Nicholas Haan

Global Challenges & Innovation with Purpose


Nicholas Haan has worked at the intersection of science, technology, social challenges, and innovation for the last 25 years. His issues of focus have included disaster relief, food security, environment, energy, public health, education, genetics, and information systems. And his affiliations have included the United Nations, governments, universities, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations.


Nick is currently the Vice President of Impact and Faculty Chair of Global Grand Challenges. His introduction to global perspectives began as a science teacher in a remote Kenyan village with the Peace Corps. This experience led to more than 20 years of living and working internationally, mainly in East and Southern Africa (including living four years in villages without running water or electricity, which gives him a unique perspective on social challenges).


Prior to joining Singularity University, Nick served as Senior Economist/Global Program Manager with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization where he oversaw a food security project operating in over 30 countries. He is the creator of an international standard for classifying the severity of food insecurity and disasters called the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).


Nick is also involved with several Startups, including as strategic advisor to a mobile app company called eMobilis. He has a keen interest in the crowdsourcing movement and is on the regional board of directors for He has been a visiting professor at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and was awarded a NASA Research Fellowship.


Originally from California, Nick has a PhD in Geography, a Master in International Development, a Master in Geographic Information Systems & Remote Sensing from Clark University, and a Bachelor in Genetics from U.C. Berkeley.



  • Disaster Relief
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Food
  • Food Security
  • Global Grand Challenges
  • Global Health


Daniel Kraft

Founder of Exponential Medicine

  • MD from Stanford University, Pediatrics in Harvard, Specialist in Oncology and Bone Marrow transplant.

Topic: Digital Medicine & Neuroscience 

Jaya Baloo

(CISO) Chief Information Security Officer in KPN Telecom

  •  Tufts University, Massachusetts

Topic: Cybersecurity, Cryptography & Mass Surveillance

David Roberts

Former Vice President of Singularity University. Chairman in HaloDrop and in 1QBit.

  • Ex Officer U.S. Air Force, B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from M.I.T., MBA from Harvard

Topic: Corporate Disruption

Pilar Manchón

Director of Cognitive Interfaces at Amazon

  • English Philology from Universidad de Sevilla, Master in Cognitive Science and Natural Language from University of Edinburgh
  • Co Author of "Humanizing Conversational Agents: Indisys Practical Case Study in eHealth"; "Modeling Multimodal Multitasking in a Smart House"

Topic: Science and Cognitive Interfaces

Nicholas Haan

Vice President of Impact and Faculty Chair of Global Grand Challenges at Singularity University

  • PhD in Geography from Clark University, Bachelor's in Genetics from U.C. Berkeley

Topic: Global Challenges & Innovation with Purpose

Ramez Naam

Founder of Apex NanoTechnologies - Member of the World Future Society

  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois.
  • Author of "The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet" ; "More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement".

Topic: Energy & Environmental Systems

Margaret Burgraff

Vicepresident of Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) at Intel Corporation.

  • Computer science and economics from University College in Cork

Topic: Leadership in times of Digital Transformation 

Larry Keeley

President & Co-founder of Doblin Group

  • Topic: Innovation Strategy

Amin Toufani

CEO of T Labs, Moonshot Launchpad

  • AI from University of British Columbia, MBA from Stanford University & MPA from Harvard

Topic: Exponential Economic Models, Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence

Denisse Goldfarb

Microsoft Human Resources Director 

  • Psychologist from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Singularity University

Topic: Talent and Culture in the Digital Era

Robert Pearlstein

Vice President, Global Business Development at SRI International, Inc

  • MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, AeA Executive Management from Stanford University.
  • Co Author "Built for Global: Navigating International Business and Entering New Markets"

Topic: Automation in Mining & Construction

Gary Bolles

President of the Future of Work of Singularity University

  • Co Founder of; Partner in Charrette LLC

Topic: Future of Work

Muriel Clauson

Founder de Oppticity. Co Founder udexter.

  • Industrial and organizational Psychology & Philosophy PhD from University of Georgia
  • Co Author of "Organizational Career Growth and Proactivity: A Typology for Individual Career Development"

Topic: The Future of Organizations

Philip Edgcumbe

Project Lead de Alzheimer’s XPRIZE. Co-founded Lume Biotics

  • MD-PhD at the University of British Columbia
  • Co Author of "Augmented Reality Imaging for Robot-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy Surgery"

Topic: Health Systems

John Hagel

Founder and Co-chairman Center for the Edge

  •  B.Phil. from Oxford University, MBA & JD from Harvard University
  • Author of "Out of the Box"

Topic: Corporate Innovation


Alejandra Mustakis

President of the Asociación of Entrepreneurs of Chile (ASECH)

  • Industrial designer Universidad Diego Portales

Temática: Startup Ecosystems

Kyle Nel

Lowe's Innovation  Lab Executive Director

  • MBA University of Wisconsin

Topic: Retail Innovation 

Greg Barton

Founder BNAmericas

Founder BNAmericas

Topic: Disruption in the Media Industry


Jorge Carey

CEO de Turner Chile

  • Lawyer from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Master of Laws from Duke University


Ándres Alonso

Vice-president of the Board of the National Independent Electric System Operator of Chile

  • Associate Researcher of the Advanced Center for Electrical and Electronic Engineering of USM.
  • Industrial Electrical Engineer of USM.
  • GSP11 Alumni from Singularity University in Silicon Valley, USA.
  • Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE), UK.
  • A. in Astrophysics from the University of Columbia, USA.

Topic: Disruption in the Electrical Industry: Mining and Distribution.

Gabriel Gurovich

Board Member in Chile Global Angels, Mentor in Founder Institute  and Board Advisor in Fundación Mustakis.

  • Industrial Electric Engineer
  • Exponential Technologies from Singularity University

Topic: Crowdsource & Politics: The  Emergence of  Co-Legislation

Bárbara Silva

CEO at SingularityU Chile & Colombia

CEO  at BeSTinnovation


Jury at Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Additional speakers will be announced soon!