Late last month, I was involved in putting on an Amsterdam based conference about reinventing university education entitled “Whose Crazy Idea Is This Anyway”? But, as always, the future has already happened without most of us knowing it. And, in terms of the 21st century university, that future might be the Silicon Valley based Singularity University jointly founded by Ray Kurzeil and Peter Diamandis.
Serial entrepreneur Salim Ismail was the founding Executive Director at Singularity and is now the university’s Global Ambassador. So who better to ask about the future of the 21st century university that Ismail? And what he told me about the crisis of the traditional 20th century university will scare many conventional academics, especially those locked in their increasingly irrelevant silos.
With its unique programs and access to Silicon Valley brains and money, Singularity University might be singular. Yet there’s little doubt that Ismail is right about the crisis about to envelop the traditional university. As always, though, one man’s crisis is another’s opportunity. And – as everyone from Bob Metcalfe to Ismail himself has told me – the next big thing in Silicon Valley might well be the reinvention of 20th century education.