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SingularityU South Africa Summit 2020 set to future proof Africa

SingularityU South Africa Summit 2020 set to future proof Africa

The fourth annual SingularityU South Africa Summit takes place on 14 & 15 October, purely online. With over 100 speakers, fifteen workshops, four stages, virtual reality expo, networking platforms and more, almost 2 000 people are expected to attend this unique business event.

We got to catch up with Mic Mann, Co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa to tell us more about what we can expect this year.

In short, what is the SingularityU South Africa Summit all about?

The SingularityU South Africa Summit is all about bringing the best thought leadership and innovation to South Africa and Africa to build a community of  change-makers that will solve the continent’s challenges and future proof Africa. It’s also about helping people & businesses learn how exponential technologies can help them in their everyday lives and business.

Over the last couple of years, we have brought some of the world’s top thought leaders to the stage, which we continue to do. This year, we have expanded our themes which are:

  • Exponential technologies
  • Global grand challenges
  • Leadership & entrepreneurship
  • Digital Marketing
  • SME’s

This year, the summit is completely online. How will things be different to previous years?

The online format enables us to stage completely a completely different event. We are not limited by space for our activities or our audience, so we have  expanded themes, topics and stages.  This year we now 4 stages plus live workshops all happening simultaneously.

It allows us to attract a global audience – nobody has to fly in. The ticket prices are reduced,  giving more access to more people.

We have also  treated the content differently. We understand zoom fatigue so we are keeping the content short, sharp & high value, constantly evolving to keep you engaged. The shorter talks have made way for more variety. There will be more than 1 talk per session to choose from as well as highlights and relive channels.

 There are always amazing speakers. Who can we expect to hear from this year?

There are over 100 speakers at this year’s summit, but to name a few:

  • Peter Diamandis  – Executive founder and director of Singularity University, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation
  • Jerry Wonda – Grammy Award-winning producer
  • David Roberts – Leading Expert on Business Disruption and Exponential Leadership, Founder of GEDI Training
  • Cathy Wood – Founder and CEO of ARK Invest
  • Jaya Baloo – Chief Information Security Officer at Avast Software, SingularityU Faculty of cybersecurity and Quantum Computing
  • Esther Wojcicki  – SingularityU Faculty Education
  • Hans Otterling  – General partner at Northzone
  • Steve Leonard – CEO of Singularity University
  • Andile Ngcaba – Founder of Convergence Partners
  • Prof Tshilidzi Marwala  – Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, author
  • Michael Jordaan – Founder of Bank Zero, Director of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Director of Telco Rain
  • Jamie Metzl  – Singularity University faculty member, founder OneShared.World
  • Divya Chander – Singularity University, Faculty Chair Neuroscience
  • Paola Santana – Singularity University faculty, founder and CEO of Social Glass
  • Mxolisi Mgojo – CEO of Exxaro
  • Silas Adekunle – CEO of Reach Robotics
  • Godfrey Nazareth – CEO of X-Biomedical Inc
  • Adam Valkin  – Managing Director at General Catalyst
  • Vivienne Ming – Co-Founder and Executive Chair at Socos Labs
  • Tilly Lockey – Bionically beautiful, inspirational speaker and influencer
  • Cathy Hackl – LinkedIn Top Voice in Tech
  • Fred Swaniker – Founder of African Leadership Group

And many others!

How were the speakers chosen?

We look for people from around the world who show current expertise based on our topics & themes. The bar is really high so we value people who show extraordinary thought leadership, people who are trailblazing in their fields and people leading ground-breaking innovation around the world. Our over-riding mission is to future proof Africa, so it’s all about who will deliver the most value to our audience in that capacity.

We also get plenty of requests and proposals for speakers who we then research.

What is the process of putting the agenda together?

The process is quite intense and lengthy. It takes a few months. Overall, the agenda is based on the themes, topics and narratives.

We have a team who carefully steer the agenda to ensure that the right flow throughout each day, so that there is variety including factors like no two people speaking on the same thing at the same time.

You can see this year’s agenda here:

What highlights can we expect at this years’ summit?


I’m very excited about the thought leadership talks. We have large amount of top end leaders from around the world with great variety & depth in the presentations and panel discussions. There is so much to learn in these few days –  It’s like getting a mind upgrade in a very short time.

Also having Peter Diamandis on our stage is a big thing. We are thrilled that he will be addressing African audiences.

There will be a highlights channel on 14 & 15 October with highlights from previous year’s summits. On Friday 16th, we go live with our Relive Experience that will enable you to watch the talks or discussions you missed during the week.

Our “Drinks in the bush” VR afterparties are also going to be a great highlight! You’ll be able to choose your avatar from the big 5 and drink with other animals.

Lastly, I am excited that we are giving people the opportunity to connect and interact with each other. This has been missing from many other online events and there’s a real need for this. Our platform has wonderful engagement and networking opportunities.

For more information go to


Clare Petra Matthes

Hi, I'm Clare and I am a freelance writer and Tech journalist as well as the owner and founder of where I review tech devices and also cover emerging technology news. Outside of I write for a number of publications and have regular tech slots on chaiFM radio station and eNCA's Tech Matters national breakfast TV news show.

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