SingularityU brings technorealism to Europe

17 May 2019

The inventor of virtual reality, a specialist in human extinction and a cyborg are coming to Belgium with keynotes that will broaden your perspective, during an inspirational two-day conference.

On 23 and 24 September 2019, Brussels will host the very first SingularityU Summit in Belgium. Various international experts will gather in The Egg to discuss Exponential Europe, or: how will Europe cope with the accelerating dynamic of technology worldwide? #FutureproofEurope.

SingularityU was founded in 2008 by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, and is based at the NASA Ames Research Park near Mountain View in the technological heart of Silicon Valley.

SingularityU is a global community fully committed to innovative and exponentially evolving technology to tackle the world's greatest challenges, with the aim of building a better future for everyone. In the Benelux this will be achieved by, for example, programs and workshops for organizations, leadership and changemakers.

In 2016, Eindhoven became the location for the first hub outside Silicon Valley. Today there are hubs in Scandinavia, Canada, South Africa and, since the beginning of this year, in Belgium, as part of the Benelux.

To inspire, awaken and activate

In the past ten years, a great deal of attention has been devoted to individual types of technology. However, these days the focus is shifting to how they are mutually reinforcing and how we can apply them to successfully implement urgent and relevant changes in society. Technology is merely a means to an end, a resource, the question is what end do we have in mind, what should we desire?

Too many private individuals and organizations are not yet making full use of the potential offered by the latest technological developments, alongside the new economy and changing business models. Organizations and institutions in Europe can continue building on its strengths and should continuously strive to use the possibilities offered by new technology. The effective application of new technology will enable European organizations to stimulate leadership, achieve growth for our organizations and offer a more sustainable society.

Multiperspective & Mindblowing

The speakers at this conference are experts in specific areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, as well as critical thinkers in the field of social themes on which technology has an impact, such as energy and labour.

At the same time the Summit will serve as the launch of SingularityU’s activities in Belgium. The Summit's program focuses on the impact of technology on citizens, businesses and society. This topic builds on and explores subjects in more depth that were cited this year as top priorities by the World Economic Forum in Davos. Visitors will acquire the mindset, knowledge and tools they need in this exponentially changing world.

Diederick Croese, founder and CEO of SingularityU Benelux: “Technology is affecting our personal life, our economy, democracy and society at an accelerating pace. These developments force us, more than ever, to jointly re-examine our habits, ethics, culture and politics, even the world in which we live. We have to be aware of the technological possibilities and carefully discuss our intentions and objectives, so that we obtain a better understanding of what constitutes a desirable application of powerful technological resources. Updating, weighing, bundling knowledge and values, only then can we ensure a better future for our children and ourselves with (greater) awareness.”

Visionaries of our time

SingularityU Benelux is also proud to announce its first confirmed speakers. Jaron Lanier, Liviu Babitz and Anders Sandberg, some of the most prominent technology visionaries of our time, will share their views on technology and how it can be applied so we can reap the benefits.

Jaron Lanier is often described as a ‘Renaissance Man for the 21st Century’. He created the concept and devised the possibilities of virtual reality (VR), selling the first actual VR products via his company VPL Research. In 2010, ‘Time Magazine’ named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has written three bestsellers: ‘You Are Not A Gadget, ‘A Manifesto’, ‘Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality’, followed last year by ‘Ten Reasons For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now’.

Liviu Babitz is a ‘biohacker’ and a true cyborg. In order to increase his perception of reality he upgraded his body with the help of technological sensors. Today he advocates a completely new world in which humanity is given an update. Technology provides us with access to new feelings, new memories and new ways of learning about the world. He not only hacked his body, but also his brain, which now thinks in a different way. This enables him to lead a richer life.

Anders Sandberg spends his days performing simulations of ‘low-probability, high-impact risks’: unlikely occurrences that could put an end to the human race - such as epidemics and the consequences of nuclear warfare. One aspect of this involves estimating the potential of future technology and the ethical issue of enhancing people with the help of technology. He is a senior researcher linked to the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford.

The SingularityU Brussels Summit: Exponential Europe will take place on 23 and 24 September at The Egg in Brussels. Different types of tickets can be ordered via here.

The ambition? To boldly create a bright, global, pan-European future, together.

More speakers will be announced soon.