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How the Most Successful Leaders Will Thrive in an Exponential World

How the Most Successful Leaders Will Thrive in an Exponential World

BY: Singularity Hub

We live in challenging times. Geopolitical turmoil, local and national social unrest, cycles of deadly natural disasters, cyber hacks, rising distrust of media and tech companies—many recent disruptive events have taken us by surprise.

Nearly two decades ago, military planners coined an acronym to capture the nature of an increasingly unpredictable and dynamic world. They called it VUCA—an environment of nonstop volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

The world today embodies VUCA more so than any era we’ve recently experienced.

Why do so many of us—individually and collectively—fail to imagine, let alone anticipate, the massive and disruptive changes that are unfolding? Driven by fast moving technologies and globalization, the pace of change is accelerating, our brains are struggling to keep up, and surprise, discomfort, and unrest are the result.

This is no anomaly. VUCA isn’t going away. Change promises to speed up, not slow down. To thrive in a world where “change is the only constant,” leaders need to replace old thinking with a new framework.

Exponential change calls for exponential leaders. But what exactly does that mean?

READ MORE AT SINGULARITY HUB

Tech Philanthropists Are Giving Away Billions to Build a Better Future

Tech Philanthropists Are Giving Away Billions to Build a Better Future

BY: Singularity Hub

They’re often featured as James Bond villains — super-rich megalomaniacs who pour their infinite resources into sophisticated doomsday devices, private rockets for last-minute escapes, and enough high-tech toys to rival the NSA, FBI and CIA combined.

It’s easy to vilify the mega-rich, but billionaires and multi-millionaires (on occasion) do some good for society. One class, in particular, could be viewed as a type of Bond anti-villain.

About half of the top 50 philanthropist dollars in the United States in 2014 were given by tech entrepreneurs, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Overall, the technology sector gave away $5 billion that year, though their charitable contributions dropped precipitously last year to $1.3 billion (possibly skewed due to the absence of “mega-gifts,” such as a $2 billion donation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2014).

“There is a very real surge of philanthropy from tech sector leaders,” says David Callahan, founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, a news website that tracks nonprofits. “Many of these folks believe in giving early in life while still in their careers, as opposed to a more traditional model of waiting until later in life.”

READ MORE AT SINGULARITY HUB

EatLimmo Wins 2015 XCS Challenge

EatLimmo Wins 2015 XCS Challenge

BY: PR Newswire

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Singularity University (SU) today announced that technology startup EatLimmo was named Grand Champion in the XCS Challenge at the Exponential Finance conference last week in NYC.

Will Weisman, Executive Director of Conferences at Singularity University announced, “The inaugural XCS Challenge offered the world’s most promising early-stage innovators a platform to help launch tomorrow’s transformative companies. We’re excited to announce that EatLimmo is our Grand Champion.”

READ MORE AT PR NEWSWIRE

Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital, Is a Featured Speaker at Exponential Finance Conference

Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital, Is a Featured Speaker at Exponential Finance Conference

BY: Digital Journal

Bill HarrisBill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital, a leader in modern money management, will be a featured speaker at the Exponential Finance Conference in New York City on June 2nd. Exponential Finance is a two-day conference hosted by CNBC and Singularity University that brings together top experts to inform financial services leaders how technology is impacting business.

Personal Capital was recently ranked No. 18 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list for the second consecutive year. CNBC’s 2014 Disruptor 50 list featured 50 private companies in 27 industries — from aerospace to enterprise software to retail — whose innovations are revolutionizing the business landscape. CNBC’s award-winning reporter and host Bob Pisani will chat with Bill Harris, and explore how Personal Capital is challenging the financial services industry by successfully leveraging technology to make wealth management more accessible to investors.

READ MORE AT DIGITAL JOURNAL

Why financial firms are investigating bitcoin tech

Why financial firms are investigating bitcoin tech

BY: YAHOO

The technological innovation behind bitcoin (: BTC=) has the potential to empower the existing financial world, not just disrupt banks out of existence as some have foretold, according to a former Wall Street exec.

“The blockchain is the financial challenge of our time,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, onTuesday at the Exponential Finance Conference hosted by CNBC and Singularity University. “It is going to change the way that our financial world operates.”

Arguing that bitcoin’s underlying technology has the opportunity to improve settlement latency and system security for firms, Masters said the market for financial blockchain applications will ultimately be “measured in the trillions.”

READ MORE AT YAHOO

Exponential Finance: Our Children Won’t Know a Bank Teller from a Chimney Sweep

Our Children Won’t Know a Bank Teller from a Chimney Sweep

BY: Singularity Hub

We’re in New York this week to bring you coverage of Singularity University and CNBC’s Exponential Finance conference. Bitcoin, blockchain, mobile banking, peer-to-peer lending, AI financial advisors, insurance and driverless cars, and more: The financial world will undergo significant change in the coming years. Come here for the latest from the frontiers of finance and technology.

As late as 1968, the New York Stock Exchange was still paper-based. Reconciliation of trades was done by hand; every transaction required parties exchange a physical stock certificate; young men literally ran sheaves of paper firm to firm.

Then computers happened.

READ MORE AT SINGULARITY HUB

Retail bank branch is doomed, and banks don’t know it

Retail bank branch is doomed, and banks don’t know it

BY: CNBC

Big banks are rolling out futuristic branches to keep up with the technology cutting-edge, but according to financial technology experts, it’s a major waste of time and money. Within a decade the retail bank branch model will be dead.

“Finance will be the most disrupted industry in the next 10 years,” said Peter Diamandis, executive chairman and co-founder of Singularity University, at the Exponential Finance conference in New York City on Tuesday.

The most obvious loser, according to experts, is at the level of the retail branches. “Bank branches will most be gone … this decade,” Diamandis said.

READ MORE AT CNBC

Exponential companies: Who are they?

Exponential companies: Who are they?

BY: CNBC

Coming up Wednesday at the Exponential Finance Conference, hosted by CNBC, we will find out the full ranking of the Fortune 100 companies, in order of how exponential—or scalable—they are.

For the most part, we will see some of the obvious names, like Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook. These companies all share a common thread: They are platforms. Most of the core functionality of the companies is actually performed not by employees, but by outsiders.

Think of the example of Facebook—over a billion users make the effort to upload all their personal information, while advertisers spend effort and money to search and reach these users. Facebook employees themselves don’t do this work, which is the key. That allows the company to grow by exponential factors without the employees putting in all that labor. Twitter is a similar example. Uber and Airbnb are two more obvious exponential examples, where buyers and sellers come together without the firm’s core employees actually doing this.

READ MORE AT CNBC

The top 100 exponential companies: Who are they?

The top 100 exponential companies: Who are they?

BY: CNBC

Coming up Wednesday at the Exponential Finance Conference, hosted by CNBC, we will find out the full ranking of the Fortune 100 companies, in order of how exponential—or scalable—they are.

For the most part, we will see some of the obvious names, like Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook. These companies all share a common thread: They are platforms. Most of the core functionality of the companies is actually performed not by employees, but by outsiders.

Think of the example of Facebook—over a billion users make the effort to upload all their personal information, while advertisers spend effort and money to search and reach these users. Facebook employees themselves don’t do this work, which is the key. That allows the company to grow by exponential factors without the employees putting in all that labor. Twitter is a similar example. Uber and Airbnb are two more obvious exponential examples, where buyers and sellers come together without the firm’s core employees actually doing this.

READ MORE AT CNBC

The Future of the Finanical Industry at XFin

The Future of the Finanical Industry at XFin

BY: CNBC

The Singularity University/CNBC Exponential Finance conference will take place Tuesday in New York City. While it is currently sold out, here is the conference agenda:

Oh, great. Another tech conference. Just what we need. Not!

Another conference on all the amazing “disruptive” technologies that are going to change our lives: Artificial intelligence, robotics, big data analytics, genomics.

There is now a small army of professional futurists who are telling us how fabulous our lives are going to be, how much more efficient, faster, productive, and, well just more cool, than the past ever was.

READ MORE AT CNBC

Jay Sidhu: Closing the Gap to Serve the Underserved with Mobile Banking Technology

Closing the Gap to Serve the Underserved with Mobile Banking Technology

By Jay Sidhu

Good news for the underserved: Banks are closing more and more branch offices, and directing their money into mobile technologies that will make banking services affordable for everybody. Affordable mobile access cannot come fast enough for the 9.6 million unbanked (those who don’t use a bank to transact) and the 24 million underbanked households (those who barely use a bank or can’t access credit) in the U.S. Both groups would benefit from mobile technologies that can clear a path to FDIC-protected banking services.

We do not have to tell you that the un- and underbanked do not have many options and are driven to use alternative financial services with high interest rates and service charges. Worst of all, the alternatives promise consumers few regulatory protections. More than a third of unbanked households fell into this demographic after a job loss or some other significant drop in income. Those who don’t use a bank report that they simply do not have enough money to keep in an account or meet minimum balance requirements. This population has grown significantly since the economic downturn, which represents a huge opportunity for banks to increase their customer base. According to a study by KPMG, this group comprises 88 million people with nearly $1.3 trillion in income.

But most banks hold a perception that this group is “unbankable,” meaning they don’t pass the requirements needed to open a bank account. When you look at recent studies, you’ll actually find that 25% of consumers in the underserved category have a prime credit score and 27% of them have a household income of $50,000 or greater.

We believe the best tool for serving these potential customers is one we already have in our hands: The mobile phone. Some 69% of the unbanked, and 88% of the underbanked, are already using mobile devices. What the banks should do now is come up with innovative mobile banking solutions and new products that could make banking more accessible to the underserved. They are already using this delivery channel to access these alternative financial services, why not allow them access to yours? This will unlock potential new customers for banks and serve a portion of the population who has thus far been neglected.

CaptionJay Sidhu serves as the Chairman and CEO for BankMobile and Customers Bank, a $6.5 billion asset bank with headquarters in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. He has an extensive and recognized background in banking. Prior to joining Customers Bank, he served as the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign Bancorp Inc. There, he grew the organization from an Initial Public Offering of $12 million to a market cap approaching $12 billion, crediting it as the 17th largest banking institution in the country. Sidhu has received various recognitions in the industry, including Financial World’s CEO of the Year, Turnaround Entrepreneur of the Year, and was named the Large Business Leader of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. Sidhu earned a Master of Business Administration from Wilkes University and graduated from the Harvard Business School’s Leadership Course.

Ric Edelman: If Your Success is Built on Price and Performance, You’re Doomed

If Your Success is Built on Price and Performance, You’re Doomed

By Ric Edelman

Exponential technologies will emerge in the next 10 to 30 years that will lead to dramatic extensions of human longevity and health. With advances in bioinformatics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics and neurosciences, people will live to be 120 or more. In their 90s, they’ll be as healthy and productive as people in their 50s and 60s are today.

As a result, we’ll move from a linear model of life to a cyclical one, and this will have profound repercussions for all aspects of wealth management and financial advice.

For the past 100 years, our lives have followed a sequential path: we’re born, we go to school, we get a job, we retire, we die. In the future, we’ll go to school, get a job, then go back to school for another career. Then we’ll take time off, maybe for a decade. We’ll remerge, go to school again and enter a new career. We’ll have not merely multiple jobs – we’ll have multiple careers.

Traditional planning models will become obsolete. Planners now assume that clients retire in their mid-60s and die in their mid-90s. The models they derive from these predictions will be unsustainable when people are living to 120.

As people remain productive and income-producing well into their 90s, the need to accumulate by our 60s all the money we’ll ever need for the rest of our lives will be gone. And that will be vital, because most of us can’t amass by age 60 enough money to live on for another 60 years.

The idea of saving to send your kids to four years of college will also vanish when learning becomes life-long, when 70 year olds are getting their second or third degree, and education, thanks to MOOCs and virtual technologies, becomes free.

Estate planning will be transformed when people have 70 years to save money, rather than 30 or 40 years. Ordinary people will be able to accumulate massive amounts of money, creating equally massive estate planning issues.

Just consider the effects that much longer lifespans will have on the institution of marriage. Are you sure you’ll want to be married to the same person for 80 years? How many marriages will you have? What about blended families when you have five or six former spouses, with children from each of those marriages? How many generations will there be in your family? Today it’s unusual to come upon a four-generation family. In the future, we’ll routinely have seven- and eight-generation families.

How will people support their families when they return to school and embark on new careers to replace those that have become obsolete? By some calculations, half of all the occupations in the US will be eliminated over the next 20 years; new ones will emerge and they’ll end up, in turn, in the dustbins of history.

What about the longevity of wealth management itself? Technology already enables robo-advisors to create sophisticated asset allocation models rivalling the portfolio construction capabilities of financial advisors. And they can do this at very low costs.

How should financial planners prepare for these massive disruptions? First, they must abandon their denial and accept that this future is coming. Second, they must understand that if they cling to the historical versions of their value proposition – price and performance – they’re doomed.

If your sole value proposition is that you can make your clients more money than the next guy and/or you’ll charge less, you’ll be out of the business in 10 years. You won’t be able to do it more cheaply than a robo-advisor, and you won’t be able to surpass the performance of sophisticated AI.

To stay relevant and necessary to your client, you’ll need to integrate new capabilities like career planning to help clients navigate the disruptions they’ll experience in their lives. But above all, you’ll need to build relationships.

The ability to understand and respond appropriately to human behavior and emotions will be the last thing that technology masters. So your value as a financial planner will come down this: will you be able and willing to partner with your clients as they move through the achievements, heartbreaks and hopes of their long lives?

Ric EdelmanRic Edelman is Chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services. Edelman is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. With more than 1 million copies collectively in print, his eight books on personal finance have been translated into several languages and educated countless people worldwide. His weekly radio show has been on the air for more than 20 years and is broadcast throughout the country, and his PBS television show now airs in Asia. Edelman speaks frequently on personal finance, writes a 16-page monthly newsletter and offers extensive educational resources at EdelmanFinancial.com.