Virgin | Richard Branson’s blog: The pace of innovation
February 22, 2017
Renowned innovator, entrepreneur & billionaire philanthropist Richard Branson — known for founding the Virgin family of companies — recently posted enthusiastically about Singularity University on his official blog. His thoughts are below. He describes his deep interest in understanding the power of rapidly accelerating technologies — he mentions my ideas on singularity and my world view that knowledge can solve humanity’s biggest challenges. He gives some background on how I and Peter Diamandis, MD co-founded Singularity University.
Richard Branson met with Singularity University leader Gabriel Baldinucci, who headed up a group of top minds — meeting at Virgin’s think-tank island resort & conference center. The team gave Richard Branson a whirlwind tour of profound, emerging tech shaping our future landscape.
Branson has thoughts below on world impact. His own, heroic innovation efforts — through Virgin and beyond — aim to bring world equality, peace, safety, health, resource & energy abundance, global literacy, nature conservancy, and a new age of human prosperity. Like myself, he believes in the power of entrepreneurship. Branson talks about his adventurous projects at Virgin Galactic, a space age marvel.
I hope you enjoy!
— Ray Kurzweil
One of the things I love is inviting fascinating people to listen and learn from. We recently welcomed a group of leading thinkers on cutting edge tech, the pace of innovation, the power of the individual, and growing risks and opportunities for humanity.
The group was led by Dione Spiteri and my friend Gabriel Baldinucci, who worked with me for 5 years, and is now growing Singularity University. They explained how we are at a unique point in history, with tech accelerating at exponential rates.
This isn’t random, they argued, but accelerating according to predictable curves. These speeds increase once they become digitized, which is why your laptop, TV and phone get smaller, faster and better every year.
Ray Kurzweil, co-founder of Singularity University, explains this fully in his book, The Singularity Is Near.
Peter Diamandis, the other co-founder of Singularity University, also founded the X-Prize, which led to the creation of Virgin Galactic. He sees tech as a resource liberating force.
It makes what was scarce abundant — internet, water, energy & cheaper, smarter phones. Peter Diamandis believes tech breakthroughs will solve humanity’s biggest challenges.
He sees advances in areas like food, water, energy, health, education, prosperity, security, governance — helping billions of people.
We were talking about everything: computing, solar and other energy tech, biotech & synthetic biology, 3D printing & materials, medical, virtual reality & augmented reality, robotics, artificial intelligence and satellites. Not only are all of these advancing at an exponential rate every year, they are converging, enabling breakthroughs.
For example, start-ups are building smaller, more powerful satellites — and they can’t afford to launch them on existing big rockets. So we’re building the small satellite launch service Launcher One to enable them to access space.
video | Virgin Galactic
Innovation in private space flight & satellite launch.
video | Virgin
A graphic history of Richard Branson entrepreneurship & Virgin’s success.
“I always prefer looking forward than looking back — but sometimes a quick spin down memory lane can be a lot of fun. With that in mind, we put together this animation.” — Richard Branson
Improved solar & battery tech will drive energy cost so low that it’s abundant — giving people clean water and food. Artificial intelligence and robots will be ubiquitous, providing health care and driving. Genetic engineering will make great strides.
But it’s not all a rosy picture. There are risks, unintended side effects. They can be used by criminals. Cyber-crime and cyber-warfare between countries are increasing risks, as are long-term concerns about jobs, as AI and robotics accelerate.
While tech helps humanity, those benefits are not always distributed evenly. Many people will be displaced along the way. What good is a bunch of cheap technology and self-driving cars, if you can’t find a job?
With our global challenges, we are in a race for our lives. Disease resistant bacteria and climate change are two threats we are currently losing the battle against, potentially threatening humanity.
What we learned and discussed needs to be understood around the world, especially by global leaders of government and business, and individual entrepreneurs. How can governments and businesses organize against threats and turn them into opportunities?
How can individuals access tech to create solutions that impact billions of people, and thrive in a world of disruption? These are some questions the Singularity University community is discussing.
Entrepreneurs can and should, strive for moon-shot solutions, versus just another derivative app. That takes a different kind of thinking that we all need to promote. There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, never a more important time to use business as a force for good. For those who have companies already, it means steering your resources and innovation to tackle big, pressing problems.
This is what Singularity University is about — people using business as a force for good, using tech to solve the world’s biggest problems. To learn more about exponential technologies, and join the community, head over to Singularity University.
There is a path to a better world in front of us, but there will be many pitfalls and challenges along the way. We need as many people as possible building the future we want for our children. The stakes are high, but you’ve never had so much power to participate. What will you do?
Richard Branson’s blog
image | Richard Branson of Virgin
on the web | background
The Virgin family of companies & projects.
Richard Branson | YouTube channel
about | Singularity University was founded in 2008 by Ray Kurzweil, chancellor & Peter Diamandis, MD, chairman. We educate, inspire & empower leaders to use exponential technologies — to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.
Our learning & innovation platform supplies the skills and network to build breakthrough solutions, so you can leverage emerging tech.
With our community of entrepreneurs, corporations, development groups, governments, investors and institutions, we have the ingredients to create an abundant future.
Singularity University serves individuals & organizations with a range of products to let them understand rapidly accelerating technologies that can improve life for billions of people, globally. Our products include custom educational experiences, conferences, plus labs to incubate corporate innovation & social impact projects.
on the web | background
Essential links on Singularity University.