May 1, 2015

Singularity University Global Impact Challenge Finland Finals

Singularity University Global Impact Challenge Finland Finals

 

This Wednesday Impact Iglu went to see the finals of the competition we could not miss – Singularity University Global Impact Challenge – for how inspirational the finalists and speakers were and how great it was to see Finland hosting the competition for the first time.

Singularity University is a teaching organisation based in California whose aim is “to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges”. In few words, Singularity University is a great think tank that helps people recognize developing technologies and build solutions that bring impact to millions worldwide.

Every year Singularity University hosts Global Impact Competitions to choose leaders all over the world to become ambassadors and students at their Graduate Studies Program in summer. This year competitions have been held at 19 locations and Finland was one for the first time, big thanks to the organisers – Singularity University alumni Pia Henrietta Kekäläinen and Marcus Ohlsson – and sponsors – If, Samsung, Aalto University, Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and KAUTEsäätiö who made it happen!

Tuula Teeri, President of Aalto University, welcomed the finalists with an inspirational speech pointing out the need of the world for extraordinary people and extraordinary ideas. After that Henrietta and Marcus briefly introduced Singularity University and the eight humanity’s grand challenges which its students aim to solve. Marcus touched upon exponential technologies, the way they change current products and services and economics on a wider scaled and how challenging that is to build a business that provides solution with impact, has a sustainable model and is able to keep up with ever increasing pace of technological development. The speeches along with welcoming words given by sponsors were followed by five brave, creative and inspiring individuals who made it to the finals.

tumblr_inline_nmjp2sx5Zn1tqzfu6_1280

David Brown from TeicosPharma puzzled the audience with his drug inhaling device, an innovation in the field of drug consumption. Johannes Koponen from Demos Helsinki brought up people’s dependency on access to Internet and how that can be solved by leveraging the power of energy harvesting sensors. Mikael Lehtonen shared his thoughts on how shipping industry information and process planning can be improved by integrating data systems into one global cloud-based resource. Teemu Kinos presented Diagnos – a medical decision support system that could well revolutionize the health care industry.

All ideas totally impressed the audience by their scale, innovativeness and adoption of technology but the one to catch judges’ attention and win the scholarship to GSP was Anni Laurila, student at the School of Architecture at Aalto University working on a project to improve access to clean water in China. Anni got her inspiration when working abroad and seeing how critical the issue of clean drinking water is to the developing nations. Anni and her project partner aim to develop water quality index that would show the state of water in the regions and even city areas in China. The information will be accessible via a mobile or web app that will give localised data and suggest the best water filters for that region. Anni will be the ambassador from Finland at SU GSP and we wish her all the best, lots of luck and inspiration for building a great business on her idea!

tumblr_inline_nmjp0dJ1Dh1tqzfu6_1280

After the finalists’ presentations David Roberts, serial entrepreneur and two times director of SU graduate programs, rocked the audience with his massive and very interesting presentation about disruptive innovations. David spoke for well of an hour making his presentation hell of a crash course on Singularity University so the audience got a feeling as if they fast-forwarded through the graduate program. David spoke a lot about disruption, disruptive innovative theory, how disruption never ends and how not sure the humankind is about what will come with robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The most touching moment of his presentation though was when he made a great point – “I believe that we’re all Kevin. Technology doesn’t make us better people” – he concluded, showing Kevin’s Carter Pulitzer-winning photograph taken in Sudan. The speech ended on a positive note with David persuading the audience on how unknown but fantastic the future is. In the end, Carina Namih, SU alumna and CEO and Founder of HelixNano shared her personal story of becoming a successful entrepreneur with the help of SU.

All in all, we are extremely glad that Singularity University is now connected to Finland and we wish all the best to the participants! We could also feel that there were a lot of people in the audience who are hungry for making the world a better place and that is why we are organising Impact Business Competition in May 2015 – this is the chance for you to start innovating on a smaller scales and get the help of coaches and mentors to advance your idea and who knows, maybe you will be the next Singularity University star!

Find more information on the Impact Business Competition at www.impactiglu.org!

Share this:

Written by Roope Kiviranta

Recent Posts

What is our carbon footprint?

March 24, 2017

Climate discussion in Finland has taken some absurd turns. People are asking with new emphasis: why should we actually care about our own carbon footprint, because no matter what we do, there will always be more people in China or India, and everything there grows much faster? This type of thinking is sad. It’s a Read More ›

Iglu stands for inclusion

October 27, 2016

It is with excitement that we introduce Impact Iglu’s new lead Ville Luukkanen. Ville is a senior expert on inclusive business and takes up Iglu’s overall leadership after working as a strategy consultant for African Management Services Company in Johannesburg. Twenty years ago very few businesses took sustainability seriously. Some were outright hostile, many just plain Read More ›

Duara gears up for future

August 8, 2016

Duara Travels, the winner of our first Impact Business Competition in 2015, graduated last week from the ’16 batch of Summer of Startups, Aalto ES’s 9-week accelerator program. We sat down with Duara’s Johanna Vierros on the final Demo Day to catch up on their journey so far. The last time we talked in March you were about Read More ›

Recap: Impact Business Competition 2016

June 2, 2016

Our second Impact Business Competition gathered seven teams to Design Factory over May 27–29 to tackle some of the most pressing social problems of our time. This year Leaderpool – a gamified online platform tackling gender inequality – took home the winning prize. The second ever Impact Business Competition (IBC) took over Aalto Design Factory last weekend, bringing Read More ›

Impact Iglu: Announcing our plans for 2015-2016

September 20, 2015

We kicked off the Impact Iglu initiative in December 2014 and by all means we have proven that in Helsinki and Finland there are people who care and people who wish to change the world through the power of business. It was incredibly rewarding to see individuals getting together to make this world a better Read More ›