Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation

Dr. Peter Diamandis

At a glance:

Diamandis is the Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions. He is also the Executive Founder of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world's leaders on exponentially growing technologies.

In 2014 Fortune Magazine named Peter Diamandis as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

Diamandis is the Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions. He is also the Executive Founder of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world’s leaders on exponentially growing technologies.

As an entrepreneur, Diamandis has started 20+ companies in the areas of longevity, space, venture capital and education. Diamandis is a New York Times Bestselling author of two books: Abundance & BOLD. He earned degrees in Molecular Genetics and Aerospace Engineering from the MIT, and holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Peter’s favorite saying is “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

  • Opening the Space Frontier

    Diamandis is the leading figure in the Space Commercialization industry, having founded and run many of the leading companies such as Zero Gravity Corporation, Space Adventures, the Rocket Racing League, and International Space University to name a few. He is the recipient of the Economist No Boundaries Award, the Heinlein Award, Armstrong, Lindbergh, Von Braun, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards for his work. In this engaging, fun and visionary presentation Diamandis outlines Humanity's future in space — how we will travel there, build industries and launch future civilizations.
  • Exponential Technologies Causing Disruptive Innovation

    Diamandis provides an overvview of the key exponentially growing technologies, covering such topics as:

    Artificial Intelligence
    Robotics
    Computational Systems
    Network Systems
    3D printing
    Nanomaterials
    Medicine/NeuroSystems
    Biotechnology
    Bioinformatics

    Diamandis discusses how breakthroughs in these areas will transform products, companies, industries and even society over the next twenty years. He provides key insights on how human society has transformed from "Local & Linear" to "Global & Exponential." This change is causing the creation of new billion dollar start-ups out of nowhere, and the demise of 50-year-old billion dollar companies overnight.

    Through Diamandis' work as Chairman and Co-Founder of Singularity University (www.singularityU.org) and Chairman/CEO of X PRIZE (www.xprize.org), he addresses the impact that exponentially growing technology has on companies, governments, and humanity. He speaks to the potential of creating a world of abundance, and the empowerment of small groups of "do-it-yourself" technologists to do what only governments or large corporations could do before.
  • Creating an Age of Abundance

    Diamandis has co-authored "Abundance" (Simon & Schuster, Feb'12) 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 Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

    In his keynote address, Diamandis examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, communication and freedom—Diamandis addresses how a range of powerful technologies such as synthetic biology, embedded networks and cloud computer, 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.
  • Achieving Innovation and Breakthroughs

    Diamandis is a dynamic inspirational speaker who provides real value to his audience by showing them how to drive and incentivize breakthrough thinking within their company in order to achieve clear, measurable and objective results.

    Based on the success of the Ansari X PRIZE (which stimulated the creation of billion-dollar private spaceflight industry) and the success of the $10M Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, Diamandis explains how to incentivize breakthroughs. Diamandis 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 mind-set. Diamandis' ultimate message is that companies cannot remain stagnant. They must evolve or they will die.
  • 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 timelines 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.

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