Montag, 2. März 2015

#GSP15 - Sometimes Slowing Down is the Wiser Alternative to Accelerate Later

It is been around this time in 2011 when I had applied for the first time to Singularity University's most prominent technology-orientated entrepreneurship program: Graduate Studies Programme

What really drove me into applying for this 10-week program with a 25,000 $ price tag (leaving the travel expenses on top of it) was that I had watched a short three minute movie trailer two years earlier. The movie connected to it, "Transcendent Man" which had made it in the Tribeca Filmfestival (The World Feature Documentary Competition) 2009, tells the story of inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Directors Barry and Felicia Ptolemy in their own words about the movie in this interview at IndieWire from 2009 on how the making of it came into being and what pulled them to do it.

Soon after this learning about the founding of Singularity University and Ray Kurzweil's TED talk about it made me grow more curious about it. TED has just partnered with dotSUB a video translation tool startup so that subtitles in other than the original language to the TED talks were possible to do. As we had started the prototyping of largely digital technology driven startup accelerator in Dresden, LockSchuppen (the name stems from the envisioned space within an unused railway shed (Lokschuppen) and the notion to "unlock" creativity of entrepreneurs, citizens and institutions as well as organizations) we translated in a crowdsourced way this into German. The compensation was rather innovative: every participant in the translation process gained for each translated line a certain amount of "virtual shares" of the future LockSchuppen company (which by that time only was an idea and working concept).

In 2011 after applying for #GSP11 at the last possible time slot I was happy to receive a place, but with the challenge to raise 25,000 $ within 7 days. Back then this was impossible and shortly after I had got the message I was invited as blogger-in-residence to a week-long tech conference in Sydney, Australia.

The events this summer however pulled even more interest to attend the Graduate Studies Programme, especially as Dresden and the region are a major economic and research cluster for new technologies based on semiconductors and new materials. "Wouldn't it make sense not only to attend the program for 10-weeks and being a living in the system acting ambassador for all the stakeholders back in Saxony?"

From 2012 to 2014 I applied another three times, and shortly after the message had come out for the 2015 application the news hit the road:

You might expect that would be a free ride for all? Not so. You had to find to respected people in your network who would write a reference letter about your achievements and potential value to the program, doing a two-minute video on why you are the right person to go, and other writings about your past achievements.

I was well underway, everything looked good - then "#ULab: Transforming Business, Society and Self" at the MOOC landscape in early January for an intensive 6-weeks course.

This changed everything. For 2015 there will be definitely no #GSP15 for me, all who want to know more about what it is like read into the interview Angela and and myself gave to Eventifier on why we made a crowdfunding campaign (a smallish one) to enable the world to learn more about Singularity University, Peter Diamandis' and Ray Kurzweil's ambitious vision and the experiences of the people attending the 10-weeks at NASA AMES Research Center.

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