TRILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGES
AREA: ENTREPRENEURSHIP SESSIONS: 10
PROFESSOR: JOE HASLAM
B. Comm., University College Cork, Ireland
M.Sc., University College Cork, Ireland
International MBA, IE Business School, Spain
Kauffman Foundation Global Partner Network (KGPN)
Perot Systems, VISION Consulting, Electronic Arts, Panda Security
Mentor: Wayra, Startup Bootcamp, Lisbon Challenge, IE Venture Lab
Founding Team: marrakech.com, hot.co.uk
Advisory Board: @camareroapp, @innubu, @sharedsecrets
"exponential technologies …. are enabling small teams to do what was once only
possible for governments and large corporations"
Vivek Wadhwa - Singularity University
Forbes Magazine - 25th June 2012
The biggest event that will occur in the working lives of MBA students today is “Singularity”.
At a time in the future (most experts agree within 20 years) machines will become so
powerful that they rival human intelligence.
Singularity will give an opportunity to the coming generation to make lots of money by
doing something that also makes a difference. To paraphrase former @Facebook
research scientist @hackingdata the best minds of a generation can work on challenges such
as how to cure cancer or how to provide clean water for billions, not on how to make people
click on ads.
Previously this course was called Humanities Grand Challenges. The name was changed
to Trillion Dollar Challenges to reflect that it seeks to take a market driven route to solving
the world´s problems as opposed to one based on charity and aid.
Over 10 sessions, I will show you about one thousand ways in which our world is broken
and some of what is happening to fix it. I don’t mind if you find 99.9% of these problems
uninteresting as long as I find one challenge that makes you go “wow, that grabs me. That´s
what I want to do”
Please note that no specific preparation is required for any of the sessions. Should you wish,
you are welcome to read or watch the material listed in advance but most learning follows from
digging deeper into what really interests you after it has been discussed in class.
SESSION 1: SINGULARITY
We start by unpacking the word Singularity. It means different things to different people. Here
we will define it in the way that futurists, such as Ray Kurzweil, do to mean the point where
technologically-created cognitive capacity is reached and then goes beyond that possible for
humans. When this will happen and what the long term effect will be are not as interesting as
the convergence itself. This is already happening and causing revolutions in genetics,
nanotechnology and robotics.
By 2029, computers will match human intelligence: Ray Kurzweil
Google’s Chief Engineer: People Will Soon Upload Their Entire Brains To Computers
A group of stem-cell biologists have grown an “organoid” that resembles a brain
Paul Allen: The Singularity Isn't Near
Is the singularity near, or is it already history?
Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday
Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History
Singularity University: Meet The People Who Are Building Our Future
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World
Transcendent Man (2009)
The Singularity (2012)
Singularity or Bust
SECTION A – THEORY
SESSION 2: INNOVATION & SUSTAINIBILITY
Is the rate of innovation slowing or are scientists just measuring the wrong things? In this class
we will look specifically at three concepts: Disruptive Innovation, Frugal Innovation and Open
Innovation. How can they be used to see what is next?
Innovation: The History of a Buzzword
Understanding How The Innovator’s Dilemma Affects You
Netflix Prize A “Turning Point” For Open Innovation
Asian innovation - Frugal ideas are spreading from East to West
Disruptive Innovation for Social Change
Can Silicon Valley Save the World?
The Collapse of Complex Business Models
Can business solve the world's biggest problems by disruptive change?
Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation
Unilever’s global success is driven by innovation and sustainability
Shareholder Value Theory, The Origin Of 'The World's Dumbest Idea
In today's corporations the buck never stops. Welcome to the age of irresponsibility
Company profits depend on the 'welfare payments' they get from society
We must stop protecting the rich from market forces
The world’s next great leap forward - Towards the end of poverty
Our dangerous illusion of tech progress by Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel
Imprisoned by Innovation
Ha-Joon Chang: The net isn't as important as we think
Lunch with the FT: Ha-Joon Chang
Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts - The Six Headwinds
Watch this man. Review of Civilisation by Niall Ferguson by Pankaj Mishra
It’s a Myth That Entrepreneurs Drive New Technology
The entrepreneurial state - A new book points out the big role governments play in creating
Why innovation needs the help of an active state - FT.com
Techno-Pessimists: Wrong In The 1930s, Wrong Today
Has the ideas machine broken down?
The west desperately needs more madcap schemes like the Hyperloop
The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology
Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History,Got Sick,
and Will (Eventually) Feel Better
Civilization: The West and the Rest
The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages
Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital
Have Failed--and What to Do About It
23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang
In Tech We Trust - A Debate With Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen
Mariana Mazzucato: Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator
SESSION 3: BIG DATA & THE INTERNET OF THINGS
These are two separate concepts, but looking at them together is good way of hypothesizing
about how our world might change. Big Data still has an imprecise meaning. It started as a
reference to the problem of when data sets grow so large that they become awkward to work
with. In time tools will get better and be able to extract meaning. I like to think of The Internet of
Things as a world where everything except food has an IP address. We will look at real world
examples of machine to machine (M2M) conversations, social graphs and augmented reality
products. Maybe we will emerge with more question than answers from this session but the
hope is that one day it will all make sense.
The Origins of ‘Big Data’: An Etymological Detective Story
Data, data everywhere - Information has gone from scarce to superabundant. That brings huge
new benefits but also big headaches
14 Big Data Startups You're Going To Be Hearing A Lot More About
Is Data The New Oil?
Big Data Is Not the New Oil
What’s the difference between big data and business analytics?
Clayton Christensen: Still disruptive
What Data Can’t Do
Stop Hyping Big Data and Start Paying Attention to ‘Long Data’
Beware the Big Errors of ‘Big Data’
The Age of Big Data
Welcome to the Programmable World
The Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing
One Trillion Sensors Embedded in Humans and Machines by 2020
Need-to-know: A guide to the internet of things
Why I invested in SmartThings
The internet of things - Mote learning
More Connected Homes, More Problems
FTC targets ‘internet of things’ amid privacy fears
Spreadsheets: Broken link. Computing power, like political power, corrupts
CIA Chief Tech Officer: Big Data Is The Future And We Own It
2013: The year of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things Has Arrived — And So Have Massive Security Issues
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't
"Why the Internet of Things is moving from industry to consumers sooner than you think"
SESSION 4: 3D PRINTING AND NANOTECHNOLOGY
Again in this session, we will connect two separate concepts and look at practical ways they are
bringing change. 3D Printing companies are springing up all over the place. We know about
printing household objects but its at the Nanotech layer where things get really interesting.
Nanotechnology manipulates matter at the near-atomic scale, already there are scientists
working on how to “print” body parts.
Infographic: A Brief History of 3D Printing
3d Printed Aston Martin Db4 Replica By Ivan Sentch
Chris Anderson: Why I left Wired - 3D Printing Will Be Bigger Than The Web
Why You Should Care About 3D Printing
From dental braces to astronauts’ seats
3D printing scales up: There is a lot of hype around 3D printing. But it is fast becoming
integrated with mainstream manufacturing
Amazon quietly launches complete 3D printing store
Four ways 3d printing could change the world
The Next Trillion Dollar Industry: 3D Printing
3D printers shape up to lead the next technology gold rush
Nanotechnology's Revolutionary Next Phase
Nanotechnology researchers 3D print microbatteries for implants and tiny robots
Graphene and Human Brain Project win largest research excellence award in history
Wonder Material Ignites Scientific Gold Rush
Atom-Thin Graphene Beats Steel, Silicon; A Patent "Land Rush"
This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers
First 3D-Printed Rifle Successfully Fires 14 Shots
Nanotechnology engineers can print 3D microstructures in mere seconds
Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
SECTION B – CHALLENGES
SESSION 5: ENERGY & TELECOMS
Where do we currently get our energy and is this likely to continue? How big a change has
Mobile brought to telecommunications. How is Energy and Telecommunications linked? One
very interesting theory is called The Third Industrial Revolution. Climate change, anyone want to
deny that its is man made? Finally can we kick our addiction to oil and is solar the answer?
Futurist Ray Kurzweil sees solar energy advancing at an exponential rate, soon reaching the
tipping point towards universal use.
Why BP Solar Failed
European utilities - How to lose half a trillion euros
Analysis: Renewables turn utilities into dinosaurs of the energy world
why the us power grids days are numbered
Storage, Not Generation, is the Challenge to Renewable Energy
Mobile is eating the world, autumn 2013 edition
Rethinking Mobile First
Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves
Zuckerberg explains internet.org, Facebook's plan to get the world online
European Renewable Energy Council ranks UK 25th out of 27 states on progress towards 2020
green energy target
The Battle Over Climate Science
Reuters' climate-change coverage 'fell by nearly 50% with sceptic as editor'
People Don’t Fear Climate Change Enough
Naomi Klein: 'Big green groups are more damaging than climate deniers'
Denialists are dead wrong about the science. But they understand something the left still
doesn’t get about the revolutionary meaning of climate change.
Is There Really a Green Paradox? by Van der Ploeg and Withagen.
The Renewable Energy Singularity
Oil Soars and Natural Gas Withers: But the Energy Singularity is Not Forthcoming
The Green Paradox: A Supply-Side Approach to Global Warming
The Ringtone and the Drum: Travels in the World's Poorest Countrie
The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power
SESSION 6: EDUCATION & LEARNING
How does the world currently learn and is this likely to continue? What is a MOOC and will they
kill the MBA (no!!!). What is poverty´s link to education and who benefits from inequality. We will
compare Finland´s successful education model with what the demonstrators say they want in
Chile. I will try to keep control in the class while the Mexicans get into a fight over “la Maestra”.
Influential Pisa report says Britain's mid-table position is virtually unchanged from 2009 as
attainment gap persists
Khan Academy Update — It’s Hard To Imagine How Much Hotter This Tech Can Get
How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It
Rethinking Education: Why Our Education System Is Ripe For Disruption
How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education
Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education
How Do We Transform Our Schools?
If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person
An army of new online courses is scaring the wits out of traditional universities. But can they find
a viable business model?
Online courses are transforming higher education, creating new opportunities for the best and
huge problems for the rest
Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit
For Obama’s New Term, Start Here
Obituary- Hamilton Naki
The Dangers of Telling a Single Story: Computers for Kids and Bill Gates
Theory of Spain’s political class
A Visit To Absurdistan: What Happened to the Spain Where I Was Born?
Camila Vallejo Dowling..the face of the ‘Chilean Winter’ student protests
Education in Chile, The fraught politics of the classroom
Deadlock over who should pay for education, and who should profit from it
Finland's education ambassador spreads the word
The Secret to Finland's Success With Schools, Moms, Kids—and Everything
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior¿
Tiger Moms Don't Raise Superior Kids, Says New Study
Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
Waiting for 'Superman' (2010)
Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education
Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies
Girl Rising (2013)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
Martin Luther King Jr., "The Drum Major Instinct" Sermon
SESSION /: FOOD (AND WATER)
What does the planet eat and is this sustainable? What is the relationship between food and
water? How much water does it make to grow a kilo of beef? Smartfoods and dumbfoods. Why
are Doritos so dam tasty and how much salt, sugar and fat is in them? Nestle, Monsanto,
Glencore and even Goldman Sachs, are their ethical questions to be answered? And is "Eat
food, not too much, mostly plants." really good advice?
Inside the geopolitics of a a hungry planet
John Deere tractors are getting smarter all the time
Farm subsidies: A welfare program for agribusiness
EU agricultural overhaul puts onus on farmers to be green
The 9 billion-people question
The end of cheap food
What costs the world $260 billion each year?
For want of a drink
Giant water reserves found in desert dry region of Kenya
Segway creator unveils his next invention: a magic water purifier
Why Profits, Entrepreneurship, And Social Good Are Not Incompatible
Nestlé's Peter Brabeck: our attitude towards water needs to change
Nestlé introduces bottled water for “trendy, high-income” women
Why wealthy tech entrepreneurs are pouring their money into water
How To Feed A Billion. And Why It Pays
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
Coca-Cola admits Dasani is really just 'purified' tap water
Halve meat consumption, scientists urge rich world
Venture Capitalists Are Making Bigger Bets on Food Start-Ups
Fake food: the tech companies working to revolutionise how we eat protein
The Food Issue | Scientific American Reports
Feeding Frenzy: The New Politics of Food
Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up, warns top environment expert
How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis
Investigation A Giant Among Giants Glencore - Foreign Policy
'Seed freedom is the answer to hunger and malnutrition'
What is causing food prices to soar and what can be done about it?
Golden Rice: Lifesaver?
Are high food prices good or bad for poverty?
The Agricultural Fulcrum: Better Food, Better Climate
Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water
The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother's Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America's Food
Supply-- and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself
The World According to Monsanto
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Global Food Economics
Food, Inc. (2008)
King Corn (2007)
More Than Honey (2012)
Natural World: Farm for the Future
Dambisa Moyo: Is China the new idol for emerging economies?
Bottled Life: Nestle's Business with Water
Tapped (I) (2009)
Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008)
SESSION 8: HEALTH (& AID)
In this session first we look at the statistics, who lives longest and who dies quickly. Next, we
look at aid to the developing world. Who is benefiting and who getting a raw deal. The increase
is the rates of cancer, the so called silent killer, is one of the most troubling phenomena of
recent years. How near are we to a cure? Big Pharma. Some say more sinned again than
sinning. Others that the industry has lost its way. Finally we will discuss how long do you want to
live for anyway? Does the phrase quality of life resonate with you?
Why Do Education and Health Care Cost So Much?
Will Disruptive Innovations Cure Health Care?
Medicine goes digital
One Man's Quest To Make Medical Technology Affordable To All
How Silicon Valley Envisions The Future Of Health Care
Singularity University Graduates 2013 Class: Startups Emerge To Solve Major Health Problems
Five Predictions For Biotech And Medicine In 2012
Bill Gates: capitalism means male baldness research gets more funding than malaria
The Charitable-Industrial Complex
The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman
Half of UK population 'will get cancer in lifetime'
Do Sharks Hold Secret to Human Cancer Fight?
The 10 Deadliest Cancers and Why There's No Cure
Drug firms and cancer: Lucrative lifesavers
WTF Is Calico, And Why Does Google Think Its Mysterious New Company Can Defy Aging?
Rebuilding Big Pharma's business model
Why is it so difficult to develop drugs for cancer?
Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Wrong
Drugmakers: Big Pharma struggles to protect its blockbusters as they lose patent protection
Drugs and emerging markets. For developing countries to get new drugs, both Big Pharma and
governments must compromise
Trade Deals For Cheap Drugs In Developing Nations Stalled By U.S.
Drug patents - A fool’s game
Profitless prosperity - The biotechnology industry needs to grow up
Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacogenomics
Pharmacogenomics holds the promise that drugs might one day be tailored to your genetic
Esther Dyson: We Need to Fix Health Behavior
Daniel Kraft on Singularity 1 on 1: You Don’t Have To Be a Doctor to Improve Health Care
The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (2012)
Clay Shirky Keynote - Health 2.0 SF 2008
SECTION C – WHAT´S NEXT?
SESSION 9: CAREERS
The wrap up session will review what we have looked at and identify ways to work in this new
economy. What skills will you need to have and what skills will be redundant. Will robots be our
Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization
Where Google Ventures Is Searching Now
The Future of Work
The End of Labor: How to Protect Workers From the Rise of Robots
Top five regrets of the dying
The strategy consultants in search of a strategy
What Killed Michael Porter's Monitor Group? The One Force That Really Matters
Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption
Hazard of the Trade: Bankers' Health
Vivek Wadhwa: Why I Don’t Advise Startups to Hire M.B.A.s
Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything
Forget The Sequester: Entrepreneurs Are Saving The Future
How to get a job after the Singularity comes
How Will You Measure Your Life?
The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future by Charles Handy
Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy (2102)
by Philip Auerswald
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing
Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis
Andrew McAfee: What will future jobs look like?
Hans Rosling: The best stats you've ever seen
Surviving Progress (2011)
The Sharing Economy by Loic Le Meur
Mark Suster - GRP Partners - LeWeb London 2013
SECTION D – IN CLASS EVALUATION
SESSION 10: EXAM
Students are asked to bring their PCs to the session and log into the network. 15 Minutes before
the start of class, each student will be sent an email from their hypothetical “boss” with five
generic questions based on what we have studied. Pick one question and reply to it. You may
consult any source you like but must reply to the email within 90 minutes. After I read each
email, I will reply to it with the grade and my feedback. This exam will constitute 40 per cent of
the overall grade for the course.
50% of the grade will come from explaining how to tackle one of Humanity´s Great Problems in
the style of a 1,000 word newspaper column. The idea is to be original and contrarian. The
crazier the better. You can submit this at an anytime during the course.
Finally, 10% is based of class participation. This is mostly awarded for just showing up though
interesting questions which benefit the class should and will be rewarded.
50% Paper – A 1,000 word newspaper article
40% Final Exam - Answer an in class email
10% Class Participation