SingularityU South Africa Summit 2019 will address Africa’s most pressing challenges

SingularityU South Africa is proud to announce that the SingularityU South Africa Summit 2019 will take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix and Conference Centre, in Johannesburg on October 16 and 17 2019. Now in its third year, and promising to be exponentially bigger than previous years, this future-focused event will take Singularity University’s mission to use new technologies to help solve global challenges further, by placing a specific focus on future-proofing Africa.

Thought leaders and innovators from across the world will present a forward-thinking approach to unlocking the potential that Africa holds. Topics to be addressed are designed to bring the most pressing issues facing the continent to the fore, including education, energy, poverty, prosperity and water. This summit intends to equip the leaders of today and tomorrow with the thinking and knowledge needed, to use technology to help pioneer a better future for all Africans.

To watch a video on the forthcoming summit, click here

“As part of our mission to future-proof Africa, we are focusing on the most pressing problems and technologies that can help address these. Innovation holds the key to the exponential solutions that can solve our education, energy, poverty and water challenges,” said Mic Mann, co-chief executive of Singularity University South Africa.

At a launch event held in the economic hub of Johannesburg, the first six speakers who will take the stage at this year’s summit were announced. They include:

– Sivan Ya’ari, the driving force behind InnoAfrica, which has supplied over a million people in rural areas in Africa with clean drinking water and solar power, after identifying the need for a more sustainable energy solution.

– Award-winning scientist and futurist Ramez Naam, who has authored several books, including The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, which examines the environmental and natural resource challenges of climate change, energy, food and water, will address the scientific and technological innovation needed to solve the energy challenges faced by Africa.

– Andres de Leon, the chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation, which is pioneering a full-scale passenger capsule, will share how boundless thinking has enabled the future of mobility to include this remarkable transport solution.

Andres de Leon, chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation

– Chief executive and chief researcher at Next Bio Sciences, South African SingularityU faculty member Kim Hullett will share how advances in stem cell and genetic research are unlocking solutions to medical challenges around the world.

– SingularityU Canada robotics specialist faculty member Suzanne Gildert (PhD), who co-founded Sanctuary AI with a mission to build synthetic humans, will discuss how we will have robots that will look like us and assist in the future to help us be more human.

– Kris Øostergaard from the Nordic faculty of SingularityU will present an innovative perspective on transforming legacy organisations by embracing a new innovation framework and the exponential effects that this can yield.

More speakers will be announced in due course.

The SingularityU South Africa Summit is hosted in collaboration with The Development Bank of Southern Africa, global partner Deloitte, and strategic partners MTN and Absa. The summit will showcase how technology can be used to solve various global challenges. It aims to address the most pressing issues facing Africa by hosting global thought leaders in the areas most in need of attention on the continent. Attention is also being paid to bringing a youth component into this visionary event, details of which will be announced at a later stage.

“We believe we have the ability to unlock the potential lying in the African continentand lead the way in the fourth industrial revolution” added Shayne Mann, co-chief executive of SingularityU South Africa.

Shayne Mann, co-chief executive of SingularityU South Africa

The third annual SingularityU South Africa Summit aims to create a collaborative and more economically-inclusive future, whereby partnerships and deals can be conceptualised and developed across the continent. Networking opportunities will allow participants to connect with SingularityU faculty members and alumni. Exhibitors will present breakthrough ideas and investment opportunities that will run alongside the summit.

Save the date for the third annual SingularityU South Africa Summit

When: October 16 and 17 2019

Where: Kyalami Theatre on the Track, Johannesburg

Cost: Early adopter tickets:R16 650 (sold out), Standard tickets: R18 500, Late mover tickets: R20 350. Tickets limited to 1 800 people.

What to bring: An exponential mindset and your networking skills

Register here

Quotes from SingularityU South Africa Summit Partners

Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

The DBSA’s vision is to build Africa’s prosperity, and there is no doubt that technological innovation will provide the impetus for rapid development in South Africa and the region. Technology now makes it possible to change the way services are delivered and the DBSA has been investigating solutions to infrastructure problems using new techniques and products.

Our relationship with SingularityU gives the bank additional insight into global innovation and how exponential technologies can help to address specific challenges, particularly in South Africa, where there are still huge divides.


Innovation plays a major role in any industry, and so in an unpredictable and constantly shifting business environment, we aspire to act as connectors between ideas, areas of expertise, industries, people and geographies such that we accompany organisations as they navigate through the future.

Our alliance with Singularity University affords us the opportunity to participate as a global partner in the annual SingularityU Summit. Globally, SingularityU Summits have developed into a point of inspiration and connection for the local community, an opportunity to highlight breakthrough ideas and technologies and a catalyst to accelerating a local culture of innovation. For Deloitte, it’s tremendously exciting to be part of the third annual SingularityU Summit in South Africa as we continue to walk with our clients on an exponential journey to #futureproofafrica.


MTN believes that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life and in giving back to our communities in an impactful way. As such, MTN considers it important to understand the potential change that rapidly evolving social and technological developments could have on our environments and communities. The partnership with SingularityU South Africa affords us the opportunity to stay on top these developments.


We are living in a time of extraordinary change and technological disruption. But one thing is clear: if this fourth industrial revolution has the potential to ring in a new era of social progress and strengthened societies, we need to improve access to technology and educate everyone so they can fully benefit from the opportunities it opens up. Without a decisive plan for inclusivity at all levels of our society, this revolution will fail the very people it should benefit the most. We are therefore excited to be a part of SingularityU South Africa’s journey as it embeds our commitment to partnering with different thought leaders to ignite change and redefine the future of our continent.

About SingularityU South Africa

SingularityU South Africa is the seventh country partner of Singularity University and the first in Africa. It is hosted in collaboration with our country partner The Development Bank of Southern Africa, global partner Deloitte, and strategic partner MTN and Absa. Our massive transformative purpose is to build an empowered network of globally connected change-makers across Africa who are able to innovate and implement solutions that will solve some of the continent’s greatest challenges. We want to leapfrog Africa into the fourth industrial revolution.

We can do so by empowering its people to create abundant, sustainable, and holistic ways of living and working. In this way, we can #futureproofAfrica. We apply SU’s approach of applying exponential technology and thinking to solve South Africa’s and the continent’s greatest challenges around unemployment, education, infrastructure, energy, and medicine, among others. As a catalyst for change, SingularityU South Africa runs customised education, innovation, and impact programmes that help others leverage rapidly accelerating technologies — including artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, blockchain and digital biology — in innovative ways to unlock solutions that can positively impact millions of lives.

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