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David Roberts is regarded as one of the world top experts on disruptive innovation and exponentially advancing technology. His passion is to help transform the lives of a billion suffering people in the world through disruptive innovation.
David served as Vice President of Singularity University and two-time Director (and alum) of the Graduate Studies Program. He is an award winning CEO and serial entrepreneur, and has started ventures backed with over $100 million of investment from Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla, Cisco, Oracle, Accenture, In-Q-Tel, and others.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and medals and has led the development of some of the most complex, state-of-the art systems ever built, to include satellites, drones, and fusion centers. He also worked as an Investment Banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs Headquarters. He received his B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from M.I.T. was a Distinguished Graduate, and majored in Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Computer Engineering. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
David is Chairman at HaloDrop, a revolutionary global drone services company, Chairman at 1QBit the world first software company for quantum computers, and is a formal adviser to Made-In Space, responsible for manufacturing the first object in Space with a 3D printer on the Space Station.
Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley Business schools have all written and taught case studies on David leadership, management, and decision making. He has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, and in USA Today, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, and dozens of others. His startups have received many awards to include Internet World Net Rising Stars,Red Herring Catch, top 50 Private Companies in the World, Red Herring Top100 Private Companies in the World, USA Today Tech Reviews Best Picks, Internet Outlook Investors Choice Award, Enterprise Outlook Investors Choice, Best of the Web from PC World, and Apple Computer Premier Systems Integrator Award.
His fascination with technology began In fourth grade after building a hovering electric drone, to carry his younger sister to the bus stop, powered by what was formerly his mother’s vacuum cleaner, and fortunately limited by the length of an electric power cord.
Hylton graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BEconSC in Acuarial Science. In 2000, he was admitted as a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa.
In 1996 Hylton started his career at Liberty Life in the actuarial division. In October 1996 he joined Discovery where he has held various positions in marketing, actuarial and strategic projects.
He is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Discovery Life and continues to oversee the group’s Marketing and Distribution, and to play a key role in the executive committees of Discovery Limited, Discovery Health, Discovery Life, Discovery Invest, Discovery Insure and Discovery Vitality. Hylton also sits on the boards of Discovery Limited, Discovery Health, Discovery Life, Discovery Insure, Discovery Invest and Vitality.
Benjamin Rosman is part of the Singularity University South Africa faculty with a focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. He is a Principal Researcher in the Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. Benjamin is also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he runs the Robotics, Autonomous Intelligence and Learning Laboratory. He received his PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and previously obtained his MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh.
He also has a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. His research interests focus primarily on reinforcement learning and decision making in autonomous systems, in particular how learning can be accelerated through abstracting and generalising knowledge gained from solving related problems. Benjamin additionally works in the area of skill and behaviour learning and transfer for robots. He currently serves as the Chair of the IEEE South African joint chapter of Control Systems, and Robotics and Automation, and is a founder and organiser of the Deep Learning Indaba. He was a 2017 recipient of a Google Faculty Research Award in machine learning.
As co-founder and CEO of Mann Made – an award-winning, experiential brand agency for top local and global Fortune 500 companies – Shayne Mann has 17 years’ of experience in the media, marketing and eventing industries. Over the decades he has successfully driven Mann Made to become a 65-employee strong company that specialises in activations, events, media products and productions, as well as mobile and telecoms.
Shayne is a SingularityU alumnus and was also the co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa. He epitomises exponential leadership and is passionate about how exponential and disruptive technologies can drive change to positively impact South Africa and the continent.
Shayne is passionate about the drivers of entrepreneurship and is involved in the local start-up and maker communities. He has partnered with the Maharishi University of Management, Taddy Blecher and The Ubuntu Foundation. In partnership with an international private equity investor, he has invested in a variety of industries including property, medicine, music, media, and tech, alongside his brother Mic. His personal passions include cycling, meditation and leading a healthy lifestyle and creating a positive impact in the country through all he does.
Amin is the CEO of T Labs. He was formerly the director of strategy and Vice President of Strategic Relations at Singularity University. He brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial and policy perspectives to the dialogue of innovation on campus.
Before Singularity, Amin founded for-profit and social impact organizations in a range of domains including: artificial intelligence, peer to peer lending, bitcoin, human rights, international development, carbon offsetting, and solar energy.
Google Search ranks him as the world’s best guitar player – a title he readily rejects. In addition to his work at Singularity, he is building the World’s first hedge fund for the poor, as well as Reversopedia – a reverse encyclopedia composed of things we know we don’t know.
Amin has a degree in artificial intelligence from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Stanford, and an MPA in economic policy from Harvard. He attended Harvard and Stanford concurrently and graduated an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Kirsty Roth is Global Head of Operations and a Group General Manager at HSBC, leading a team of 36,000 colleagues across 52 countries.
Shortly after joining HSBC in 2016, Kirsty set out a vision for the future of banking operations by 2030. The Operations function is now delivering a three-year plan to transform its technology, processes and innovation capability to deliver products and services in ways that make life easier for customers and colleagues.
That includes an industry-first artificial intelligence and machine learning solution for cross-border payment screening, crowd-sourcing from tech start-ups and introducing more than 300 robots to help process millions of customer transactions every year.
Kirsty was previously Chief Operating Officer for Finance, Operations and IT at Credit Suisse from 2011 to 2015 and a Consulting Partner with Deloitte for 10 years, based in London, Zurich and New
A strong advocate for diversity, Kirsty was named by the Financial Times as one of their 50 HERoes in 2017. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Jaya Baloo has been working internationally in Information Security for nearly 20 years. In the last few years, she has been named CISO of the year, top 100 CISOs globally, and top 100 Global Security Influencers. Her focus has been on secure network architecture where her work has ranged in areas from Lawful Interception, VoIP & Mobile Security, to designing national MPLS infrastructures, ISP architecture, as well as Quantum Communications networks. She has worked for numerous telecom providers, Verizon and France Telecom among others, and currently works for KPN Telecom in the Netherlands where she is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). A faculty member of Singularity university and a member of various infosec boards, she is always inspired about how much more there is to learn.
Tanya Knowles is the Managing Executive of Fractal Solutions, a Division of Strate (Pty) Ltd. Fractal Solutions is tasks with the research and development of disruptive technologies, including blockchain / distributed ledger technology. Strate is South Africa’s authorised Central Securities Depository providing electronic settlement of securities concluded on various stock
exchange in the country. Tanya is Chair of the South African Financial Markets Blockchain Consortium representing close to 50 of the country’s largest financial institutions.
She is currently completing her certification in blockchain technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds a BA, PDM, and MBA all from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Having presented across four continents, Tanya is a well-renowned speaker and thought leader in her area of expertise. In her private capacity, Tanya is involved in a number of women’s leadership and mentoring initiatives aimed at professional business women.
Mic believes that the future will be abundant as the power and potential of exponential technologies increase and their price gradually drop to zero, ultimately democratising numerous industries and improving the lives of all.
As co-founder of Mann Made – an award-winning experiential brand agency that has worked with top global and local Fortune 500 companies – Mic Mann has 19 years of experience in the media, marketing and eventing industry. Mic is a prolific speaker and strategist on exponential technologies, the future of work and the changing role of professionals.
After completing the Singularity University Executive Programme in 2015, he realised that in order to #futureproofAfrica we need to embrace exponential technologies. He subsequently brought the SingularityU South Africa Summit – the first of its kind on the continent – to South Africa. Mic’s passions are entrepreneurship and break-through technologies. He is also involved in the local start-up and maker community.
Sonia Arrison is a best-selling author, analyst, entrepreneur, and investor. She is the founder of 100 Plus Capital, co-founder of Unsugarcoat Media, and associate founder and advisor to Singularity University in Mountain View, California. Her research focuses on exponentially growing technologies and their impact on society. Her most recent book, 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith, addresses the social, economic, and cultural impacts of radical human longevity. It gained national best-seller status and keeps Sonia busy speaking all over the world. Sonia is a Board Member at the Thiel Foundation, Foresight Institute, and Woodland School. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of two previous books (Western Visions and Digital Dialog). She was previously a Director and Senior Fellow in Tech Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, a columnist at TechNewsWorld, and hosted a radio show called “digital dialogue” on the Voice America network.
Kyle Nel is the CEO and co-founder of Uncommon Partners, the behavioral transformation company. His passion for changing human behavior led him to create the multi-disciplinary behavioral transformation approach, which uses tools like narrative and applied neuroscience to help organizations break out of incrementalism.
Kyle also founded and previously served as Executive Director for Lowe’s Innovation Labs (LIL), the disruptive innovation hub for the Fortune 40 home improvement company. He created and led a team responsible for driving the company’s innovation vision, strategy and growth.
Under his leadership, Lowe’s Innovation Labs built a proprietary 3D content creation and asset management platform; augmented and virtual reality stores; virtual reality DIY skills clinics; the first autonomous retail service robots; soft robotic exosuits to deliver lift assistance for store employees; and 3D scanning and printing services at retail – and in space, where the first commercially-manufactured object off of the planet was a Lowe’s wrench that was modified for astronauts. He also built a disruptive technology lab and incubator in Bangalore, India.
Kyle helped create Neurons, Inc., an applied neuroscience company spun out of the Copenhagen Business School, and sits on the boards of other emerging tech companies. He is a faculty member focused on corporate innovation at Singularity University and a former member of the XPRIZE Foundation Innovation Board. He was recognized on the 2015 Advertising Age “40 under 40” list, and received the 2016 “People Shaping Retail’s Future” award from the National Retail Federation. He was also a founding member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (R)Tech Advisory Council.
He previously held positions in market research with Lowe’s and the Walmart Global Insights Group. He holds an MBA from the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina has been Executive Manager at South African Cities Network since 2011. She previously worked with National Treasury, the CSIR, HSRC, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Advanced Policy Institute. Dr. Geci holds Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA, and a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand.
Her interests span a range of development foresight, policy, planning and practice topics, particularly relating to urban governance, the built environment and innovation systems. She has two decades’ experience working and publishing in these fields. She recently published the book Innovation Africa (Emerald Books, 2016).
Dr. Geci is a Council Member on the South African Council of Planners, a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance, and an Research Associate of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) and the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chairon Innovation and Development.
She is also a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, co-founder of ForesightForDevelopment.org, an Associate Editor for the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Taylor & Francis), and Africa Regional Editor forForesight: The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy (Emerald).
As the Chief Digital and Innovation Officer for Deloitte Africa, Valter Adão leads a team of diverse specialists that create leading digital ecosystems to assist clients and employees understand the Digital Transformation journey, uplift their digital experiences and become digital at the core, in order to thrive in a world of ever changing digital technologies. By bringing in strategic and innovative thinking and capabilities at the intersect of emerging and exponential technologies and creative design, Valter and his team guide organisations to understand, and embrace emerging exponential and disruptive technologies by helping them move beyond potential disruption towards creating new opportunities for relevance, growth and expansion. He is a corporate entrepreneur with extensive experience in creating new businesses across a variety of industries. He works with organisations in identifying high value, innovative opportunities, and rapidly commercialising them into viable businesses. Valter holds an MSc and an MBA. Valter is also a member of Deloitte’s Global Innovation Executive Committee and is the Life Sciences & Healthcare Industry Leader for Deloitte Africa.
Ashley Anthony is the CEO of Isazi Consulting. He grew up in Johannesburg and graduated as a Geophysicist from The University of the Witwatersrand. After some experience in exploration work across Africa and the banking sector he teamed up with two old friends who were lecturing Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (Dario Fanucchi & Obakeng Moepya). It was immediately clear that the combination of technical expertise, creativity and guts in this partnership could create an energetic problem solving environment that could tackle the toughest problems in Africa. This is what they poured into Isazi, creating one of the most innovative and modern technology consultancy companies in the world. Isazi’s primary focus is data science: a discipline that makes use of the machinery and methods of science to solve business problems, and often involves the use of advanced machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence. The company is industry and platform agnostic.
Will is an Executive Director at SU and runs the Global Summit, Industry Summits, and International Summits. He is passionate about people and ideas and has spent his life working to bring them together to help curate great opportunities and experiences.
Will’s background leading, investing in, and advising technology and consumer product companies has enabled him to acquire a unique blend of operational, investment and entrepreneurial experience. He has previously been a venture capitalist at Foundation Capital and Maveron, an operator at Intuit and World Wrapps and is an active investor having been involved with companies such as SuccessFactors, OpenTable, and Zappos among others. Among his most unusual accomplishments is that Will created and popularized the wrap, yes, the burrito like thing at a 30 unit restaurant chain he founded called World Wrapps.
Will received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has a BA from University of California at Santa Barbara.
Ramez Naam is a computer scientist, futurist, and award-winning author. Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams developing early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and the Bing search engine. His career has focused on bringing advanced collaboration, communication, and information retrieval capabilities to roughly one billion people around the world, and took him to the role of Partner and Director of Program Management within Microsoft, with deep experience leading teams working on cutting edge technologies such as machine learning, search, massive scale services, and artificial intelligence.
Between stints at Microsoft, Ramez founded and ran Apex NanoTechnologies, the world first company devoted entirely to software tools to accelerate molecular design. He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Ramez is also the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of four books: The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet (non-fiction), which looks at the environmental and natural resource challenges of climate change, energy, water, and food, and charts a course to meet those challenges by investing in the scientific and technological innovation needed to overcome them, and by changing our policies to encourage both conservation and critical innovations.
He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois. In his leisure, Ramez has climbed mountains, descended into icy crevasses, chased sharks through their native domain, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.
Paul A. Pagnato is founder and CEO at PagnatoKarp, transparent family wealth advisors with over $3.8 billion assets under advisement¹. A top ranked financial advisor by Barron’s and Forbes², Paul has been advising high-net-worth families for more than 25 years. He is a frequent media contributor to CNBC, WSJ and Bloomberg and a sought-after speaker at advisor conferences and business schools around the nation.
PagnatoKarp manages the complex needs of wealthy families through investment, planning, tax, legal, estate planning, private banking, family governance, travel and concierge. By fusing global financial access with personalized services and innovative technology, PagnatoKarp goes beyond wealth management to help streamline lives.
Paul and his team previously worked through HighTower Advisors and Paul spent 19 years with Merrill Lynch, where he founded the Washington, D.C. Private Banking & Investment office. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and The Executive Program at Singularity University and serves on the Board of The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard.
Paul is also founder of TrueFiduciary®, a non-profit with a Massive Transformational Purpose of positively impacting one million lives through digital education and True Fiduciary® standards of exponential transparency, targeting the well-being of students, individuals and advisors.
In the community, PagnatoKarp is proud to be partnered with Barron’s, sponsoring top universities through the Barron’s In Education program, to help strengthen financial literacy and foster tomorrow’s leaders. Sponsorships include University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, William & Mary, George Mason and Florida Atlantic University.
¹as of 9/30/18; ²www.pagnatokarp.com/disclosures/
Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. He is the founder of several successful companies including Moon Express, Viome, Bluedot, TalentWise, Intelius and InfoSpace.
Moon Express is the only company in the world to have the permission to leave earth orbit and land on the moon with the goal to harvest planetary resources and to develop infrastructure to make humanity a multi-planetary society.
Viome is focused on disrupting healthcare with the goal of “making illness elective” by identifying microbial biomarkers that are predictive of chronic diseases and to adjust the microbial imbalance through personalized nutrition.
Naveen Jain a trustee of the board at the X PRIZE Foundation where he is focused on using incentive prizes to find solution to many of the societal challenges. He recently launched a million-dollar Women Safety XPRIZE to empower the women around the world.
Naveen Jain is on the board of Singularity University where he is focused on educating and inspiring leaders to address humanity’s grand challenges through innovative technologies.
Naveen Jain has been awarded many honors for his entrepreneurial successes including “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Albert Einstein Technology Medal” for pioneers in technology, Recipient of “Ellis Island Medal of Honor”, Most creative person” by Fast Company, “Top 50 philanthropists of 2018” by Town & Country magazine, “Humanitarian Innovation Award” at the United Nations, “Distinguished Global Thinker Award” by IILM, “Most admired Serial Entrepreneur” by Silicon India, “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” and “Lifetime Achievement Award” for the leadership by Red Herring.
At DroneDeploy we have built a software platform that flies drones and efficiently captures petabytes of imagery in over 140 countries around in the world. The platform automatically organizes all that data to geo-reference, align, stitch, blend, ortho-rectify and reconstruct - creating tens of thousands of point clouds, 3d models and mosaics. That data is used to drive high ROI decisions in industry as diverse as construction, agriculture, mining, conservation, forestry, and infrastructure inspection - all in the browser.
Nathana O’Brien Sharma is the Program Director for Faculty Affairs at Singularity University. She’s also faculty in Law, Policy, Ethics and Blockchain, where she writes and speaks on the impact of accelerating technologies and the future of law and governance to audiences of technologists and business leaders. Nathana is a principal at Crypto-Lotus, a cryptocurrency hedge fund and is an Advisory Board Member for the Creative Destruction Labs in Toronto, the leading academic startup accelerator in North America which supports companies in specialized technology tracks including machine learning and quantum machine learning.
Nathana is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified privacy expert in both the US and the EU and advises companies on navigating complex cross-border privacy issues, particularly in connection with the use of emerging technologies. Nathana was previously a technology transactions associate at Gunderson Dettmer, where she advised high growth VC backed startups and venture funds on a range of technology and business issues. Nathana is a JD/MBA graduate of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Management.
Nathana was a lead researcher at MetaMed, a VC backed medical research start up and has a background in the lab in immunology and neuroscience. She is also a graduate of Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program.