7 Dec 18|Innovation

UtopiaX has a vision and mission that are in total alignment with the mission of SU; to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.

I’m writing this from 33,000 feet, returning from Athens, Greece where I was a part of the SingularityU Greece Summit. 

Some readers will be aware that together with Lisa Andrews from Ignite Alliance, I have brought the first SingularityU (SU) Chapter in Australia to Newcastle. We’ve since assisted Sydney and Melbourne birth chapters and we are currently working with colleagues in Brisbane and Canberra. Why? To create a collaborative network and increase opportunities for our start-ups, scaleups and innovators.

I’ve been in the creativity and innovation fields before the concepts were fashionable, essential and totally desirable. I’m sure there were people back when I started that thought I was completely insane. There’s probably a few that still do. 

So why SingularityU?

UtopiaX has a vision and mission that are in total alignment with the mission of SU; to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Because on a global level, we have an abundance of everything we need to address these grand challenges (energy, environment, food, shelter, space, water, disaster resilience, governance, health, learning, prosperity and security). We just need to get the distribution right. 

Back to Athens. Greece has been in what is known as The Crisis since 2009. I have family there working three and four jobs to put food on the table and pay the rent. Most are university educated. Other family members have left the country to seek employment elsewhere in Europe, part of the brain drain that is another topic of concern for Greece moving forward. 

The Summit in Athens focused on creating positive impact and offering possible solutions, to stimulate new ways of business thinking. Speaking with Peter Diamandis, SU co-founder, he told me, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. While the last 10 years have been difficult, the next 2 decades will see even more dramatic change. Greece needs to realise a clear vision for her future that offers clarity and purpose to her people”.

And isn’t that what every country needs? Every community? Every business? Back home, we’ve spent so much time changing Prime Ministers that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remember what the vision for Australia is. In fact, have we ever had a one? A united one that we can use as a barometer for every decision our governments and local councils make?

As important as it is to think local, we also need to think global. Which is why we are thrilled to be bringing the SingularityU Global Impact Challenge to Australia. The challenges call on leaders, scientists, engineers, teachers, communities and entrepreneurs to moonshot innovations that will impact a billion people using exponential technology. Sound impossible? Remember we’ve put a man on the moon and have access to all the world’s information on that intangible ‘thing’ we call the internet.

The winner of each Global Impact Challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend one of Singularity U’s transformational programs in Silicon Valley.


Over the next few months we will be reaching out to accelerators, universities and government organisations to create a “best of the best”. Instead of reinventing the accelerator and start-up pitch competition wheel, we are providing another vehicle of opportunity for our innovators to be recognised at a global level.


The Global Impact Challenge asks entrants to aim high. Kamil Adamczyk, the recent winner of the challenge in Poland, developed a brain implant treatment for malignant brain tumours. In Brazil, Vinicius Gusmao and Raphael Rosa developed Medroom, the world’s first serious virtual reality role-playing game for medical students.

Just as Greece needs to aim high and find a united vision, so do we. We have some amazing products and services, with our researchers and innovators contributing on global levels in the areas of health, education and agriculture. They are often receiving more recognition and support overseas than we are giving them in our own country. By producing the Global Impact Challenge, we hope to in some way to readdress that.
 

As important as it is to think local, we also need to think global.

As important as it is to think local, we also need to think global.

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