The Pandemic Challenge
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19 disease is a serious threat to us all, and could even unseat our global economy.
The purpose of this competition is to elicit sensible viable ideas that can help abate the pandemic, i.e. to support and not try to conflict with or replace the work of healthcare professionals, businesses, NGOs and Government. The competition will end on 14th April 2020, necessarily quite fast so ideas can be put to use.
Singularity University’s global network is an ideal platform for this initiative, as we are a diverse multi-ethnic group of technologists, scientists, entrepreneurs, government, NGO, corporate and SME people. While Singularity is known for its prowess in the arena of emerging technologies, the organisation’s mission is to educate and inspire people to help solve humanity’s hardest problems and this Convid 19 coronavirus is definitely one of those hard problems.
"This is Awesome!"
former CEO Y Combinator
"Delighted to be involved in this important initiative."
"I am impressed by this project"
The competition process
The competition is open to all, and we have a great initial prize from Singularity University in Silicon Valley, to attend Singularity’s world-renowned California Executive Programme.
Their job is to assess the ideas submitted, and choose which one is of the highest impact, can be speedily deployed, by a truly capable team. By competing, you are making yourselves known to individuals who can make a big difference.
The scope of your idea can be far and wide, anything that abates the pandemic, we do not envisage there being any ‘silver bullets’.
Examples will come from engineering, business practices, behavioural change, scientific discovery applicable rather soon and frankly whatever else does the job. Perhaps there are really simple abatements we haven’t thought of yet, but you will.
The competition will build its own gravity, and additional prizes will be made available to incentivise increasing coordinated action.
We will keep the website updated as sponsors join Singularity University.
Entry starts 17th March, and closes 14th April 2020 at Midnight GMT.
Remember, your idea can be a product and or service, and you can apply as an individual or a group.
The Judging Panel
Dr Meng-Han Kuok
Klaas De Boer
Dr Ferdinando Samaria
Dr. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
Eline Van Der Velden
Dr Elizabeth Surkovic
Dr Andre Moreira
Stefan Poechhacker has an MSc in computational finance from UCL. During Stefan’s time at UC Berkeley, he developed a keen interest in cryptocurrencies and became an active investor in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies leading to him delivering a lecture to UCL’s post-graduates Stefan worked at EY London leading a team of four to develop a blockchain AML transaction monitoring solution to identify and flag cryptocurrency transactions with suspicious activity. He has experience in building and backtesting systematic trading strategies in python which he acquired out of personal interest and at a London based energy hedge fund, before joining Bloomberg as an Account Manager where he specialized in Equity and Commodity markets. He is an advocate for quant driven solutions in the DACH region.
Professor Michael Mainelli
Professor Michael Mainelli co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank and venture firm, in 1994 to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Michael gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor. Michael’s early scientific research in aerospace (rocket science) and computer graphics led to him starting Swiss companies in seismology. Michael served as a Director of Europe’s largest R&D organisation (DERA) leading to two privatisations.
Professor Yen Choo
Dr Anish Mohammed
David Orban is the Founder of Network Society Research and Managing Partner at Network Society Ventures. He is a faculty member and advisor at Singularity University, and he served as the Chairman of the Board of Humanity+. Mr. Orban’s past entrepreneurial accomplishments span several companies founded and grown over more than twenty years. He attended University of Milan, and University of Padua and studied Physics.
Leighton Vaughan Williams
Leighton Vaughan Williams is Professor of Economics and Finance. He is Head of Economics Research and Director of the Political Forecasting Unit at Nottingham Business School. Leighton’s main teaching is in the area of money, risk, forecasting, efficiency of markets and financial economics. Prior to joining Nottingham Trent University, Leighton was Lecturer in economics at the University of East Anglia. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Management, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA.
Dr Alex C. Y. Wong
Dr Con Keating
Erik Postnieks has been a professional investor since 1993 and has two decades of experience researching unique strategies for, developing, and successfully managing long/short equity, currency, and global macro hedge funds. He managed hedge funds in New York City from 1994 through 2010 and now is an Exempt Reporting Adviser in the State of California with Exolinear Capital Management, LLC. Erik earned a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University in 1988, with Distinction in All Subjects, and an MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College in 1993. Erik began his investment career at Bankers Trust Company (1993–1996), where he co-managed a $2 billion derivatives-based structured product portfolio. The unifying theme of Erik’s career has been an ability to identify market inefficiencies that have enabled him to produce average annual returns 22.5% greater than the S&P 500, net of fees. His hedge funds averaged 30% annual risk-adjusted returns (“alpha”) from 1997 to 2003, and roughly 8% average annual alpha from 2005 through 2010. Over his career to date, Erik has made his clients more than $150 million in alpha. He has a 13-year audited track record, of which 10 years were positive, 1 year was flat, and 2 years were negative. From 2011-present, Erik has worked as a Registered Investment Adviser on machine learning applications for stock news sentiment, ETF market anomalies, global macro strategies, and long-short equity based on the Exolinear concept. Erik believes the largest market anomaly in the market today is they underestimate the potential of companies that harness technologies with exponential growth characteristics, earnings surprises, high growth, and high efficiency in the use of assets. He believes investors are systematically overestimating the potential of stocks with “linear” growth characteristics: low tech, asset-heavy businesses that can only make small increases in productivity to drive down costs and who exhibit poor Environmental, Social, and Governance scores. Erik will soon launch a new hedge fund to exploit this market anomaly called “Exponential vs. Linear Partners, LP” and an offshore fund as demand warrants. Erik has been also been an angel investor for 15 years and has seen hundreds of pitches. He has been the founder and CEO of three successful businesses.
Richard Porter is Director of Technology and Innovation at Zenzic, defining and overseeing a £200m portfolio of investments to make the UK the global centre for testing and development of self-driving technologies, building on existing and delivering new capabilities, both physical and virtual. Previously Richard was Director of Research and Innovation at Highways England, UK Research Liaison to US DoD, Security policy advisor and crisis manager at FCO. Richard is always interested in new technologies and encouraging collaboration to deliver technologies to market quickly and effectively.
Taseer Ahmad is a trans-disciplinary architect, designer, educator, and gelato-maker. Active in all aspects of practice: private, commercial, entrepreneurial and research. He was born near the Himalayas of Kashmiri origin, raised and educated in London at UCL and the Royal College of Art. Since the 1980s he has practiced in the UK and taught at schools of architecture and design in Oxford, London, Kent as well as in Europe and the USA. He was Director of Interior Architecture and Design at the University of Kent until 2010. His terrestrial architecture, interiors and design experience has been gained mainly in London-based practices and has spanned the mundane and the extraordinary: secret London interiors in Hampstead and Primrose Hill; private members clubs in the West End; international museums and galleries in Edinburgh and Delhi. He also practices as a multi and inter-disciplinary space architect and extreme environments designer and has collaborated in projects with ESA, ALENIA, NASA. From 1991 to 2001 Taseer was director of the Extreme Environments Laboratory, a design, teaching and research unit at Oxford School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. In 1993 he was awarded the Medal of Honour by the Government of Ukraine for extreme environments design for Chernobyl de-contamination. Current design research and project work is in the field of sensory environments and the human body’s personal architecture and ‘spatialisation’.
Business Woman, CEO of BeST innovation, CEO of Singularity University Chile Summit President of HER GLOBAL IMPACT. Bárbara is a Catalyst of Innovation Ecosystems. She advises business leaders, corporations and governments in their innovation strategy and in the design of new business models to face the economy of disruption and to shape the industries of the future in Latin America and Europe. Bárbara is a business woman and her primary role is helping organizations to prepare to not be disrupted through the design of new business models and the attraction of international investment from developed markets to grow the industries of the future in Latin America through “BeSTinnovation”. She invested in Elibatt a lithium battery system integrated with internet of things and big data. Chile is one of the main producers of lithium of the world. In 2016, Bárbara was the one who introduced the first Singularity University Summit in Latin America a global conversation about exponential technologies and it impacts in companies, public policies and the society that is taking place in countries such as Denmark, Japan, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, US, New Zealand and Australia. Recently, she was appointed as the representative for South America of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), a non profit research center that takes the most advanced R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace. Bárbara is on the Advisory Committee of Sofofa, Association of the main industries of Chile and the productivity commission of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce. She was the Vice-president of the Innovation Committee of Open Beauchef from Universidad de Chile. She loves to democratize the access of innovation tools to women, in 2012 she was the one who started the women in innovation movement in Chile and South America by connecting south american women with the knowledge and the network of successful women in Silicon Valley. After that she created “HER GLOBAL IMPACT”, her non for profit organization focuses on training and the acceleration of female entrepreneurs. She won the Young women innovator Award in the Asia Pacific Economic Forum in 2013 and was the first Latin American Woman invited to attend the G8 Youth Summit in 2013 in London. In 2014 was recognized as one of the 100 young leaders of Chile. A mentor, speaker and advocate in diversity integration and businesses with purpose, Bárbara brings a Latin American perspective in a global world, her work has been featured in CNN several times. Bárbara was born in Valparaíso, Chile, has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Business Psychology and was honored by the UAI University with an Excellence Scholarship. She has a Master of Arts in Business Psychology and a Master of Arts in Innovation Management © Bárbara was the first Chilean woman who studied at Singularity University in 2012 and she got a scholarship from Heidi Roizen investor of the DFJ venture fund in Silicon Valley to attend the Draper University in 2014.She is currently an Adjunct Professor at UAI, the most important business school in Chile.
John Kermath has spent over 30 years in fund management, investment banking, and venture advisory; working closely in the last 18 years with emerging technology companies in their development. Previously John served 9 years as President of a multi-strategy hedge fund that had peaked at $4 billion in assets under his management. He joined the organization to address problems arising from heavy investor redemption requests and ultimately led the team that restructured the firm’s main funds in multiple steps, raising approximately $240 million to facilitate the effort. He subsequently took over management of the organization and fund portfolios with over $1 billion in residual holdings, largely private equity & venture in nature. He has served as a board member of a dozen portfolio companies and created over $260 million in new value for fund investors in settling long-standing litigation. Prior to this, John was advisor and investment banker to several technology ventures where he assisted in raising a $65 million private equity fund and co-managed a $250 million portfolio of fund interests for a major family office. Early in his career, he advised several NFL investor groups on acquisitions and financing. He also served as a board member and President of the Houston Private Equity Association. Mr. Kermath began his career at Citibank and Deutsche Bank and previously served in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Economics.
Head, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, United Nations, UNICRI. More than 20 years of experience in leading multilateral negotiations, developing stakeholder engagement programmes with governments, UN agencies, international organisations, think tanks, civil society, foundations, academia, private industry and other partners on an international level. Since 2014, Initiated and managed one of the first United Nations Programmes on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Initiating and organizing number of high-level events at the United Nations General Assembly, and other international organizations. Finding synergies with traditional threats and risks as well as identifying solutions that AI can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Beridze is advising governments and international organizations on numerous issues related to international security, scientific and technological developments, emerging technologies, innovation and disruptive potential of new technologies, particularly on the issue on crime prevention, criminal justice and security. He is a member of various of international task forces, including the World Economic Forum’s Global Artificial Intelligence Council, and the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence of the European Commission. He is frequently lecturing and speaking on the subjects related to technological development, exponential technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics and international security. He has numerous publications in international journals and magazines and frequently quoted in media on the issues related to artificial intelligence. Irakli Beridze is an International Gender Champion supporting the IGC Panel Parity Pledge. He is also recipient of recognition on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW in 2013.
Leila Pinto’s professional career developed in the Financial/Banking Industry at different Financial Institutions in Spain, the United States, Panama, Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador. For more than fourteen years she led Private Banking teams and managed wealth management portfolios for top International banks such as Deutsche Bank, Banco Sabadell, Lloyds TSB Bank and Grupo IF (US Group Bank) where she was the Head of the International Area. She currently owns a financial advisory boutique firm whose main objective is to advise high net worth families in Latin America. Leila’s academic career started in 2010 when she began teaching Corporate Finance and Advanced Financial Management at IE Business School. Leila is a full-time teaching Fellow UCL School of Management. In addition she is the Programme Director for the MSc Finance at the School of Management. Leila holds a Degree in Business Administration, an MBA and a Masters in International Relations Degree.
Professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University is very interested in the researches on Functional Metal Matrix Composites, Smart Meta-materials and Superstructures, Bio-inspired and Biomimetic Materials. Dr. Tongxiang Fan was born in Shandong, china and graduated from Shandong University with a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He later received a Ph.D. degree in State Key Lab of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiaotong University in 1999. From 1998 to 2001, he worked in Osaka University as a visiting scholar and Japan Science and Technology Agency as STA Fellowship award winner, respectively. After returning to School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, he became an associate professor in 2001 and a full professor in 2006. His research currently includes Functional Metal Matrix Composites, Bio-inspired and Biomimetic Materials, Smart Meta-materials and Superstructures. Tongxiang Fan received many awards for his contributions to the development of new materials, including STA Fellowship( Japan, 2000), Excellent Young Teachers Program (Ministry of Education, 2002), Fok Ying Tung Foundation (Hongkong, 2003), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (Ministry of Education, 2004), Shanghai Rising-Star Program (Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, 2005), First Class Prize in Natural Science (Shanghai Municipality, 2014 and 2007), Dawn Scholar (Shanghai Education Committee, 2008), Distinguished Young Scholars (NSFC, 2014), National Natural Science Award (CPG, 2015), Leading scientists, engineers and innovators( National Ten Thousands Plan, 2017) and National Millions of Leading Engineering Talents (MOHRSS, 2017). His works were featured as cover stories in many international journals such as Advanced Materials, Journal of Materials Chemistry, and also selected as HOT Papers by Progress in Materials Science, Chemistry of Materials, Nanotechnology, and also highlighted in NPG Asia Materials, Nature China, ACS News, New Scientist, BBC Knowledge Magazine, Photonics Spectrum Magazine, Nanowerk, Biomass Journal, Science Daily, Physorg.com, Discovery Channel News and more.
Innovation & Change at Fontana Group, a world leading company which operates in the automotive industry’s luxury segment with R&D, engineering, dies construction, stamping and assembly super-cars lightweight materials bodies. Before joining Fontana Group, Stefano (born in Italy and adopted by the USA) was immerse among successful and unsuccessful projects in a variety of industry; entertainment, tech, pet health/food to cite some. Stefano literally possess a bright vision of the future, he is a tech-savvy innovator, endless learner, and passionate entrepreneur and intrapreneur.
Reinier Starink, a Dutch man, studied Sociology and Economics, and attended a MBA program at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy in 1988.
His career started working with Shell International in the field of Human Resources. He worked in HR in the Netherlands, Australia and China. Over time, his span of attention started to gravitate towards Business improvement initiatives, Change and Leadership.
After Shell he continues this focus and became an associated partner of a consultancy business in Lisbon, Portugal, focussing on business improvement – and leadership programs. He also started to teach, as an associated professor of ISCTE university focussing on International Project Management and Communication.
He then moved to Malaysia where he continued with his focus on Business Turn arounds, Strategic Leadership and Change Management. First he had his own consultancy practice, later he joined Pemandu Associates, a firm focusing on private sector business turnarounds / improvements or on public sector country transformation programs. In between, he did a stint of 2 years with ABB in Switzerland where he was co-leading activities in their global change strategy (Journey of Excellence) for the Power division.
Dennis M. Bushnell
Dennis M. Bushnell is a NASA scientist and lecturer. As chief scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, he is responsible for technical oversight and advanced program formulation. His work is focused mainly on new approaches to environmental issues, in particular to climate issues. Bushnell has received numerous awards for his work. Bushnell has promoted research at NASA into LENR. Bushnell obtained his M.E. degree from the University of Connecticut in 1963 and his M.S.degree from the University of Virginia in 1967, both in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
With over 20 years of marketing, business development and channel sales experience; Dinesh has established himself as a marketer with a penchant for both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the profession.
A University of Oregon graduate with majors in Finance and Marketing, in 2017 he received Certificate New Media Marketing for the Hospitality Professional from Cornell University.
As the Membership Director of The National University of Singapore Society – Singapore’s Premier Graduate Club, his core responsibilities, include overseeing both the subscription revenue and membership growth of by constantly developing greater membership value and driving membership campaigns.
Beryl Chavez Li
Beryl Chavez Li is currently a Business Owner at Unionbank of the Philippines’ innovation arm, UBX, where she product owns Biddit.ph. She is also the Innovation officer at Studex, an animal conservation platform, that aims to clone and preserve endangered species like Sudan, the last male white rhino.
Beryl was the founding CEO of asset token platform, CapchainX. She was a founding team member and Entrepreneur In Residence at Coins.ph, a leading crypto exchange and blockchain payments startup in Asia that has recently been acquired by GoJEk. Her experiences include backtesting trading algorithms at BlackRock London as an FX Quants Consultant as part of her GCP at Cambridge and authoring the Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups, a framework in building the Philippine startup ecosystem, as Senior Consultant at the Department of ICT. She started her career in early stage Venture Capital in Shanghai in 2012.
Beryl holds a Master of Finance degree from Cambridge University where she sat as President of the Cambridge University Cryptocurrency Society. She attended Stanford University earning an International Management Certificate during the summer quarter and earned her bachelors in International Business, Finance and Economics at Manchester University.
Prepare to be Transformed
How you can help
Please inform others, who may wish to compete or also to help build up the competition. You may have a great idea, but have little time to develop, we can put you in contact with possible partners. We are always looking for more prizes (not money), e.g. education programmes, use of resources to help develop concepts, more judges (we are building a resilient judging panel, because they are all awesome though some may be preoccupied by the end of April), and just generally positive vibes – we’ll need plenty of those for next few months.