Singularity University Welcomes Global Impact Challenge Winners and Participants from 40 Nations to its 2017 Global Solutions Program Focused on Climate, Environment

June 27, 2017

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – June 27, 2017 – Singularity University (SU), a global community with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges, welcomed the class of 2017 Global Impact Challenge (GIC) winners to the SU campus for its annual flagship event, the Global Solutions Program (GSP).

Forty-one GIC winners from around the world joined other selected applicants to attend the GSP, a highly dynamic and action-oriented experience that is often described by attendees as personally transformative. The program focus for 2017 is how to solve the challenges facing our climate and environment.

At the GSP, participants learn how to take their innovative ideas to the next level by learning the latest developments in exponential technologies, as well as how to use exponential tools and methodologies to build key skills. They network with each other and the SU faculty, and learn how to leverage the 135,000-strong SU global community to advance innovations they believe have the potential to positively impact billions of people. The GSP consists of the SU core curriculum taught by world-class faculty, hands-on training workshops, interactive group discussions, behind-the scenes tours at emerging startups, and contributions from the growing network of SU Impact Partners.

Since 2009, the GSP has challenged innovators from highly diverse backgrounds, geographies, perspectives, and experiences to create moonshots that will help solve the world’s greatest challenges. SU defines moonshot initiatives as those with the potential to positively impact one billion people within ten years.

One of the key elements of SU programs is the great degree of diversity among participants. Entering the SU GSP Class of 2017 are 90 participants from 40 countries, and this year’s GSP class is the second class with predominantly female attendees. Seventy percent of participants have entrepreneurial experience, more than a third have worked to solve Global Grand Challenges, and 60 percent of attendees have experience in technology.

The SU Journey for Entrepreneurs

The Global Solutions Program and Global Impact Challenges are entry points to a longer entrepreneurial journey that is inclusive of SU’s global innovation ecosystem. Upon completion of the nine-week summer program, selected GSP teams will have the opportunity to enter SU’s incubator program, an eight-week residential program that transforms early-stage innovations with the greatest potential for success into startups with viable products. Once these startups gain traction, teams may apply to SU’s startup accelerator program which aims to help founders network, expand, and accelerate their ventures to scale.

Global Impact Challenges

Each year, Singularity University, in partnership with SU Alumni, foundations, non-profits, corporations and governments in local regions, launch Global Impact Challenges (GICs) to identify promising entrepreneurs and innovators with the passion and ability to use exponential technologies to solve the Global Grand Challenges: water, food, energy, the environment, security, learning, health, prosperity, governance, disaster resilience and exploration (space). Applicants present solutions to a local grand challenge that would benefit a billion people in 10 years. Judging is based on innovation, impact, feasibility, and the ability to scale proposed solutions.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs from 25 countries competed to receive fully paid tuition (valued at $30,000 USD) to attend SU’s 2017 Global Solutions Program at its Silicon Valley campus. Winning submissions included ideas for:

  • Creating a community that uses open data information to be more efficient in natural disasters management.
  • Enabling electric vehicle adoption by improving fast-charging infrastructure throughout North America.
  • Improving food production and security by constructing automated farms within homes, which can also earn cash for the owners.
  • Creating a sustainable alternative for plastics made from seaweed.
  • Creating a platform to monitor the ocean using hyperspectral sensors and satellite imagers to empower ocean surveillance bodies.
  • Using biotechnology and drones to stop desert expansion, purify soil and reduce CO2 emissions.

“We initiated GICs to serve as global platforms to identify promising innovators in local communities and then connect them—and their ideas—to a larger circle of mentors within their city, country and region, and ultimately the SU exponential community,” explained Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO of Singularity University. “Through the GSP, we aim to provide a broad, cross-disciplinary understanding of the biggest ideas, trends, and issues in disruptive technology, within a culture of innovation and exploration.”


Americas: World Food Program (global); ReMAP, Deloitte (CA); Knight Foundation (USA); Global Startup Ecosystem (Caribbean); CIENCIACTIVA (Peru); Fundacion Mustakis (Chile); Ministry of S cience & Technology (Costa Rica); Universidade Positivo (Brazil); and City of Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Asia: BD (Singapore) and Sony Corporation (Japan)

Europe: Fazer, KAUTE Foundation, Technologies Industries of Finland (Finland); DNB, Wilhelmsen, Aftenposten (Norway); Industriends Fond (Denmark); Basque Association ADTEE, Rafael del Pino Foundation (Spain); and Axelera (Italy)

Africa: Mann Made Media (Southern Africa); ICT Authority, East Africa Community (East Africa); Mest; and Imaginarium (West Africa)


Singularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build an abundant future for all. SU's collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. A certified benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis with program funding from leading organizations including Google, Deloitte, and UNICEF. To learn more, visit, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @SingularityU, and download the SingularityU Hub mobile app.


GIC contact: Regina Njima:

Media contact: Diane Murphy:; Tel. +1.310.658.8756