Top Takeaways from the 2019 SingularityU Canada Summit – Pt. 2

Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt

Top Takeaways from the 2019 SingularityU Canada Summit - Pt. 2

At the 2019 Summit, more than 40 speakers tackled the most pressing grand challenges of our time: health, energy, prosperity and citizenship. What are some of the most disruptive forces? What are the key questions we need to consider? How can we work together to create a better world?

Here are some of the top takeaways (see Part 1 of this series for more learnings).

We need to reinvent our education system

Dr. Taddy Blecher, part of the Singularity University South Africa faculty, spoke about creating a world where literacy and knowledge are available to all. South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world, and over 7 million unemployed youth, all of whom have gone through the school system. “The education system has failed them, because it’s rote-based, they’ve learned to just memorize stuff and write exams.” With rising inequality around the world, how are we going to make education work for everyone? How are we going to educate people for the future, to be relevant? What if we could disrupt universities, making them low-cost?

Dr. Taddy Blecher

Traditionally, education has been content-dominant and exam-driven. “We tell students what to think, we don’t teach them how to think, we don’t awaken their passions,” he said. “It’s an industrial revolution-based system from the 19th century, like an old shoe that probably never fit properly in the first place and it definitely does not fit in the 21st century.” We need to reinvent school systems, Taddy stressed, because “it’s easier to build strong children than to mend broken men and women.”

…and rethink how we produce and consume food, in order to feed the future

By 2050, we will need to feed 1o billion people globally, as our population grows by another three billion people. How will we feed all these people, while also protecting our world and our climate? Dr. Irwin Adam, SingularityU Canada’s Future of Food Faculty, emphasized that everything we eat has broader implications, on a global scale. “Food has become a nexus for all of technology. We’re seeing world leaders in fields such as AI, robotics, blockchain, all converging on the food supply and the food system in order to make it better,” he said.   

Aside from food production, we also have to consider what we grow. What might an ideal plant look like? “What would be the best possible thing to put in the ground in order to feed our future?” he asked.

But the biggest impact starts with us. “When we start to re-examine how we consume on a daily basis, and we actually make those changes, we can transform what our tomorrow looks like,” Irwin said.

Our future may be uncertain, but with the right mindset, we can prepare for it

Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt, Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google, asked the audience to imagine the future. “An optimistic mindset helps us to recognize that there are possibilities,” he said. “We can imagine the future by asking very powerful questions, questions that show a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

As children, we asked many questions (hundreds per day), but as adults, we do not often do so. Asking questions shows our curiosity, and can challenge the status quo. “The wildest questions can create the biggest opportunities,” he said.

Dr. Irwin Adam

Experiment, take risks, and have an open mindset. One of the most important skillsets of the future is empathy: putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, which “helps you to shift your perspective and helps you to see something new.” Return to the ‘explorer’ mindset that we had in our youth, and having this mindset also helps us explore the future.

You’re never too young to change the world

A panel discussion featuring three young innovators left the crowd inspired and optimistic about the younger generations – feeling confident that the future is in good hands.

“These are three of the most interesting people that I have met at this Summit…this is a trio of complex and creative problem solvers who I think really exemplify and embody the mindset and the thinking that we have been talking about this week,” said moderator Jeffrey Rogers, as he introduced the panellists.

The high school students, trained by human accelerator the Knowledge Society, spoke about their passions for machine learning, cellular agriculture and gene editing.

Teens from the Knowledge Society

“There are not enough smart people working on these problems…there are a lot of amazing resources out there that I have been able to go through and make connections with and develop my ideas,” said Anupra Chandran. “Imagine if a million more people could do this, we could crowdsource all of that knowledge and be able to make a huge impact.”

“I think you all can do anything, and I genuinely believe that,” said Ananya Chadha. “It’s never too late to get started, because you have so much life ahead of you.”

Disruptive change is the new norm, but we can make decisions that affect the greater good

In a closing session, Pascal Finette, Chair for Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation at Singularity University, helped the audience wrap their heads around all of the concepts explored over the past several days.

As technology is building upon technology, this is creating true exponential change. As Ray Kurzweil said: the change we are seeing in the next 100 years equals the change we have seen in the last 20,000 years.

Despite the massive changes, disruption and the element of dystopia, Pascal also reiterated the enormous opportunity that new technologies offer, and reminded us of all the good in the world.

“I believe that we become Gods,” he said. “We are getting the power to change lives, in really interesting ways. If we become gods, we better get good at it.”

Pascal highlighted some notable individuals who are creating large-scale impact, such as Mark Moore, co-founder and CEO of MANA Nutrition, an organization that works to tackle malnutrition. MANA therapeutic food packets (RUTF) are composed of peanut paste, milk, and vitamins and minerals, and three servings a day for six weeks can save the life of a starving child.

At the Summit, MANA food packets were available for attendees to take, and attendees were challenged to make an impact by participating in the Active For Good Challenge – and even kickstart the challenge by hopping on one of the stationary bikes onsite. Active for Good challenges users to burn calories; which are donated through the Active for Good App and converted into MANA food packets. Together Summit participants donated enough calories to save 34 lives.

SingularityU Canada is all about making a cross-Canada impact. “I believe we are at an intersection between opportunity and capability,” said Oren Berkovich. “If we are engaged, smart and work collectively and creatively in the same direction, we truly have the potential to create a spectacular future.”

Canada’s Digital Charter: Adapting with the Changing Times

Canada's Digital Charter: Adapting with the Changing Times

This past Tuesday May 21st, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduced elements of Canada’s new laws governing the internet and digital privacy in a Digital Charter. With technologies advancing daily and regulations and policies remaining unchanged for decades at a time, it’s a positive step to more closely align industry advancements with public sector governance.

For SingularityU Canada, a community that embraces innovation, and encourages people to consider the exponential trends, topics, and challenges that are most important to our country, the Charter is a step forward in shaping our collective future.

The Digital Charter is founded on ten principles that reflect key areas of concern voiced by Canadians during open sessions, such as the National Digital and Data Consultations (the Consultations). Among the principles listed are inspiring, but unsurprising priorities such as: open and modern government, control and consent, and data and digital for good.

In a society where exponential change is rampant, and one that is increasingly data-reliant, revisiting the federal privacy laws is welcome and necessary. Key themes that emerged from the Consultations highlight the extent to which technologies are reshaping the way people live and connect and the new concerns people must navigate online. Considerations reflected in the principles, like “safety and security”, take on a new meaning in the digital age and they will continue to evolve. For context, it’s estimated that cybercrime will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021 and there will be 80 billion connected devices by 2025.

At SingularityU Canada, we believe that exponential technologies are the key to unlocking global solutions. Furthermore, leveraging the convergence of exponential technologies will set us on the path to solve our global grand challenges. Learning, governance and security are among the global grand challenges – and are recognized and addressed by the Charter.  

The past few years have seen several initiatives undertaken by the government to boost the digital economy and to ensure all Canadians are poised for success in the digital age – the Computers for Schools program gave 7,500 refurbished computers to Syrian refugees in Canada, while the new National Cyber Security Strategy helps protect citizens and businesses from cyber threats. The Government is committed to strengthening Canada’s innovation ecosystem, through investments in initiatives such as the Innovative Superclusters and Innovative Solutions Canada.

Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), has not been substantially updated since the early 2000s

Most importantly, at the heart of the Charter is the importance of building trust in a digital world.

The Charter includes proposed changes to modernize Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), focusing on issues such as meaningful enforcement of regulations and enhanced oversight, consent, and data mobility. PIPEDA has not been substantially updated since the early 2000s.

“We need to get serious about rebuilding trust because people are currently losing it,” said Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains. “In the 21st century, either we build that trust and compete in the data-driven digital economy, or we don’t compete at all.”

Also recently announced by Minister Bains: the launch of the Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence. Comprised of 15 members, the council will advise the federal government on “how best to build on Canada’s AI strengths, identify opportunities to create economic growth that benefits all Canadians and ensure that AI advancements reflect Canadian values.” Various Canadian scientific experts and entrepreneurs are on the panel, including Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, and University of Alberta Professor Richard Sutton.

In the wake of the March terrorist attacks in New Zealand, and the violent content that was live streamed and distributed on platforms such as Facebook and Youtube, Canada and 18 other countries as well as eight major tech companies have signed the Christchurch Call, a pledge to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

The pledge demonstrates how a broader conversation around tech governance is needed. As pointed out in a Globe and Mail article, “We don’t need to militarize the problem or play Whac-A-Mole with extremists: We need to govern platforms.” in Ottawa this week, representatives from nine countries, including Canada, participated in the second International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News. The group discussed how they can protect citizen rights in the age of big data, examining the role of internet giants, such as Facebook, in safeguarding privacy and democratic rights.

“What we’re seeing now is a digital sphere that’s turned into the Wild West,” said Justin Trudeau, speaking at a technology conference in Paris last week. “And it’s because we – as governments and as industry leaders – haven’t made it a real priority.”

Such actions demonstrate that Canada is taking concrete steps to adapt to the changes of tomorrow, and positions Canada as a leader in the global economy, and our ever-changing world.

Top Takeaways from the 2019 SingularityU Canada Summit – Pt. 1

Lisa Kay Solomon, co-host of the 2019 Summit

Top Takeaways from the 2019 SingularityU Canada Summit - Pt. 1

On April 23 & 24, Edmonton, Alberta, got a taste of the future.

“Get engaged. Suspend your disbelief, truly immerse yourself in what’s happening here, and most importantly, share your ideas, because you don’t know how fast they can scale and the impact they can have,” urged Oren Berkovich, CEO of SingularityU Canada, at the start of the 2019 Summit.

And engaged they were. More than 1,100 participants gathered for two full days of conversation about disruption, innovation, and exploration of the (possible) future. The Summit featured over 40 speakers, hailing from Canada and around the world, focusing on the themes of energy, health, prosperity and citizenship.

In this two-part series, we will share the top takeaways and ideas that inspired us to think bigger and look ahead.

The future of health is in your hands (literally)

Dr. Tiffany Vora, Faculty Director and Vice Chair, Digital Biology and Medicine, spoke about moving from sick care (which involves a lot of waiting for things to go wrong or improve), to healthcare, moving away from the current doctor-centric model to one that is more patient-centric. “We’re moving away from this reactive paradigm towards a proactive future, in which I think every person’s genomes will be sequenced at birth, if not before.” Dr. Vora spoke of the idea of abundant information that gives us personalized insights. What if everyone was born with a risk portfolio? “If you knew that you could half your child’s risk of colon cancer as an adult by raising them vegetarian now, would you do it?” she asked. Healthcare solutions are going to be more personalized and digitized, with new technologies such as wearables, and a handheld DNA sequencer from MinION.

Dr. Tiffany Vora

The future of health is proactive, predictive, precise, personalized, and, most importantly, people-powered, said Zayna Khayat, Future Strategist at SE Health. “Healthcare systems haven’t changed for 150 years on that sick care model, and we’re asking them to re-architect themselves on this predictive model.” She noted that we are witnessing a patient revolution, as patients are taking matters into their own hands, becoming ‘patient-preneurs.’ Employers are becoming healthcare organizations themselves (eg. Walmart offering in-store clinics for its staff), and numerous startups are entering the healthcare space.

Babylon Health, now offered in Canada in partnership with TELUS Health, is a mobile app that serves as a ‘doctor in your pocket.’ “I think this has huge opportunity for our First Nations populations or any of our rural Canadians,” said Zayna.

Dr. Philip Edgcumbe

Dr. Philip Edgcumbe, Medicine Faculty at SingularityU Canada, discussed the doctor’s challenge – which is to adapt and stay relevant in an era of digitized and exponential health. We must move from an era of healthcare scarcity to healthcare abundance – which consists of timely, high quality and efficient access to care for all Canadians. If doctors embrace AI, they will succeed, but they must retain interaction on a human-to-human level.

Our energy system is in transition, and we all have a role to play

Speaking on the topic of energy, three speakers participated in a panel conversation about Canada’s energy future, moderated by Bill Whitelaw, CEO of JWN Energy. “What is your agency in the energy conversation?” Bill asked the audience.

Jane Kearns, SingularityU Canada Cleantech Faculty, challenged the audience to find the opportunity in this energy transition, rather than thinking of it as a threat. “These are massive problems that we have to solve, and this is a significant change that we are talking about. We need every brain on this, we’re talking about the future of our planet.”

“Alberta will be a leader in the transition to a low-carbon emissions future, not in spite of, but because of our fossil fuels,” said Chad Park, Chief Innovation Officer of The Natural Step Canada and the Director of the Energy Futures Lab. He pointed out that social innovation is just as important as technological innovation. “The challenge isn’t just in finding new technologies and deploying them… we need new stories, new policies, new business models, these are all opportunities where we can take some responsibility based on our own expertise and capabilities.”  

“A crisis is an opportunity, and this is a massive opportunity,” said Arash Aazami, founder of Kamangir, in a presentation about energy in an interconnected world. “First you envision the future you want, and then you backcast from there, rather than forecasting from the sub-optimal realities of today. It’s only that way that we allow ourselves to be agents of change.”

Technology helps to build an inclusive future for all

Gabrielle Scrimshaw, an Indigenous professional passionate about creating social impact, spoke about the intersection of technology and Indigenous communities. “Technology is a tool that we now have that is new to us…I am both excited and also a little bit terrified, what’s going to happen to our diverse array of Indigenous languages? Traditional ways of life? In a world that’s moving a million miles a minute, are Indigenous groups going to be swept aside, or do as we’ve always done, and adapt?”

Jack Sim

Technology can play a role in reconciliation – both for and by Indigenous communities. For instance, on the website FirstVoices, users can learn 13 different Indigenous languages. Technology also offers a “glimmer of hope,” as artists are selling their work on Etsy and accepting digital payments.  

Across the world, 2.4 billion people do not have access to toilets. Jack Sim, Founder of the World Toilet Organization, uses humor to spark conversation about the sanitation crisis, and is making an impact on a global scale. “When it’s very funny, people listen… the leverage model of humor becomes very successful, and the media writes about it. Every year, we get between two to three billion outreach, without paying a single cent on media.” After the movement garners attention from the media, politicians start to listen, then public policy, then public figures such as celebrities (actor Matt Damon has become involved). The group lobbied to have November 19 declared by the UN General Assembly as official World Toilet Day.

In other inspiring adaptations, thirteen year-old Tilly Lockey showed the Summit her hero arms, developed in collaboration with UK-based Open Bionics. The prosthetic arms are 3D printed, and bespoke to her. “They managed to develop these hands in five years… just imagine in another five years what they can achieve,” she said.   

Tilly Lockey

The conversations left people eager to learn more and inspired to take action. In diverse industries and emerging fields, numerous opportunities for Canadians to lead and shape the future were illuminated. Seeing the global impact intersect with personal responsibility and meaning led to rich discussions on and off the stage. Check out #SUCanSummit and our Part 2 of the summary to learn more about the big ideas and exponential technology that are resonating with Canadians and inspiring them to act.

The Modernization of Education

The Modernization of Education

Technology’s Impact in the Classroom

Many of us can remember the technology-free classroom. First, we were being reprimanded for passing notes, and soon after for cell phone use. As kids head back to school this month, they enter a classroom different from former times. Technology in the classroom is now being fully embraced, with laptops now commonplace. Since the Toronto District School Board’s WiFi rollout was completed in 2016, all schools in the board now have wireless networks. The board has a $3-million annual technology budget.

Traditionalists might argue that in today’s tech-obsessed world, reliance on even more technologies is detrimental to young minds. Then there is also the possibility of abuse of technology and inappropriate use of social media.

On the other hand, it’s a digital generation, and with the focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, the need for more tech becomes all the more imperative.

How do parents feel about this? In a recent survey from Microsoft and YouGov, 60% of parents were ‘optimistic’ about the role technology is going to have in their child’s life as they get older, while 30% felt they were ‘unsure’ or ‘scared. 86% of parents said that tech in school, such as computer use and educational software, was beneficial to their child’s education.

Learning beyond the classroom

Educational videos may be soon a thing of the past, if not already. The Education on Board Program allows Australian teachers to sail on marine research ship RV Investigator. They are able to enhance their STEM knowledge and content, and conduct live webinars to their classrooms. They also plan to incorporate their experiences at sea into their lessons. This allows learning to be more interactive and applicable to the real world.

This semester, biology students at Arizona State University can use student loan payments to pay for virtual reality headsets. With the goal to “provide students with real-world experience,” students have the option to use these headsets to complete the course’s lab requirements.

person wearing VR headset

Can spot weaknesses

Microsoft, a company applauded for modernizing the classroom, recently unveiled new technology. One example is Snap + Core First, a symbol-based communication application to help those with speech and language disabilities express themselves.

Recent research predicts that the use of AI in the U.S. education sector will grow 47.5 per cent through 2021. While AI-powered educational games are frequently used, AI can be particularly helpful for those children taking special education, where the traditional one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate. For these students, AI provides a personalized education, and helps with increasing attention span.

Virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri may help shyer children become more confident, said Chris King, chairman of the HMC group of private schools in the UK.  

Greater efficiency

Students and teachers in Saskatchewan are now being provided with SMART Learning software, which allows students to collaborate with others through their phones and tablets. With the software, teachers are able to design interactive lessons and provide game-based learning modules.

Adoption of technology in classrooms helps ease the workload for teachers. With AI helping to do mundane tasks such as reading directions out loud and grading standardized tests, teachers are able to spend more one-on-one time with students. An eastern China school has even installed facial recognition technology to monitor how attentive students are in class. If students seem distracted, based on their facial expressions, the computer will send this feedback to teachers. Intrusive? Maybe. At least there is no need to take attendance.

At Singularity University’s Global Summit last month, the future of work and learning were topics on the agenda. Gary A. Bolles, Chair of the Future of Work, stressed the importance of reshaping our educational institutions.

“We have to blow up what we’ve got today,” he said. “The current education system that is helping our young to be able to be prepared for the world of work is preparing them for yesterday’s world of work, not today’s.”

Integration of technology can enhance the school experience, and teachers should make greater use of it. With so many new innovations on the market, it makes returning to school seem almost appealing. The possibilities are endless, and poised to make an impact.

Level Up Your Skillset and Outlook with Continuous Learning

Apply to join the inaugural SingularityU Canada Executive Program and join the community to learn more about learning opportunities.

Exponential Growth in Travel

plane wing

Exponential Growth in Travel

How Technology is shaping the Future of the Industry

There is a growing demand for travel, and the amount of air traffic is only expected to increase. In 20 years time, the air travel market is expected to be 2.5 times larger, and the global commercial jet fleet will double in size by 2037. One of the driving forces behind this global surge in the industry? Technology. Whether it is innovation in aviation, airports, or booking and hotels, technology has revolutionized the travel experience.

The latest from the flight deck

Air New Zealand, an airline with a reputation for innovation, just announced that it has teamed up with North Shore-based Zenith Tecnica to explore the possibility of 3D printed metal parts for aircraft. The airline made a foray into the Silicon Valley tech scene by entering a partnership with JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), the venture capital subsidiary of JetBlue Airways. This partnership is the first of its kind on an international level in the industry, and looks to bolster innovation in the sector and support both existing and newly formed start-ups.

Other transportation companies are also exploring new technologies. Boeing is collaborating with SparkCognition to use a combination of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence that will ensure safe and secure transport while also tracking unmanned air vehicles and allocating traffic corridors.

There’s lots of potential to reimagine the flying experience, and it’s exciting to see what the coming years will bring.

Navigating the airport terminal

Travellers have spoken, and airports are listening.

  •       Los Angeles’ LAX is looking at survey data from Metis, an AI-backed data analytic system – to see what passengers are saying and feeling – about their airport experience. The system extracts elements of every comment or post and relates them to categories such as food and beverage, logistics and Transportation Security Administration.
  •      Baggage handling is another focus point, with 71% of airlines planning to provide real-time bag tracking information to passengers by 2020.
  •      British Airways has been testing biometric gates at several airports, and found that in L.A., they have been able to board more than 400 customers in 22 minutes – less than half the time it typically takes with manual boarding.

Robots and AI are personalizing the guest experience

According to WTM Insights, a new quarterly magazine on global travel trends, hospitality robots are serving as concierges, luggage porters and receptionists, and are found in airports, restaurants and hotels around the world.

  •       Singapore has embraced AI with Savioke robots. The M Social Singapore (part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts), has robots Aura and Ausca, “to increase productivity, optimise operations and enhance guest experiences. An internal audit has shown that they save at least five hours per day,” said the hotel’s Chief Marketing Officer.
  •      Las Vegas’ Wynn Hotel now has Amazon Echo speakers in each of its 4,748 rooms.
  •      Augmented reality technologies are used to emulate trips, and German airline Lufthansa has created 360-degree videos of various destinations, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo. The videos are available on YouTube and viewable on VR headsets to transport aspiring travellers and people planning their next trip.

Is this slew of new technology a force for good, or is it detrimental? Is it streamlining the experience, or making it impersonal?

Chris Hemmeter, managing director of Thayer Ventures, made an interesting point:

“Because it’s an infrequent purchase, the psychology of anticipation and discovery is pleasurable. So the idea of consolidating the whole travel discovery experience down to one site, one page, one app – it just fails miserably. The idea that you will talk to your home device and it will spit out a trip for you, I just don’t buy it.” For entrepreneurs, there is a great deal of risk and so many moving parts in travel. Yet there is also a lot of potential.

Exponential technology has transformational potential for individuals and industries, and these technologies are constantly evolving.

While technology can certainly help with aspects of the journey, we must not forget the importance of human connection.

There is joy in researching and discovering new places, but if new innovations are introduced in a balanced way that can help weary travellers make the experienced easier, they are welcome.

SingularityU Canada will be travelling to San Francisco, CA for our Global Summit. The summit will explore innovations in exponential technologies, such as AI, VR and robotics. Join us.

Level Up Your Skillset and Outlook with Continuous Learning

Apply to join the inaugural SingularityU Canada Executive Program and join the community to learn more about learning opportunities.

Continuous Learning is a Necessity in Today’s Job Market

Continuous Learning is a Necessity in Today’s Job Market

Why the World’s Smartest Workers are Focused on Lifelong Learning to Enhance their Skillsets

Leading professionals are changing their approach to learning. Faced with an uncertain future of work shaped by rapidly developing technologies, social change, and unprecedented flows of global information and data, learning is no longer reserved to early years or formal classrooms. Lifelong learners are emerging in every industry and in every country. People are recognizing the value and necessity of continuous learning as an iterative, evolving process that can have a positive effect on every aspect of their professional and personal lives.

Shifting your focus toward the future and pushing the boundaries to think bigger and do things differently will enable you to enhance your value in the workforce. Whether you’re seeking your first entry-level position, launching a new venture, or leading an organisation from the C-suite, learning is critical to advance your career and your impact. Continuous learning unlocks new opportunities, perspectives, and possibilities.

“Combining a degree with beneficial elements typically found in college or university programs such as co-op terms, internships and other experiential learning opportunities [is] the ultimate one-two punch, career-wise,” offers Kira Vermond in the article, Formal learning or learning on the job? from The Globe and Mail. Vermond highlights SingularityU as an alternative learning platform that can create a more robust outlook and approach as people navigate uncharted career paths.

Continuous learning and an eyes-wide-open approach offer understanding and insight to leverage the value in different perspectives and advancements.

Attend events, seek mentors, read new genres, disconnect from your routine, and expand your network. To remain resilient in the future, accessing learning opportunities that unite diverse disciplines, processes, and industries is essential. SingularityU Canada programs are designed to provide information and intersections, illuminating the connections between seemingly disparate industries and breaking down the barriers to understanding the world’s most impactful and complex innovations.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest in technological advancements is critical – but the pace of change is rapid. In traditional curriculum, content is out of date by the time it reaches the classroom. At SingularityU, curriculum is redesigned for each event and set before each program based on the latest breakthroughs, emerging trends, and current developments.

Learning directly from the minds shaping these trends is a unique and eye-opening experience. Experts with first-hand knowledge and the vision to create and implement transformational technologies offer a distinct perspective and make ideal instructors and mentors. SU Canada programs are led by inspiring innovators and decision-makers from diverse fields. The experts changing the face of society and transforming industries are being drawn upon for SU Canada Faculty to offer participants direct insight into the forces, processes, and technology behind the buzzwords.

Lifelong learning is a path to stay ahead of the curve. With access to more information and more innovative programs than ever before, people have the opportunity to constantly evolve their learning styles, approaches, and mindset. Thought frameworks and design principles that create a flexible outlook and strategy are key to face change and lead innovation. With the right foundation, you will be able to recognize and act on emerging technologies and industry disruption, while fostering a learning mindset as your default approach to change.

SingularityU Canada offers programs that are designed to provide cutting edge exposure to the thinking and technologies that will enable people to take immediate action and drive impact for themselves, their organisations, and the country.

Level Up Your Skillset and Outlook with Continuous Learning

Apply to join the inaugural SingularityU Canada Executive Program and join the community to learn more about learning opportunities.

Supercluster Announcement Demonstrates Canadian Leadership and Innovation

Supercluster Announcement Demonstrates Canadian Leadership and Innovation

Cross-Canada Clusters Identified as Economic Drivers

The federal government has announced the winners to its Innovation Supercluster Initiative. The winners are groups of high-performing public and private sector stakeholders and specialised teams from diverse industries who are collaborating to drive change and advance technology in key areas. Winning clusters get access to a piece of $950 million in committed funding and must match the amount they receive.

Canada is renewing its focus on innovation, research, and development, demonstrating that the country has an important voice and perspective on global issues.

With this collaborative push to succeed in identified focus areas, and emphasis on economic stimulation, Canada is well-positioned to be recognized for its role worldwide as a global leader in scientific breakthroughs, sustainability, and innovative development models.


5 Winning Innovation Superclusters to Advance Exponential Technologies and Global Grand Challenges

Five winning clusters were selected, and reflect the breadth and dynamism of Canada’s culture, talent, and economic landscape. They have very different focus areas but all contribute to solidifying Canada’s leadership position.

We put together a brief overview of the five winning Innovation Superclusters below, highlighting the exponential technologies they leverage, as well as additional resources to help you understand more about these key technological drivers and forces of change.

The Scale AI Supercluster

Location: Quebec
Focus Area: Building intelligent supply chains.
Technology: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics
Dive Deeper:
Watch “Should Robots Have Rights?” with Suzanne Gildert
Read Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

The Ocean Supercluster

Location: Atlantic Canada
Focus Area: Increase competitiveness for Canada’s ocean-based industries.
Technology: Clean Energy
Dive Deeper:
Watch Investing in Our Cleantech Future with Tom Rand
Read “The Clock’s Ticking on Climate Change, and It’s Time to Get Real About Tackling It”


The Digital Technology Supercluster

Location: British Columbia
Focus Area: Drive innovation in critical sectors like forestry, manufacturing, and health care.
Technology: Big Data, Digital Platforms
Dive Deeper:
Watch “The Future of Health” with Zayna Khayat
Read “Big Data can be a Profoundly Humanizing Force in Industry”

The Protein Industries Supercluster

Location: The Prairies
Focus Area: Making Canada a leading source of plant proteins
Technology: Biotech, Agriculture
Dive Deeper:
Watch “Programming Life” from Raymond McCauley
Read “Machines Teaching Eachother Could be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI”

The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster

Location:  Ontario
Focus Area:  Increasing resilience and adaptability in the manufacturing industry
Technology:  Robotics, Big Data
Dive Deeper:
Watch “The BIG Shift” with John Hagel
Read “The 10 Grand Challenges Facing Robotics in the Next Decade”


The clusters are all uniquely ambitious and positioned to succeed in creating important advancements in key emerging technologies and in long-standing industries. It is an exciting time for Canada as innovators, supporters, and talented thinkers from coast-to-coast join forces to drive development and advances in the areas that matter most.

If you are interested in learning more about exponential technologies and the role they play in our lives – and will play in the future – explore our resources and upcoming events. Leaders can expand their mindset and realize the full scope and impact of the rapid rate of technological change at our first SingularityU Canada Executive Program. Space is limited and spots are filling quickly – apply today!

Canada's Role as a Global Innovation Leader

Share your thoughts on the Innovation Supercluster Initiative. Join the Canadian innovation conversation with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.