Singularity University

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Singularity University
Established September 2008[1]
Type Private
Location Moffett Federal Airfield, CA, U.S.

Singularity University is a California Benefit Corporation [2] part university, part think-tank, part business-incubator [3] located in Silicon Valley whose stated aim is to "educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges."[4] It was founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil in NASA Research Park, CA.[5]

Singularity University began with an annual 10-week supplemental summer program and has since grown to an innovation pipeline with conference series, an array of classes, an incubation lab for startups and corporate teams, and a global alumni network.[6]

Singularity University aims to develop a global network of innovation ecosystems alongside a coalition of entrepreneurs, business leaders, universities, government agencies and nonprofits.[7] The institution taps into a community of scientists, thinkers, engineers, investors, business leaders, and public policy makers who explore the potential of advancing technologies to take on humanity’s challenges, such as water scarcity and energy consumption.[3]


Instruction is offered in 11 different areas.[8][9] Singularity University was created in 2009 based on Kurzweil's theory of "technological singularity." He believes that emerging technologies like nanotechnology and biotechnology will massively increase human intelligence over the next two decades and fundamentally reshape the future of humanity.[10]

Graduate Studies Program[edit]

In the Graduate Studies Program, students learn about exponential technologies and work together over the summer to form real companies.[11] The 80 members of Singularity's Graduate Studies Program class of 2012 represented 36 countries and range in age from 19 to 51, with an average age of 30 and students included computer scientists, digital artists, engineers, doctors, business students, filmmakers and entrepreneurs.[12] In 2015, Google agreed to provide $1.5 million annually for two years to increase diversity and global access by making the program free to participants.[13] The 80 students are selected from over 3,000 applicants each year.[11] A substantial portion of the GSP class comes from the winners of SU's sponsored Global Impact Competitions.[13]

Executive Program[edit]

The Executive Program trains corporate leaders to understand how rapid changes in technology will impact businesses.[11]

Innovation Partnership Program[edit]

In 2013, Singularity University announced a three-year partnership with Deloitte and XPRIZE called the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP). The program consists of a multi-year series of events where Fortune 500 leaders will meet innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs to expand their partnership ecosystem across Silicon Valley and across global markets.[14] The selective membership-based program consisted of a wide array of workshops on crowdsourcing, the rapid advancement of exponential technologies and how to innovate through incentivized competitions. More than 60 senior business leaders from 30 companies, including Google, Shell, Qualcomm, The Hershey Company and Sprint, met for the first four-day executive summit.[14]

Exponential Conference Series[edit]

Singularity University hosts annual conferences focused on exponentially accelerating technologies that are impacting individual verticals such as Finance, Medicine & Healthcare, and Manufacturing.[15] The conferences are produced in partnership with Deloitte [15] as well as CNBC for the Exponential Finance conference. Other partners include Credit Suisse, SIFMA, Crowdfunder, Young Presidents' Organization, and Big Think.[16]

Singularity HUB[edit]

Singularity Hub is an independent science and tech media website published by Singularity University.[17] Singularity HUB was founded in 2008 [17] with the mission of "providing news coverage of sci/tech breakthroughs that are rapidly changing human abilities, health, and society".[18] It was acquired by Singularity University in 2012 to increase awareness about the implications of fast-moving technologies and make content produced by Singularity University more accessible to the world.[18]

SU Labs[edit]

Singularity University opened an accelerator to accommodate start-ups which aims to "change the lives of a billion people"[19]

Singularity University has also coached roughly thirty startups such as Made In Space, which has developed a 3D printer adapted to the constraints of space travel. The first prototype of Made in Space, the Zero-G Printer was developed with NASA and sent into space in September, 2014.[20]

In 2011, a Singularity group launched Matternet, a startup that aims to harness drone technology to haul goods in developing countries that lack highway infrastructure. Among several startups springing from Singularity are the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround and BioMine, which uses mining industry technologies to extract value from electronic waste.[8]

Singularity University Impact Partners[edit]

Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced in 2013 a partnership to create transformative technologies that will save and improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and women in developing countries.[21][22]

In 2015, Singularity University and Yunus Social Business (YSB) announced a partnership at the World Economic Forum to concentrate on the use of accelerating technologies and social entrepreneurship for global development in some of the most vulnerable areas of the world where YSB is active.[23][24]

Each year Singularity University partners with organizations worldwide to sponsor Global Impact Competitions based on a theme and geography with the goal of connecting entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with innovative ideas.[25][26]


Singularity University is overseen by a Board of Trustees.[27] Rob Nail, one of the organization's Associate Founders, was named CEO of Singularity University in October, 2011.[28] Director of "Global Grand Challenges" in 2013 is Nicholas Haan.


Corporate founding partners and sponsors include Google,[29] Nokia,[30] Autodesk,[31] IDEO,[citation needed] LinkedIn,[citation needed] ePlanet Capital,[32] the X Prize Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and Genentech.[33]

Conversion from non-profit to benefit corporation[edit]

In 2012, Singularity University the non-profit began the process for conversion to a benefit corporation, to include transparency as well as for-profit aspects.[34] In 2013, the new for-profit corporation incorporated as Singularity Education Group and acquired the descriptive "Singularity University" as its trade name.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAQ". Singularity University. Retrieved 2009-02-03. An exploratory meeting was held in November 2007, followed in September 2008 by a founding meeting hosted by NASA Ames. 
  2. ^ Tate, Ryan. "Singularity University Converging Into Capitalist Machine". Wired. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b John Hagel III and John Seely Brown (2013-09-26). "When the professor works at Google". Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  4. ^ "What Is Singularity University?". Singularity University. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Tate, Ryan (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University’s Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. 
  7. ^ "Ashoka University, Singularity University sign MoU to foster innovation in India". India Education Review. 30 Dec 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Where science fiction meets reality". Mountain View Voice. August 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Academic Tracks". Singularity University. Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  10. ^ "Elite University Aims to Solve World's Problems". May 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c "Elite University Aims to Solve the World's Problems". May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ Kenrick, Chris (August 24, 2012). "Where science fiction meets reality" (News). Mountain View Voice. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Singularity University Announces Google Support for Increased Global Access and Diversity in Tech" (Press Release). January 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Deloitte, XPRIZE and Singularity University form alliance and launch the Innovation Partnership Program" (Press Release). Deloitte. May 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Exponential Conference Series". Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Exponential Partnerships". Exponential Finance. Singularity University. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "About Us". Singularity HUB. Singularity University. 
  18. ^ a b Kleiner, Keith (November 14, 2012). "Singularity Hub Acquired! Now Part Of Singularity University". Singularity University. Singularity HUB. 
  19. ^ "La Singularity University, ovni 3.0 de la Silicon Valley" (The World Economy). Le Monde. March 13, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Made in Space Milestones". Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Singularity University and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Partner to Advance Global Innovations That Benefit Women and Children" (Press Release). MarketWatch. June 27, 2013. 
  22. ^ "UNICEF and Singularity University innovate together as a force for change". UNICEF Stories of Innovation. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Singularity University and Yunus Social Business Partner To Impact Global Development In Some Of The Most Vulnerable Areas Of The World" (Press Release). Reuters. January 21, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  24. ^ "World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015". World Economic Forum. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  25. ^ Meskó, Bertalan. "Singularity University’s Global Impact Competition in Central Europe". Science Roll. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  26. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (February 23, 2015). "Singularity University opens competition in Miami to address sea-level rise" (the starting gate). Miami Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Board of Trustees". Singularity University. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  28. ^ "Singularity University Names Rob Nail CEO". BusinessWire. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  29. ^ Vance, Ashlee (June 12, 2010). "Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ "Nokia Supports Singularity University as Fifth Corporate Founder". Nokia Research Center. November 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Autodesk Increases Support for Singularity University to Corporate Founder Level". MOFFETT FIELD, Calif.: Autodesk. February 12, 2010. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Asad Jamal". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. 
  33. ^ Leuty, Ron (February 6, 2012). "Genentech, Singularity University ink deal". San Francisco Business Journal. 
  34. ^ Ryan Tate (August 22, 2012). "Robot Professors Come With Singularity University’s Massive Upgrade". Wired Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  35. ^ Brian Warmoth (July 20, 2012). "Singularity University planning to go for-profit". Education Dive. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]

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