By 5 June 2019 | Categories: news


The inaugural SingularityU Exponential Finance Summit, which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 29 and 30 May 2019 has by all accounts, been a resounding success.

With over 600 people attending, the event brought together big thinkers and change-makers from around the world. Over the course of the two days, more than twenty four thought leaders took to the stage to address topics in the exponential finance space to share new ideas, spark debate and trigger collaborative partnerships.

The main focus of the event was on how innovative technologies can be used to future proof Africa, and stimulate collaborative futures. The event was live streamed to 52 sites across the world.

While the title of the summit may have led one to believe that it was aimed at the financial services industry, in reality its relevance reached well beyond that sector.

Something for everyone

Many of the topics touched on topics pertaining to leadership, the digital era and what the future of technology holds. Also on offer was business insight for entrepreneurs and start-ups, an indepth look at how South Africa can win in the alternative energy race, and a brilliant view of society in the next ten years, and what people can do to take advantage of the exponential changes coming.

Just a few of the highlights included Will Weisman, the executive director of summits at Singularity University, who unpacked the six “D’s” of the exponential framework, namely Digitised, Deceptive, Disruptive, Dematerialised, Demonetise and Democratise.

Another unmissable event was the keynote from Amin Toufani, SingularityU Finance Chair. Along with numerous gems of insight into how technology is going to impact on the financial services sector, and change people’s lives, he listed the five components essential to creating value in an exponential world: 1. Virtual, digital, connected. 2 Just in time delivered. 3. Hyper customised. 4 Dynamic pricing. 5. Nano economics.

This was followed by Magda Wierzyka, who shared the astounding statistic that 91% of actively managed funds in South Africa have underperformed, and reiterated the importance of shared value driven models.

Speakers galore

The line-up of speakers included world renowned cybersecurity expert Jaya Baloo, exonomics and exponential business models expert Amin Toufani, blockchain specialist Tanya Knowles, future of cities expert Geci Karuri-Sebina (PHD), Catherine Wood, founder of ARK invest, and data science specialist Manu Sharma.

Other headline speakers included Ramez Naam, Kyle Nel, David Roberts, Kirsty Roth, Ashley Anthony, Mic Mann, Shayne Mann, Nathana Sharma, and Paul Pagnato – one of the top 35 global wealth advisors globally.

Another feature of the event was the interactive exhibition area, which provided a space for attendees to engage with some of the SingularityU South Africa country partners and sponsors, and trial new technologies.

For example, Deloitte’s stand showed a tool for companies and where their sector would be best served by adopting a mobile workforce, and which of the functions were most vulnerable to being automated. With this, they could begin reskilling the relevant personnel ahead of time.   

As well, virtual reality and augmented reality were on display while crypto currency ATM’s dotted the hall.

Purpose defined

“As part of our journey in future-proofing Africa, we are thrilled that the inaugural Exponential Finance Summit was such a success. It was tremendous hosting these world class experts and we believe that we have triggered exponential change,” commented Shayne Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.

“Our intention with the Exponential Finance Summit was to facilitate meaningful networking connections on a global scale, encourage ideas that can change the financial world, boost the South African economy, and kickstart a strong venture capital ecosystem. We believe that the success of this summit was an excellent starting point for doing exactly that,” added Mic Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.

The Exponential Finance Summit was an industry-specific event hosted in collaboration with The Development Bank of Southern Africa, Deloitte, Discovery, and MTN. The next SingularityU South Africa Summit takes place on 16 and 17 October in Johannesburg. In the meantime, you can follow our ongoing coverage from the summit and catch up on the articles to date here and receive regular updates from SingularityU by visiting its site here


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