Conference Program

2014 Program

This is the 2014 Exponential Finance Program. The 2015 Program Schedule will be released within the coming months.

Exponential Finance, Singularity University’s two-day conference in partnership with CNBC and Deloitte, takes a unique look into the future of business and finance to identify the industries being impacted by accelerating technologies.

Below is the program schedule. It was last updated on Friday, June 6th at 10PM EST. Sessions and presenters are subject to change.

Download a PDF version of the Exponential Finance program below:


Tuesday, June 10th



WELCOME ADDRESS (Peter DiamandisWill Weisman)

Welcome and introduction to Exponential Technologies


AI capabilities are exploding and the increasing implications to finance are enormous. With a very real potential to create dramatic disruptions for Wall Street and many Fortune 500 companies, AI will kick off the Exponential Finance conference. AI is now over 50 years old, and is embedded in everyday life. Applications include: medicine, engineering, art, transportation, logistics and finance. High frequency trading algorithms use a form of artificial intelligence to execute buy and sell orders in fractions of a second. As AI advances and computing moves into the quantum realm, such algorithmic trading may become even more prominent. The technology has the potential to make markets more efficient—or more volatile. We will explore these issues and more while providing you with a clearer understanding of how AI will become an increasingly important part of the world of Finance.


Understanding the AI Landscape (Neil Jacobstein)

Singularity University’s Co-Chair on AI Neil Jacobstein will discuss how businesses, financial institutions and individuals are utilizing AI to address credit risk analysis, investment decisions, sentiment analysis, high frequency trading and avoiding corporate/market flash crashes. Neil will also provide an overview of AI—from 50 years of successful AI applications to augmenting humans with AI—and what this means for the world at large.

Wall Street’s Next Power Player: The Inside Story of IBM’s Watson (Michael D Rhodin)

This fireside chat with Michael Rhodin of IBM will explain how Watson has moved beyond Jeopardy into finance, and what this and other AI solutions mean for Wall Street. Specifics include: The Watson Applications Ecosystem; Automating finance sector jobs; Role of AI on global financial centers; and the future of Watson.

Is AI Your Enemy or New Best Friend? (Daniel Nadler)

Daniel Nadler describes the virtual artificially intelligent, financial industry-focused assistant that his company, Kensho, is creating. Why is this possible now for the first time, and what will this mean for the playing field in five years’ time? This high-level conversation will cover the implications of these Virtual AI Assistants—from the labor market to risk management to financial advisors.

BREAK 10:55am - 11:20am


Advances in big data analysis may change the way analysts do their job, augmenting or replacing spreadsheets with intelligent analytics software that can harvest key insights from the daily deluge of financial and economic data or keep a watchful eye on consumer behavior and activity to prevent fraud.


The Data Science Revolution (Jeremy Howard)

Data Science (Big Data, Data Analysis, Machine Learning) is said to represent a larger potential disruption than the industrial revolution. This session will address the impact on the financial world by data driven decision-making, predictive modeling, machine learning, intelligent computing and more.

Harvesting Gold from Your Data—Finally! (Keith Collins)

Fireside chat with Keith Collins, CIO of SAS. What applications are available now and will be available in the future to assist in making the most of your data? How do you differentiate between relevant/representative data and “big” data?

Disruptive Tools In The Data Science Toolkit (Dr. Gurjeet Singh)

Gurjeet Singh of Ayasdi, named Fast Company’s 2014 Most Innovative Company in Big Data, addresses the cutting edge of big data and how machine learning/big data is and will be used in business going forward.

Can You Beat The Robo-Advisors? (Peter Diamandis, Ric Edelman)

A conversation between Peter Diamandis and acclaimed financial advisor Ric Edelman. The discussion will focus on the future of the financial advisory business and how Ric sees exponential technology changing his business and the overall landscape.

LUNCH 12:35pm - 2:00pm



Breakthroughs addressed during this topic will highlight the rapidly shifting networks and computing systems landscape, and the trillions of dollars of disruption that these changes will bring over the coming decade. Sessions will cover: breakthroughs in computer processing; the enormous impact of autonomous vehicles; optimized asset allocation using quantum computing; arbitrage opportunity discovery; and more.


The Global Evolution of Networks and Computing Systems (Brad Templeton)

As processing power continues to grow exponentially, as trillions of devices and sensors come online, and as technology costs continue to decrease dramatically, we are entering an era of new possibilities. In this session, Board Member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), founder of the first internet-based business, and Networks & Computing Chair for Singularity University, Brad Templeton will dive into Moore’s Law, abundant bandwidth, the trillion-dollar impact of autonomous vehicles, the network of everything, and more.

Living in a Virtual World (Philip Rosedale)

As we saw with the recent $2B acquisition of Oculus Rift, virtual reality (VR) is big business. In this session, Philip Rosedale, one of the pioneers of VR, as well as the creator of Second Life and CEO of his latest venture, High Fidelity, will take us through why VR has the potential to have such an outsized impact over the coming decade.  Learn how virtual reality will change almost every aspect of our life, such as: how we interact with others, how we learn, how we conduct business, who we are friends with, and where we spend our free time.

Quantum Computing: A Threat to Financial Services? (Vern Brownell)

As the former CTO of Goldman Sachs, Vern Brownell understands the technical challenges facing large financial institutions. He’ll share his unique perspective as the head of the leading quantum computer manufacturer, D-Wave, to provide an understanding of quantum computing and its radical impact on present and future computing.

Insights from the World’s First Quantum Computer Software Company (Dr. Phil Goddard)

By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, quantum computers offer the potential to solve extremely large- scale optimization problems faster than traditional computers. Dr. Goddard will provide us with insight into some of these problems that are now becoming addressable with a particular emphasis on the financial world.


3D printing is creating entirely new industries. Major advancements in the last year alone have redesigned supply chains, impacted IP and liability issues, and reduced working capital needed to fuel manufacturing, not to mention innovation.


The Imminent Disruption of the $10T Manufacturing Industry (Avi Reichental)

With applications ranging from cars, décor and consumer products to custom implants, jet engines and hearing aids—3D printing is revolutionizing product design and supply chain management, and opening a world of possibilities for creatives. There is growing interest in using the technology in direct manufacturing: In the last two years, the technology has become available to consumers, finding its way into homes, middle schools and garages through 3D printers and cloud printing. This talk will also touch on the potential unintended consequences of 3D manufacturing technology, such as fraud and 3D printed weapons.

BREAK 4:00pm - 4:30pm


Technology is allowing humans to live much longer and much healthier than ever before. These advances will cause (and are causing) huge disruptions across multiple businesses—from life insurance to retirement to gene privacy to asset allocations.


Digital/Synthetic Biology (Raymond McCauley)

The digitization of biology is driving massive disruption in the life sciences field. Human genome sequencing is the single best example of faster, better, cheaper. Previously confined to research tools, these new solutions are now entering the clinical and consumer markets. This session will shine light on the drivers in this field, new business models, where technology costs are trending, and innovative startups that have the potential to be significant disruptors.

The Technological Disruption of Healthcare (Dr. Daniel Kraft)

Convergence of fast-moving technology is rapidly changing the face of health and medicine. From mobile health and wearable sensors to artificial intelligence and personal ‘omics, this talk will explore implications for personal health, workforce health and the corresponding areas of emerging investment opportunity.


Many new ways of sourcing capital have arisen as the result of technology and have the potential to bypass existing incumbents. We’re in the early days of this disruption and we will address what these new ways of raising capital mean for investors, brokers and regulators, and what other types of innovative finance are on the horizon.


Innovations in Capital Formation (David Rose)

David Rose, a serial entrepreneur and active angel investor in New York, as well as the founder and CEO of Gust, will share his insights on the rapidly evolving world of capital formation—from crowdfunding to peer-to-peer lending to the growth and rebirth of equity capital markets. David will illustrate how it’s never been easier to raise capital and why these new innovations create significant threats, as well as opportunities, for incumbents and startups alike.

The Global Explosion of Crowdfunding (Chance Barnett, Luan Cox, Katie Fitzgerald,  Michael Millman, Moderated by Kay Koplovitz)

Kay Koplovitz leads a panel discussion addressing how crowdsourcing models are impacting and disintermediating traditional capital sources. Participants include industry experts Chance Barnett of Crowdfunder, Luan Cox of Crowdnetic, Katie Fitzgerald of CircleUp. and Michael Millman of JP Morgan.

Innovative Regulations: Not an Oxymoron (David Weild)

The “Father of the JOBS Act,” David Weild will offer insights into what Congress, the SEC and other regulatory groups are doing to keep America competitive and foster innovation.



VIP ATTENDEES: DINNER (7:00pm - 10:00pm)


Wednesday, June 11th


BREAKFAST: 7:00am - 8:30am



New developments in robotic technologies open up many doors for businesses that embrace them, and will hurt many companies that don’t. Robots have the potential to completely remake the U.S. and global labor force. Discover what sectors are being disrupted by robotics, as well as the implications on demographics, the labor force, deflationary risks and the impact on insurance/liability demands.


Robots: Changing Everything (Rob Nail)

Rob Nail will provide an overview of robotics technology, the far-reaching impact this technology is having throughout the world, and how what is coming will change business globally. As robotics use accelerates, many branches of the financial world will change. In this session we’ll address: Why companies like Google are making massive bets on Robotics; Massive labor force implications; Machine to machine payments; and Insurance and liability issues.

Around The World In 80 Seconds (Scott Hassan)

In this talk, Scott Hassan, CEO of Suitable Technologies, will "beam" around the world in 80 seconds, hopping between continents and traveling across time zones—instantly. Scott will demonstrate how to fulfill the need for shared awareness with other people, places and things.


This topic will provide a glimpse into what’s next in the world of digital commerce and finance by taking a look at Bitcoin and other digital currencies. We will also cover digital derivatives, smart contracts, wire-based settlement, cross border payments and peer-to-peer banking—all of which are experiencing dramatic change driven by new technologies.


The Transformative World of Digital Commerce and Finance (Staci Warden)

Executive director of the Center for Financial Markets at the Milken Institute, Staci Warden provides an overview of digital commerce and how this emerging area has the potential to radically change how we bank, how payments are made, what a trusted transaction means, and more.

Insights From The Leading Edge of Bitcoin / Bit-commerce Innovation (Barry Silbert, Bill Barhydt, Moderated by Staci Warden)

As Bitcoin and other alternative currencies capture our imaginations, new possibilities for digital commerce and financial services are emerging.

This panel provides a glimpse into how new opportunities including digital derivatives, smart contracts, wire based settlement, cross border payments and peer to peer banking are being enabled by new technologies and gives us a glimpse of what's next in the world of digital commerce and finance. Moderated by Staci Warden, participants include luminaries Barry Silbert of SecondMarket, and Bill Barhydt of BOOM Financial.

BREAK 10:30am - 11:00am


TOPIC | Financial Futures

These sessions will address challenges and opportunities facing the finance industry due to the growing influence of exponential technologies.


Bankers Beware: Embrace Exponential Technologies or Face Extinction (Elliot WeissbluthJay Sidhu, Ben Milne, Karen Pascoe, Moderated by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera)

Exponential technologies are presenting a 360 degree assault on every part of the banking business. It couldn’t come at a worse time, as the industry tries to respond to regulatory pressures and rebuild trust in the wake of the financial crisis and great recession. Hear from emerging leaders— Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of Hightower; Jay Sidhu, CEO of Customers Bancorp; Ben Milne, CEO of Dwolla; and Karen Pascoe, Senior Vice President at MasterCard - Emerging Payments Group — who are  all bent on transforming the banking experience by embracing accelerating technologies and new business models.

A Conversation with Ray Kurzweil (Ray Kurzweil and Bob Pisani)

Ray Kurzweil has been called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine. In his role as a Director of Engineering at Google, Kurzweil heads up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding. During this session, renowned CNBC reporter Bob Pisani will chat with Ray about accelerating technology with a particular focus around artificial intelligence and machine understanding.

LUNCH 12:30pm - 2:00pm

VIEW FROM THE TOP: A Fireside with Dan Hesse (Dan Hesse, Moderated by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Peter Diamandis)

Large incumbents are increasingly threatened by new innovations and the quickening pace of change. Many ventures that used to require a large multinational company can now be successfully pulled off by a few individuals. In this fireside Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Peter Diamandis will chat with Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, on how he is building a winning organization in an era of rapid technological change.

Exponential Investing - The Long And Short of Trading the Future (Ed Maguire, Ben Ruegsegger, Moderated by Bob Pisani)

CNBC’s Bob Pisani talks with Ed Maguire, Senior Technology Analyst at CLSA, and Ben Ruegsegger, Senior Thematic Analyst for AllianceBernstein’s Global and Thematic Portfolios, on how investors get exposure to technology trends early in the cycle, but also the tricky business of investing in “valley stocks” - publicly traded stocks with large maturing businesses as well as small, growth businesses not yet large enough to have major impact. Key topics include how to judge the maturity of an industry, how to determine the future value of a new technology, what opportunities exist for investing now in “maturing” disruptive technologies like genomics, big data, and the internet of things, the critical importance of early legwork, and how to anticipate and judge investment “bubbles”.

Future Proof: Free Markets, Fair Markets (Barney Frank Chris Concannon, Moderated by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera)

When technological innovation moves faster than regulation infrastructure can be put in place, are some innovators at risk of missing their opportunity?  This panel looks at balancing the regulatory environment as technology reinvents our financial markets. We’ll hear from Barney Frank, one of the architects of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Chris Concannon, President and COO of Virtu Financial, the trading firm COO whose IPO was scrapped in the wake of the negative national attention on high-frequency trading.



Bio hacking, identity theft, malicious innovations—how will crime be defined in the era of exponential technologies? What do you, your business, your country need to know in order to not be vulnerable to malicious innovations?


Malicious Innovations: The Future of Crime & Security (Marc Goodman)

Founder, Future Crimes Institute and Chair for Policy, Law & Ethics at Singularity University, Marc Goodman explores cybercrime threats from the digital underworld. This session will specifically explore many of these innovations that directly impact large, global financial services companies.

BREAK 4:10pm - 4:40pm


We cover how to think differently and evolve your organization and business model to thrive as the pace of change quickens.


Exponential Organizations: How New Organizations Are Achieving 10x Better Performance (Salim Ismail)

In this talk, successful entrepreneur, renowned speaker and Singularity University’s founding executive director and global ambassador, Salim Ismail will take you through a new breed of organizational structure that has started to emerge over the last few years. “Exponential Organizations” leverage externalities like big data, community, crowd, user engagement, gamification and other techniques to achieve 10x performance benchmarks relative to their competitors.


Crowdsourced car designs, micro factories, small batch production: Local Motors has definitely gone a very different route for a vehicle manufacturing company. In this keynote speech by Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers, we’ll hear about his journey to create this different kind of company—an exponential one. Understand how he has created this highly successful organization and utilized some of the principles that Salim Ismail touched on in the previous session.

Taming Your Technology:  Tools for Transformation or Terror?

After two great days exploring accelerating technological change, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, CEO of the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute and Lynn Tilton, the CEO of Patriarch Partners, address the appropriate and responsible use of technology.  How can we be sure that we guide technology towards societal and business needs and don’t leave a generation of people behind, become slaves to the machine, or worse?


CLOSING RECEPTION (6:45pm - 10:00pm)

Note: Reception is on the rooftop deck of the Empire Hotel, one block south of Alice Tully Hall.

Download a PDF version of the Exponential Finance program here:download