible, which may, in turn, help to solve some of the continent’s grand challenges.”
While some may think that human flight is still far off, SingularityU South Africa Summit speaker Richard Browning will prove otherwise. Browning founded the pioneering aeronautical innovation company called Gravity Industries. Since its launch in March 2017, Gravity has invented, built and patented a human flight system. His dream is to reimagine human flight through an elegant collaboration of the mind, body and cutting-edge technology. This vision led to the creation of the Gravity Jet Suit, parts of which have been 3D printed. Its five gas turbine jet engines generate 147kg of thrust that allows for vertical lift and directional propulsion at speeds of up to 70km/h, that can currently cover a distance of 1.4km for the duration of eight minutes.
“After 58 live flights in over 20 countries we are delighted to be performing in Africa for the first time at the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018, where we will be sharing our journey and our plans for the future International Jet Suit Race Series,” says Richard Browning.
Gravity Industries is also at the forefront of developing Jet Suits for future everyday use. Earlier this year, its Director of Flight Training, Dr Angelo Grubisic, broke the record for Jet Suit Speeds of 74km/h. While a Gravity Jet Suit was sold earlier this year in London for $445 000, Browning, alongside his team, wants to create a world-class aeronautical engineering business that challenges the perceived boundaries of human aviation and makes it much more affordable in the future.
Join Richard Browning and other speakers at the 2018 SingularityU South Africa Summit on 15 and 16 October where African and global innovators will enable delegates and their organisations to keep pace with advances in science and exponential technologies. To learn more about the SingularityU South Africa Summit and to buy your ticket, visit: https://singularityusouthafricasummit.org/.
SingularityU South Africa will create a platform that brings together partners to have strategic conversations and collaborate on our collective future
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA/ MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF., USA October 29, 2018 – Singularity University (SU), a global community with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to help solve humanity’s grand challenges, has announced SingularityU South Africa as the first African SingularityU country partner. SingularityU South Africa will work with established businesses, entrepreneurs, and future innovators to create new opportunities for innovation and impact in South Africa, Africa, and around the world.
“We’ve been working with a grassroots movement of distinguished alumni and a group of forward-thinking South African organisations to establish SingularityU South Africa,” said Rob Nail, CEO and associate founder of Singularity University. “South Africa is a recognised African leader in many areas of technology and innovation, including IoT, machine learning, big data, and energy. Our intent with the new country partnership is to build on these achievements and create new opportunities that can drive local and global impact.”
South Africa is the fifth country partner for Singularity University. This adds to the organisation’s growing global network of business partners, which currently includes SingularityU Nordic, SingularityU The Netherlands, SingularityU Canada, and SingularityU Portugal. SU collaborates with in-country leaders to bring SU programming and perspectives to local executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, thought leaders, and more.
“Singularity University has changed the way that we as a company, Mann Made, and as the local organisers of SingularityU South Africa, think about our business and the future. We have fully immersed ourselves into the world of exponential technologies, purchased 3D printers, and invested in robots, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. This is because we understand that we live in extraordinary times, where progress is accelerating at an exponential rate,” said Shayne Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.
Last August, the inaugural SingularityU South Africa Summit brought together local and Pan-African leaders in technology, business, and innovation to explore the impact of exponential technologies on the continent’s most pressing issues, including the future of work and employment, healthcare, privacy and security, good governance, and the environment. This year the second annual Summit took place 15-16 October to a sold-out audience of 1900 delegates.
As a continuation of these events and by establishing SingularityU South Africa, organisers will further discussions and actionable steps to address these issues.
“We have sourced the leading experts and futurists in their fields from across South Africa to help bring SingularityU material to the local business and corporate landscape, so that we can learn how to navigate the future together. We are thrilled to extend Singularity University to South Africa, so that we may continue with our mission to #futureproofAfrica,” added Mic Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.
The SingularityU South Africa Executive Programme, scheduled for 06-09 March 2019 in Johannesburg, will be SingularityU South Africa’s first EP event. The SingularityU South Africa Executive Programme is designed to focus on the exponential trends, topics, and challenges that are most important to Africans in a unique learning environment to help business leaders explore ethical leadership in a world of rapid change. Apply today to join the group.
About SingularityU South Africa
SingularityU South Africa is the fifth country partner of Singularity University and the first in Africa. Our Massive Transformative Purpose is to build an empowered network of globally connected changemakers across Africa, who are able to innovate and implement solutions that will solve some of the continent’s greatest challenges. We want to leapfrog Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We can do so by empowering its people to create abundant, sustainable, and holistic ways of living and working. In this way, we can #futureproofAfrica. SU’s approach to technology and exponential thinking can help to solve South Africa’s and the continent’s greatest challenges around unemployment, education, infrastructure, energy, and medicine, among others. As a catalyst for change, SingularityU South Africa runs custom education, innovation, and impact programmes that help others leverage rapidly accelerating technologies – including artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, blockchain, and digital biology – in innovative ways to unlock solutions that can positively impact billions of lives.
ABOUT SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY
Singularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all. SU’s collaborative platform empowers individuals and organisations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. A certified benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Peter H. Diamandis with programme funding from leading organisations including Google, Deloitte, and UNICEF.
“The new opportunities we will experience by extending our lifespan to live for centuries is thrilling, especially when you consider human-machine convergence and the latest discoveries about human potential and peak performance,” says Mic Mann, Director of Mann Made and co-organiser of SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018, taking place in Johannesburg on 15-16 October. “It’s also more important than ever to find solutions to the challenges that arise from an increasing global population and the extension of the average lifespan. Dr Aubrey de Grey champions the idea of longevity escape velocity, which predicts that life expectancy will increase by a year every year going forward in the very near future, making us amortal.” The speakers listed below are working to solve food and water security, improve our health and wellbeing, as well as our ability to perform beyond our peak.
Sustainable, hunger-busting biology
Professor of tissue engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Mark Post’s research reveals that it takes around three kilogrammes of feed, 189 litres of water, seven square metres of land and approximately 1 000 Btu (British thermal unit) of energy to produce a Quarter Pounder hamburger patty. It’s for that reason – and because we’re already using 70 per cent of all our agricultural land to produce meat – that he’s questioning how we will feed the world in 2050, when we have a projected 10 billion people and a 70 per cent increase in the demand for meat.
“We will need to come up with other solutions, such as using a cow’s muscle stem-cells to produce beef. By doing that you could reduce the total headcount of cows across the world and you would not have methane emission and resource issue,” says Post. In October 2018, he’ll discuss the state of food security and highlight some of his research and findings with delegates at SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018.
Performing at Peak to boost our human potential
What is the silver bullet that makes some people perform better than others? “McKinsey has completed a 10-year study on peak performance in top executives. They found that top executives in Flow are five times more productive than out of Flow. They realised that if we could increase the amount all of us are in Flow by a mere 20 per cent, overall workplace productivity would double,” says leading expert on the neuro-physiology of human performance and Director of Programmes for the Flow Genome Project, Jamie Wheal.
Wheal will address SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 delegates on ways that we can all tap into our true potential, harness Flow, and use it to potentially change the future of work and the future of humanity.
Digital Biology to eliminate diseases
“Just like a computer has an operating system built on a code of ones and zeros, all life on earth runs on the same operating system, namely DNA. When we start thinking about DNA not as a physical molecule but rather as digital information, then everything we can do to computer code, we can also do to DNA, and it’s known as Digital Biology,” explains Dr Tiffany Vora, Principal Faculty in Medicine and Digital Biology at Singularity University. “If we want to create code from scratch, that’s synthetic biology, if I want to move chunks of code around, that’s genetic engineering, something we’ve known how to do since the 1970s. One of the most exciting advances now, is our ability to debug DNA code, go into individual As, Cs, Ts and Gs and change them, precisely and permanently. That’s what gene splicing is, precise and permanent changes to the source code of life,” she continues.
Vora will share more about Digital Biology’s applications and potential solutions, such as cutting-edge DNA sequencing and gene editing technologies that allow us to understand, model, prevent, and reverse disease in a patient-specific manner.
Living to 1000
Scientists predict that the first person who will live to reach their 1000th birthday has already been born. “If we misunderstand the nature of aging, then we are at high risk of presuming we can’t do anything about it,” says biomedical gerontologist Dr Aubrey de Grey. “Imagine we could stop our bodies causing damage, or if we could repair the damage that was created every so often, so that the overall amount does not continue to increase. While the first is impossible because it’s just against the laws of physics – our bodies do age – the second option of repairing it, is entirely doable. This whole approach of comprehensive repair of the damage that the body does to itself has a good chance of reaching a kind of decisive level of development within the next 20 years or so, which means, of course, that we should be able to take people in their 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s and actually fix them back up.”
As the chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation, De Grey isn’t just theorising, he has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks down aging into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one.
Now in its second year, the two-day Singularity University 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. It will showcase detailed talks by world-renowned entrepreneurs, academics, authors and experts in the fields of exponential technologies, such as FinTech, Additive Manufacturing, BioTech, robotics and artificial intelligence among others. The annual summit attracts government officials, c-suite executives and students from around southern Africa. It offers networking opportunities to help spearhead innovation in the private and public sector, while tackling some of the continent’s grand challenges as it aims to #futureproofAfrica. Book your ticket for this mind-expanding, innovation stimulating summit today.To learn more about the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018 and to buy your ticket, visit: https://singularityusouthafricasummit.org/
About the SingularityU South Africa Summit
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. Singularity University speakers on stage include:
- David Roberts – Chairman at HaloDrop and 1Qbit, expert on disruptive innovation and exponentially advancing technology
- Jason Dunn – co-founder of Made in Space
- Jody Medich – Director of Design for SU Labs, speaking about Augmented, Virtual and Extended Reality
- Stacey Ferreira – Entrepreneur and bestselling author of 2 billion under 20
- Fred Swaniker – Ghanaian founder of Leadership Group, which aims to groom 3 million African leaders by 2035
- Ramez Naam – a computer scientist, futurist and award-winning author
- Nathaniel Calhoun – Vice-Chair of SingularityU Global Grand Challenge Faculty
Save the date for the mind-expanding, innovation-stimulating, SingularityU South Africa Summit 2018, taking place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the 15th and 16th of October 2018. To learn more about the SingularityU South Africa Summit visit: https://singularityusouthafricasummit.org/.
Contact Edelman South Africa to secure your media pass.