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Singularity University Global Ambassador Salim Ismail on Exponential Organizations

Salim IsmailExponential Organizations is one of those very rare individuals who can be and look from both inside and outside of the box – all at the same time. Furthermore, Ismail is one the few Singularity 1on1 interviewees who have the uncanny ability to keep surprising me with challenging, provocative, enlightening and often unexpected answers. During my time at Singularity University [GSP’11] I interviewed Salim for the very first time and then we talked about his personal background, why he is not a singularitarian and why “We are already Gods.”

During this 2nd conversation with Salim Ismail we went both further and deeper in a variety of interesting topics such as: the progress and changes since my time at Singularity University and what SU is all about; potential cures for Alzheimer’s and Diabetes; his book Exponential Organizations and who is it for; business, scarcity and abundance; the definition of Exponential Organization [ExO]; the Importance of a Massive Transformative Purpose [MTP]; the acronym SCALE IDEAS; whether SU is an ExO or not; why Apple and Google are among the most prototypical ExOs; why we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of large organizations; the monumental implications for our political, legal, economic, social and ethical structures; technological unemployment, zero marginal cost and the decline of Capitalism

(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more high-quality episodes like this one please make a donation! Apologies for Salim’s shorting mic which eventually died half-way through the interview so that we had to use the back up audio. Alas, those are the occasional birth-aches of my small, free podcast trying to produce expensive, broadcast quality interviews.)

Who is Salim Ismail?

Salim Ismail HeadshotSalim Ismail is a sought-after speaker, strategist and entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He travels extensively addressing topics including breakthrough technologies and their impact on a variety of industries and society in general.

Salim has spent the last six years building Singularity University as its founding Executive Director and current Global Ambassador. SU is based at NASA Ames and is training a new generation of leaders to manage exponentially growing technologies. Prior to that, as a Vice President at Yahoo, he built and ran Brickhouse, Yahoo’s internal incubator. His last company, Angstro, was sold to Google in August 2010. He has founded or operated seven early-stage companies including PubSub Concepts, which laid some of the foundation for the real-time web.

He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Wired, Vogue and the BBC. He advises Fortune 500 executives and many world governments on the future of technology and has recently released his first book – Exponential Organizations.

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  • ernest101

    I would challenge Mr. Ismail to actually provide clinical data in the real life environment of a “cure” for Alzheimer’s disease and (I am assuming type I) diabetes mellitus. Although I have no doubt that some researcher may have discovered and published a new and intriguing finding in these two diseases, to say that this is tantamount to a cure simply is false. Hyperbole such as this doesn’t lend itself to building credibility for either Mr. Ismail or Mr. Kurzweil. Both are very talented and intelligent but their focus of expertise is very narrow. Hopefully, someone can provide me with data showing the cure for Alzheimer’s as I have a parent who is in dire need of such a miracle.

  • Salim posted this link on Facebook as a reference to one of the things he was referring to: http://aleteia.org/2015/01/23/breakthrough-alzheimers-study-points-to-cure-on-horizon/

  • Brian

    Great interview with the brilliant Salim Ismail! I appreciate that you challenged him on the employment front around the 50:00 mark. His answer was the usual positive response that will probably apply to only a small part of our population. How will most of us compete with the large pool of labor that are scrambling for the diminishing few jobs… Especially those maintaining a family at the same time…

  • 竹村 和莉 (Takemura Ori)

    Absolutely one of my favourite episodes, splendid interview and an extremely density of content!

  • Pingback: The Emperor Has No Clothes: Socrates Deconstructs SU()

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