I stared at what appeared to be a standard black Lincoln sedan – but the vehicle in question was anything but ordinary. As I sat in the back seat, I watched as the car navigated around an empty parking lot – turning as we reached the end of the road – all without the assistance of a driver! Moreover, data-filled screens on the front dashboard highlighted a machine that was constantly updating and learning new paths. On that cold and cloudy morning in Toronto, I found myself in awe of a future that is changing in exponential ways.
“Think Big, Take Risks, and Drive Global Impact” – this was the recurring theme throughout the Singularity University Summit, held in Toronto, Canada. As I looked around the technology lab – Hosted in a chic industrial space called Evergeen Brick Works – I caught a fleeting glimpse of the future; virtual reality products, artificial intelligence, digital biology & precision medicine, blockchain, and a myriad of emerging technology trends. After experiencing all of this firsthand, I couldn’t help but feel excited for the future, and think about how this will positively impact the world we live in.
I came to the conference after reading the book, “Exponential Organizations” by Salim Ismail, a serial entrepreneur and the Founding Executive Director of Singularity. Mr. Ismail’s book was eye-opening, and a key takeaway focused on how past growth was primarily linear, but organizations are now shifting from the previous paradigm to become “exponential”. Unlike linear growth, which produces a stable straight line over a period of time, exponential growth skyrockets. Examples of exponential organizations include the “who’s-who” of Tech, including Uber and AirBnB, both of whom completely disrupted the ride-sharing and hospitality marketplaces, respectively, as a result of their exponential thinking.
Peter Diamandis, the energetic and amiable co-founder of Singularity University, kicked off the Summit by providing concrete examples of the positive changes resulting from exponential technologies over the last decade. Two staggering facts caught my attention: the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has decreased from 95% in 1820 to less than 10% in 2015, and the percentage of literacy has increased from 15% in 1800 to 85% in 2014. Peter also discussed how he predicts that 100% of the global population will be connected to the internet by 2022-2025, a total of ~8.0 billion people and additional 4.2 billion new minds from today. Knowing that 100% of Pro Mujer’s clients will be fully connected in a few years is critical in how we assess every aspect of our strategy moving forward. Moreover, Peter also encouraged us to develop an appetite for “moonshot thinking” – meaning we need to “go 10x bigger when the rest of the world is trying for 10% bigger”. This mentality resonated with me and spurred new thinking. I wondered, how organizations, including Pro Mujer, need to continually ask ourselves, “What’s our moonshot?” As we continue to improve and innovate, we need to constantly strive for progress and leverage this new mentality. In doing so, we can become a 10x organization – and beyond.
Another speaker that left a profound impact on me was Zayna Khayat, innovation sherpa-in-chief at REshape Health Innovation Centre at Radboud University Medical Centre. Khayat discussed the future of healthcare and how we will move from a reactive system to a more proactive, preventative, and predictive model. She also discussed how healthcare will transition from a “one-size-fits-all” system to one that is more personalized and configurable. Not only will healthcare be more intelligence-based, but it will also become more decentralized and democratized. As a U.S. Citizen, this thinking was particularly compelling, as even one of the world’s wealthiest countries is still grappling with its healthcare model. Most of all, this made me think of the services we provide our clients and how exponential thinking can drive superior healthcare outcomes.
Thinking about everything I learned in two terrific days at SingulartyU, I am eager to jumpstart exponential thinking as a way to fulfill Pro Mujer’s mandate, “to become a large-scale, sustainable platform that delivers relevant and transformative resources and tools to women in Latin America throughout their life cycle”. Pro Mujer will follow Singularity’s Exponential Leadership model by thinking with four lenses: as a Futurist, imagining bold ideas; Humanitarian, making choices that positively impact people and communities; Innovator, bringing ideas to life; and as a Technologist, accelerating possibilities with technology. Our integrated platform will allow us to scale our impact to our clients by leveraging the power of alliances and fostering growth and connectivity. Ultimately, Pro Mujer’s integrated platform of services will result in truly transformational change for the women of Latin America – “a one stop shop for women’s empowerment”.
Please join Pro Mujer on our journey to becoming an exponential organization!
Source: Singularity University Canada Summit, Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail
Written by Cassandra Salcedo, Strategy Associate, Office of the CEO