Dr. Peter Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE for 100 mile-per-gallon equivalent cars, the Foundation is now launching prizes in Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy, and Education. As co-Founder & Chairman of the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley-based institution partnered with NASA, Google, Autodesk and Nokia, Diamandis counsels the world’s top enterprises on how to utilize exponential technologies and incentivized innovation to dramatically accelerate their business objectives. Dr. Diamandis attended MIT where he received his degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering, as well as Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D. Diamandis’ personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!”
Creating a Culture of Innovation and Breakthroughs
Peter Diamandis is a dynamic inspirational speaker, described by many as “the best in the industry.” He delivers real value to his audience by showing them how to drive breakthrough thinking and innovation within their company that offer clear, measurable and objective results.
Based on the success of the Ansari X PRIZE (which stimulated the creation of a billion-dollar private spaceflight industry) and the success of additional X PRIZEs in Life Sciences, Energy, Environment and Exploration, Diamandis explains how to incentivize breakthroughs in your company and industry. Diamonds explains how traditional thinking, risk aversion and incrementalism will cause the demise of companies unable to cope with the coming decades of disruptive innovation.
Through concrete examples and lessons, Diamandis addresses two options:
Internal: How to create a culture of innovation within your company;
External: How to incentivize the outside world to help you solve your biggest problems;
Diamandis explains how the rapid growth of key exponential technologies (Nano, Info, Bio) are empowering individuals and small companies to do what only governments were able to achieve only a few decades ago. Such technologies will drive a period of significant disruption and/or opportunity depending on the company’s mindset. Diamandis’ ultimate message is that companies cannot remain stagnant. They must evolve or they will die. You are either disrupting your own business model or will be disrupted by others.
The Coming Age of Abundance: Understanding Humanity’s Future
Diamandis is the New York Times bestselling author of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (#1
on Amazon, #2 on NY Times, 2012, Simon & Schuster), in which he lays out how we will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. An antidote to pessimism by tech entrepreneur-turned philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis.
Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing fast. The authors document how four forces — exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the techno-philanthropist, and the Rising Billion — are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic road map for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.
In his keynote address, Diamandis examines human need by category — water, food, energy, healthcare, education, communication and freedom — and addresses how a range of powerful technologies such as synthetic biology, embedded networks and cloud computing, AI and robotics, biotechnology and medicine are transforming what was once scarce into something abundant. Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge — this is a keynote about how we rise to meet it.
Exponential Technologies Causing Disruptive Innovation
Diamandis is the co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University (SU), the leading institution for the study of exponentially growing technologies. SU was founded with the support of Google, Autodesk, Genetech, Nokia, Cisco and NASA and is located in Silicon Valley.
From his perspective of Executive Chairman, Diamandis provides passionate, insightful and extremely useful keynotes on the impact of the following exponentially growing technologies:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computational Systems
- Digital Manufacturing/3D printing
- Digital Medicine
- Network Systems
Diamandis discusses how breakthroughs in these areas will transform products, companies, industries and
even society over the next 20 years. He provides key insights on how human society has transformed from “Local & Linear” to one that is now “Global & Exponential,” and how this change is accelerating disruptive stress or disruptive opportunity depending on the company’s point of view. These technologies are also leading to the greatest epoch of wealth creation ever, where new billion-dollar startups are coming out of seemingly nowhere at the same time that 50- and 100-year-old, billion-dollar companies are going out of business.
Diamandis also discusses the explosion of data that is transforming how companies operate and how to tap into big data with a brand new set of exponential “organization tools” that allow companies to make 100-fold improvements in their R&D strategies.
Transforming Your Company from "Linear" to "Exponential"
Competition for many of America’s Fortune 500 companies is no longer coming from China and India. Today it’s coming from two guys in a garage with a startup leveraging exponentially growing technologies. YouTube went from a startup on Chad Hurley’s personal credit cards to being purchased by Google for $1.4 billion in less than 18 months. Groupon leaped from conception to $6 billion in value in less than two years.
At the same time that billion-dollar startups are materializing — seemingly out of nowhere — hundred-year-old industry cornerstone companies are crumbling. In 1996, Kodak had a market cap of $28 billion with 140,000 employees. In 2012, it went bankrupt. That same year, another company in the photography business called Instagram was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion. The company, which had been founded only a year earlier, had just 13 employees.
The difference between Kodak and Instagram is the difference between a Linear and an Exponential organization, the subject of this keynote.
For most of recorded history, a community’s productivity was a function of its human power — humans to hunt, to gather and to build. Double the number of people gathering crops and you double your output. Next, humanity domesticated beasts of burden like the ox and the horse, and output increased. But still the equation was linear. Double the beasts, double the output. As the corporation came into existence and the industrial age dawned, for the first time output took a huge leap. Now a single individual could operate machinery doing the work of 10 horses or 100 laborers. With this increased output came prosperity for many and an increase in the standard for living.
The 20th century witnessed a doubling of the human lifespan and a tripling of inflation-adjusted per capita for every nation on Earth. During this phase of human productivity, the limiting resource of growth went from the number of bodies (human or animal) to the number of machines and the capital expense deployed.
Doubling the number of factories meant twice the output. Companies grew larger and larger, spanning the globe and dominating sectors. With size came increased probability of reach, domination and ultimately success. But such growth took time and large capital investments. None of this was cheap, and the complexity of large-scale hiring efforts and the difficulties of designing, building and delivering new equipment meant that implementation time lines were measured in the better part of a decade. On more than one occasion, CEOs and boards of directors found themselves “betting the company” on a new direction, making huge capital expense investments measured in hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. Pharmaceutical companies, aerospace companies, automotive companies and energy companies routinely found themselves making investments whose returns might not be known for nearly a decade.
But exponential growth and exponential organizations are different. Rather than use armies of people or large physical plants, Exponential Organizations focus on utilizing information technologies, taking that which was once physical in nature and dematerializing it into our lives. Physical equipment like Nikon cameras, Magellan GPS devices, libraries of books or music albums now simply become apps on our smartphone. An Exponential Organization is one whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large compared to its number of employees because of its use of networks, automation and/or its leveraging of the crowd.