Updated: Jul 10
I was fortunate enough to attend the #SingularityU PPS members forum recently. It was probably the most inspirational and professionally produced seminars I have been to.
Singularity’s mission is to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.
There were a number of SingularityU faculty members presenting on subjects ranging from Bionics to Robotics to AI to Augmented and Virtual Reality.
This short document attempts to summarise the key messages of the presentation by David Roberts on Exponential Leadership. His presentation was truly inspirational and thought provoking and I can in no way do justice to his presentation. David’s CV and a brief description of what he does is provided on his website. http://www.exponentialleadership.org/#main
He uses some striking images to emphasize his messages, as set out below.
1. Character matters
Humanity – EMPATHY, CARING
2. Moral courage-
Must have the moral courage to take a stand.
Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.— Meg Cabot
August Landmesser was a worker at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, best known for his appearance in a photograph refusing to perform the Nazi salute at the launch of the naval training vessel Horst Wessel on June 13, 1936. He had run afoul of the Nazi Party over his unlawful relationship with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman
3. Artificial intelligence changes everything –
We are entering the AI economy. It can be applied to everything, is cheap and powerful. IBM Watson is 90% accurate in treatment decisions of early stage lung cancer. Health care pros are 50% accurate.
Exponential advances in healthcare will result in immortality by 2045, although this has been revised downwards.
4. MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Not be a perpetrator, collaborator or bystander. Bystanders have the power to be the change.
“Kevin Carter knew the stench of death. As a member of the Bang-Bang Club, a quartet of brave photographers who chronicled apartheid-era South Africa, he had seen more than his share of heartbreak. In 1993 he flew to Sudan to photograph the famine racking that land. Exhausted after a day of taking pictures in the village of Ayod, he headed out into the open bush. There he heard whimpering and came across an emaciated toddler who had collapsed on the way to a feeding center. As he took the child’s picture, a plump vulture landed nearby. Carter had reportedly been advised not to touch the victims because of disease, so instead of helping, he spent 20 minutes waiting in the hope that the stalking bird would open its wings. It did not. Carter scared the creature away and watched as the child continued toward the center. He then lit a cigarette, talked to God and wept. The New York Times ran the photo, and readers were eager to find out what happened to the child—and to criticize Carter for not coming to his subject’s aid. His image quickly became a wrenching case study in the debate over when photographers should intervene. Subsequent research seemed to reveal that the child did survive yet died 14 years later from malarial fever. Carter won a Pulitzer for his image, but the darkness of that bright day never lifted from him. In July 1994 he took his own life, writing, “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain.” 5. Disruption could be the most important skill in a company. Disruption is not the same as innovation. Companies must be prepared to disrupt themselves, as disruption comes from other industries. Amazon with AWS and Apple with I phone, I pad, apple watch have learnt to disrupt themselves. Nokia, Kodak, Blockbuster are prime examples of companies that were leaders in their industries that were disrupted. 6. Exponential leaders Don’t try to change the world they change themselves!