Singularity Group

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Singularity Education Group
IndustryEducation
FounderPeter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil
HeadquartersSanta Clara, CA
Key people
Steve Leonard, CEO
BrandsSingularity University, SingularityU, SU Ventures, Futurism News (formerly), Uncommon Partners Labs
Number of employees
<250

Singularity Education Group (using the public names Singularity Group, Singularity University or SingularityU) is an American company that offers executive educational programs, a business incubator, and business consultancy services.[1][2] Although the company uses the word "university" in its branding, it is not an accredited university and has no academic programs or accreditation.

The company has faced allegations of sexual assault, embezzlement, and discrimination since its founding.[3]

History[edit]

2008–2011 (non-profit)[edit]

Singularity was founded as a non-profit and initially offered an annual 10-week summer program called the Graduate Studies Program (GSP), it was aimed at individuals wanting to understand how they could use technology to tackle global challenges.[4] Its original Corporate founding partners and sponsors included Google,[5] Nokia,[6][7] Autodesk,[8][9]IDEO,[citation needed] LinkedIn,[citation needed] the X Prize Foundation, ePlanet Ventures,[10] the Kauffman Foundation and Genentech.[11] Google subsequently ended its grant of $1.5 million annually.[12]

2012–present (private company)[edit]

2012[edit]

Singularity University began the process for conversion to a for-profit benefit corporation.[13] In 2013, the new for-profit corporation incorporated as "Singularity Education Group" and acquired "Singularity University" as its trade name.[14]

2018[edit]

Faculty leaders noted that the company was focused only on profit; "it's lost its soul...It’s become a moneymaking corporation."[15]

2019[edit]

Singularity acquired Futurism News.[16]

Singularity moved its headquarters from the NASA Research Park at NASA Ames to Santa Clara.[17]

Singularity added new Country Partner franchises in Brazil[18] and Australia.[19]

2021[edit]

Futurism.com was sold to Recurrent Ventures.[20][21]

2022[edit]

Pioneer Adaptive Learning Platform was acquired by Talespin.[22][23]

Executive Program[edit]

The Executive Program is a series of five-day training programs that focus on how topics relating to technology and its impacts on business.[24][25]

Global Impact Competition[edit]

In 2016, SingularityU The Netherlands organized a Global Impact Competition for Dutch entrepreneurs.[26] Danny Wagemans, a 21-year-old nanophysics student, won the first prize to participate in the 10-week Global Solutions Program. He demonstrated how clean water and energy can be derived from urine by combining a microbial fuel cell and a graphene filter in a water bottle.[27]

Singularity Hub[edit]

Singularity Hub is a science and tech media website published by Singularity University.[28] Singularity Hub was founded in 2008[28] with the mission of "providing news coverage of sci/tech breakthroughs that are rapidly changing human abilities, health, and society".[29] It was acquired by Singularity University in 2012, to make content produced by Singularity University more accessible.[29]

In March 2018, Singularity Hub released 695 articles via Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 4.0.[citation needed][30]

SU Labs[edit]

SU Labs is a seed accelerator by Singularity University, targeting startups that aim to "change the lives of a billion people."[31]

In 2011, a Singularity University group launched Matternet, a startup that aims to harness drone technology to ship goods in developing countries that lack highway infrastructure. Other startups from SU are the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround, and BioMine, which uses mining technologies to extract value from electronic waste.[32]

Controversies[edit]

An investigative report from Bloomberg Businessweek found many issues with the organization, including an alleged sexual harassment of a student by a teacher, theft and aiding of theft by an executive, and allegations of gender and disability discrimination.[12] Several early members of Singularity University were convicted of crimes, including Bruce Klein, who was convicted in 2012 of running a credit fraud operation in Alabama and Naveen Jain who was convicted of insider trading in 2003.[12]

In February 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, MIT Technology Review reported that a group owned by Singularity, called Abundance 360, had held a "mostly maskless" event in Santa Monica in violation of the local stay-at-home order that became a superspreading event.[33] The event, led by Singularity co-founder Peter Diamandis, charged up to $30,000 for tickets. In a followup article, MIT Technology Review revealed that after COVID-19 started spreading among attendees, Diamandis tried to sell them "fraudulent" treatments including inhaled amniotic fluid and ketamine lozenges, which a professor of law and medicine at Stanford University characterized as "quackery".[34] The superspreading event was covered widely by publications including the New York Times,[35] the Washington Post,[36] and the Los Angeles Times.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kulkarni, Nitish (30 September 2015). "Singularity University Launches Accelerator To Seize Academia's Innovation Monopoly". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ John Hagel III and John Seely Brown (2013-09-26). "When the professor works at Google". Fortune.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  3. ^ McBride, Sarah (2019-11-12). "Silicon Valley's Singularity University Is Cutting Staff, CEO Exits". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  4. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (2012-04-29). "Singularity University: meet the people who are building our future". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  5. ^ Vance, Ashlee (June 12, 2010). "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 20, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "Peter Diamandis sounds the alarm on embracing exponential technologies (video)". August 28, 2011.
  7. ^ "Nokia Supports Singularity University as Fifth Corporate Founder". Nokia Research Center. November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Singularity University plots hi-tech future for humans". BBC News. 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  9. ^ "Autodesk Increases Support for Singularity University to Corporate Founder Level". MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.: Autodesk. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Alt URL Archived 2015-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Kenrick, Chris (2012-08-17). "Where science fiction meets reality". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  11. ^ Leuty, Ron (February 6, 2012). "Genentech, Singularity University ink deal". San Francisco Business Journal. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c McBride, Sarah (2018-02-15). "Silicon Valley's Singularity University Has Some Serious Reality Problems". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  13. ^ Ryan Tate (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University's Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  14. ^ Brian Warmoth (July 20, 2012). "Singularity University planning to go for-profit". Education Dive. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "Silicon Valley's Singularity University Is Close to Flunking Out". Bloomberg.com. 2018-02-15. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  16. ^ Willens, Max (2019-03-15). "Gravity blanket seller Futurism acquired by Singularity University". Digiday. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  17. ^ "Contact Us". Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  18. ^ "HSM and Singularity University Partner to Launch SingularityU Brazil". Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2019-10-15. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  19. ^ Ross, David (2019-04-23). "Singularity University launch is a big boost for deep technology startups in Asia-Pacific". Business Insider Australia. Archived from the original on 2019-10-15. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  20. ^ "Recurrent Ventures Company Profile: Valuation & Investors | PitchBook". PitchBook. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022.
  21. ^ Cartwright, Maxwell Tani, Lachlan (2021-07-26). "Futurism Bought by VC-Backed Firm Seeking to Become Next Big Media Power Player". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  22. ^ "Talespin Announces Investment and from WestRiver Group, Acquires 'Pioneer Adaptive Learning Platform' from Singularity Group". su.org. Singularity Group. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  23. ^ "Talespin Gets New Investment". socaltech.com. SocalTech. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  24. ^ "Elite University Aims to Solve the World's Problems". abc7news.com. May 20, 2013. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "Executive Innovation Program | Singularity". www.su.org. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  26. ^ "Singularity University GIC". www.singularityuthenetherlands.org. Archived from the original on 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  27. ^ "Global Impact Competition Winner - SingularityU The Netherlands". singularityuthenetherlands.org. Archived from the original on 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  28. ^ a b "About Us". Singularity HUB. Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  29. ^ a b Kleiner, Keith (November 14, 2012). "Singularity Hub Acquired! Now Part Of Singularity University". Singularity University. Singularity HUB. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  30. ^ "About - Singularity Hub". Singularity Hub. Archived from the original on 2017-11-19. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  31. ^ "La Singularity University, ovni 3.0 de la Silicon Valley". Le Monde. No. The World Economy. March 13, 2015. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  32. ^ "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice. August 24, 2012. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  33. ^ Guo, Eileen (2021-02-13). "He started a covid-19 vaccine company. Then he hosted a superspreader event". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  34. ^ Guo, Eileen (2021-03-11). "First he held a superspreader event. Then he recommended fake cures". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  35. ^ Fortin, Jacey (2021-02-16). "Technology Executive Apologizes After Dozens of Event Attendees Contract Covid-19". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  36. ^ "A coronavirus vaccine entrepreneur held an indoor conference. Now dozens of attendees have the virus". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  37. ^ "Why a California scientist hosted superspreader event amid a deadly COVID-19 surge". Los Angeles Times. 2021-02-17. Retrieved 2021-08-13.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′55″N 122°03′46″W / 37.415229°N 122.062650°W / 37.415229; -122.062650