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Continuous Learning is a Necessity in Today’s Job Market

Continuous Learning is a Necessity in Today’s Job Market

Why the World’s Smartest Workers are Focused on Lifelong Learning to Enhance their Skillsets

Leading professionals are changing their approach to learning. Faced with an uncertain future of work shaped by rapidly developing technologies, social change, and unprecedented flows of global information and data, learning is no longer reserved to early years or formal classrooms. Lifelong learners are emerging in every industry and in every country. People are recognizing the value and necessity of continuous learning as an iterative, evolving process that can have a positive effect on every aspect of their professional and personal lives.

Shifting your focus toward the future and pushing the boundaries to think bigger and do things differently will enable you to enhance your value in the workforce. Whether you’re seeking your first entry-level position, launching a new venture, or leading an organisation from the C-suite, learning is critical to advance your career and your impact. Continuous learning unlocks new opportunities, perspectives, and possibilities.

“Combining a degree with beneficial elements typically found in college or university programs such as co-op terms, internships and other experiential learning opportunities [is] the ultimate one-two punch, career-wise,” offers Kira Vermond in the article, Formal learning or learning on the job? from The Globe and Mail. Vermond highlights SingularityU as an alternative learning platform that can create a more robust outlook and approach as people navigate uncharted career paths.

Continuous learning and an eyes-wide-open approach offer understanding and insight to leverage the value in different perspectives and advancements.

Attend events, seek mentors, read new genres, disconnect from your routine, and expand your network. To remain resilient in the future, accessing learning opportunities that unite diverse disciplines, processes, and industries is essential. SingularityU Canada programs are designed to provide information and intersections, illuminating the connections between seemingly disparate industries and breaking down the barriers to understanding the world’s most impactful and complex innovations.

Keeping up-to-date with the latest in technological advancements is critical – but the pace of change is rapid. In traditional curriculum, content is out of date by the time it reaches the classroom. At SingularityU, curriculum is redesigned for each event and set before each program based on the latest breakthroughs, emerging trends, and current developments.

Learning directly from the minds shaping these trends is a unique and eye-opening experience. Experts with first-hand knowledge and the vision to create and implement transformational technologies offer a distinct perspective and make ideal instructors and mentors. SU Canada programs are led by inspiring innovators and decision-makers from diverse fields. The experts changing the face of society and transforming industries are being drawn upon for SU Canada Faculty to offer participants direct insight into the forces, processes, and technology behind the buzzwords.

Lifelong learning is a path to stay ahead of the curve. With access to more information and more innovative programs than ever before, people have the opportunity to constantly evolve their learning styles, approaches, and mindset. Thought frameworks and design principles that create a flexible outlook and strategy are key to face change and lead innovation. With the right foundation, you will be able to recognize and act on emerging technologies and industry disruption, while fostering a learning mindset as your default approach to change.

SingularityU Canada offers programs that are designed to provide cutting edge exposure to the thinking and technologies that will enable people to take immediate action and drive impact for themselves, their organisations, and the country.

Level Up Your Skillset and Outlook with Continuous Learning

Apply to join the inaugural SingularityU Canada Executive Program and join the community to learn more about learning opportunities.

Supercluster Announcement Demonstrates Canadian Leadership and Innovation

Supercluster Announcement Demonstrates Canadian Leadership and Innovation

Cross-Canada Clusters Identified as Economic Drivers

The federal government has announced the winners to its Innovation Supercluster Initiative. The winners are groups of high-performing public and private sector stakeholders and specialised teams from diverse industries who are collaborating to drive change and advance technology in key areas. Winning clusters get access to a piece of $950 million in committed funding and must match the amount they receive.

Canada is renewing its focus on innovation, research, and development, demonstrating that the country has an important voice and perspective on global issues.

With this collaborative push to succeed in identified focus areas, and emphasis on economic stimulation, Canada is well-positioned to be recognized for its role worldwide as a global leader in scientific breakthroughs, sustainability, and innovative development models.

 

5 Winning Innovation Superclusters to Advance Exponential Technologies and Global Grand Challenges

Five winning clusters were selected, and reflect the breadth and dynamism of Canada’s culture, talent, and economic landscape. They have very different focus areas but all contribute to solidifying Canada’s leadership position.

We put together a brief overview of the five winning Innovation Superclusters below, highlighting the exponential technologies they leverage, as well as additional resources to help you understand more about these key technological drivers and forces of change.

The Scale AI Supercluster

Location: Quebec
Focus Area: Building intelligent supply chains.
Technology: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics
Dive Deeper:
Watch “Should Robots Have Rights?” with Suzanne Gildert
Read Brain-Like Chips Now Beat the Human Brain in Speed and Efficiency

The Ocean Supercluster

Location: Atlantic Canada
Focus Area: Increase competitiveness for Canada’s ocean-based industries.
Technology: Clean Energy
Dive Deeper:
Watch Investing in Our Cleantech Future with Tom Rand
Read “The Clock’s Ticking on Climate Change, and It’s Time to Get Real About Tackling It”

 

The Digital Technology Supercluster

Location: British Columbia
Focus Area: Drive innovation in critical sectors like forestry, manufacturing, and health care.
Technology: Big Data, Digital Platforms
Dive Deeper:
Watch “The Future of Health” with Zayna Khayat
Read “Big Data can be a Profoundly Humanizing Force in Industry”

The Protein Industries Supercluster

Location: The Prairies
Focus Area: Making Canada a leading source of plant proteins
Technology: Biotech, Agriculture
Dive Deeper:
Watch “Programming Life” from Raymond McCauley
Read “Machines Teaching Eachother Could be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI”

The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster

Location:  Ontario
Focus Area:  Increasing resilience and adaptability in the manufacturing industry
Technology:  Robotics, Big Data
Dive Deeper:
Watch “The BIG Shift” with John Hagel
Read “The 10 Grand Challenges Facing Robotics in the Next Decade”

 

The clusters are all uniquely ambitious and positioned to succeed in creating important advancements in key emerging technologies and in long-standing industries. It is an exciting time for Canada as innovators, supporters, and talented thinkers from coast-to-coast join forces to drive development and advances in the areas that matter most.

If you are interested in learning more about exponential technologies and the role they play in our lives – and will play in the future – explore our resources and upcoming events. Leaders can expand their mindset and realize the full scope and impact of the rapid rate of technological change at our first SingularityU Canada Executive Program. Space is limited and spots are filling quickly – apply today!

Canada's Role as a Global Innovation Leader

Share your thoughts on the Innovation Supercluster Initiative. Join the Canadian innovation conversation with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

Canada on the World Stage: Drawing Leadership Inspiration from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Canada on the World Stage

Drawing Leadership Inspiration from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Global impact. Grit. Inspiration. Leadership. Perseverance. 

They all apply to Canadian organisations – and Canadian athletes.

With the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics happening this month, it is an exciting time to reflect on Canada’s position on the world stage. Just like our businesses, our athletic teams consistently punch above their weight and emphasize the qualities that make Canada a great place to live, learn, and work.

The Olympics are always a great opportunity to focus on performing faster, stronger, and better. They can be a fantastic source of inspiration. The narrative element that carries through so much of the programming can provide a lens that extends beyond sport and appeals to the universal humanity that connects us all. The stories and impressive athleticism on display can also directly apply to leaders and high performers around the world.

Innovation is evident throughout the event. It is on display in the specialised apparel worn by medalists and the advanced gear used for many winter sports. Behind the scenes, it is used in the athletes’ unique approaches to funding their training, and committing mentally, physically, and emotionally to the training itself, even against the odds. The diverse stories shared in conjunction with each race, heat, or program reflect the innovation and resilience that must take place at an individual level to become the best. To “Be virtuous. Be victorious. Be Olympic.”

 

Olympics athletes offer impressive models for success beyond physical ability.

4 Olympic Qualities to Embody in Your Work

Beyond the pride and awe, draw inspiration from the 2018 Winter Olympics and consider how you can embody the qualities of athletes in your life and work.

Dedication

Having an off day is okay — having a day off is not. Planning, training, studying, and pushing through roadblocks make the performances we see in PyeongChang possible. To excel in any role or field, commitment must be evident in your work ethic and approach to collaboration. Stay the course and lead by example. The results are never guaranteed, but if you can get comfortable being uncomfortable, you can face unpredictable changes and new information in a way that is grounded in experience and unafraid of innovation.

Decision Making

When you are watching an event, consider how many choices an athlete must make every second. From movement to strategy to creative improvisation, there are countless factors that result in constant decision making. How do they do it so confidently? See ‘Dedication’ above and consider how your approach to decision making – whether on display or behind the scenes – can be a source of confidence, reassurance, and creativity for your team. Even if the outcomes are uncertain, your ability to steer the ship with a clear vision can empower your people to do their best work.

Risk Taking

It may look easy from the sidelines, but the extreme nature of the sports on display can not be understated. Split second decisions, countless variables, and unpredictable risk characterize many of the events. When was the last time you took a risk at work? Your role may not be quite as extreme, but taking risks is the best way to drive meaningful change and innovate. It could be as easy as committing to asking the next ‘risky’ question that comes to mind or being bold enough to start a new initiative not directly tied to your KPIs.

Listening 

Behind the incredible medalists are coaches, trainers, medics, teams, and communities. The athletes may appear front and centre this week, oftentimes alone, but a lot of their time is spent listening and absorbing the knowledge, advice, and expertise of others. To shine in your role as a leader, or in any position, understanding when to listen and ask for help is the best way to excel. You demonstrate a desire to learn and grow while elevating the profile of your team and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to contribute.

 

Just like the athletes, leaders need to learn, evolve, and train to offer the strongest perspective and strategize with the most bold and informed decision making possible. 

No country is immune to global forces of change. No industry remains static. No organisation can afford to risk of inaction. No leader can be complacent.

As Canadian athletes demonstrate our talent and integrity, leaders across the country can take notes to enhance their own approach. Some creative inspiration and a universal mindset will ensure Canadians continue to own the podium when it comes to innovation and the transforming global economy.

Go Canada Go!

Share how you are inspired by the 2018 Olympics and join the Canadian innovation conversation with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

What Kind of Exponential Leader Are You? Identify Your Leadership Style to Learn and Excel

What Kind of Exponential Leader Are You?

Identify Your Leadership Style to Learn and Excel

Leadership styles vary. There is no single ‘right’ way to lead a team, motivate your employees, or share your vision to guide change and drive impact. Understanding your own style, strengths, and weaknesses, though, is essential to learn, grow, and leverage your best qualities.

Exponential leadership happens at the nexus of great vision and great management. It’s not just about supporting your teams and giving marching orders. Exponential leaders share their vision, inspiring their people and the world around them, while empowering their talent to utilize and develop their own expertise.

Innovation happens when strong leaders shine a light down a new path and enable their teams – equipped with the right tools, support, and confidence – to traverse, define, and improve it.

Lisa Kay Solomon, an expert on designing better futures, addresses the audience at SingularityU Canada Summit 2017.

Lisa Kay Solomon, Chair of Transformational Practices at Singularity University, believes that exponential leadership is not reserved for the “magic” few leaders we read about in news headlines. She works to educate, empower, and inspire leaders to change their models to perform better and be more resilient in the face of exponential technologies and disruption.

“These are teachable and learnable skills,” Solomon explains. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Recognize and appreciate that you don’t fully understand the problem. Practice empathetic observation to get to the real question – beyond just the presenting problem.”

Lisa Kay Solomon runs the leadership workshop series at SingularityU Canada Summit.

Accept Uncertainty About the Future – but be Certain About Your Leadership Strengths

If you can overcome the need to be sure, the need to be right, and the desire for control, you may be close to unlocking the potential of exponential leadership.

Among effective managers and visioneers, there are different motivations and styles that inform success. Four key types of change drivers have been outlined by Solomon. Each one has the potential to make an exponential difference.

Which exponential leadership style do you connect with?

Futurist – You imagine bold ideas.

Humanitarian – You make choices that positively impact people and communities.

Innovator – You bring ideas to life.

Technologist – You accelerate possibilities with technology.

Lisa Kay Solomon’s framework for identifying the four types of exponential leaders

Once you have determined your style, you can better understand your motivations and apply your strengths toward making an exponential impact on the world. Work with your team to identify complementary skillsets for more effective collaboration. Expand your perspective by spending time shadowing and learning from innovative leaders with other styles.

“You need to ask yourself: what can I do to support learning opportunities at my organization?” Solomon says.

Seek opportunities for yourself and your teams, nurturing skills and expanding horizons for a collaborative, dynamic, and evolving workplace. Some teammates may benefit from technical training or interest-driven side projects. The SingularityU Canada Executive Program could be your next C-suite learning opportunity that focusses on transformation and strategic foresight. 

Determine what works at the individual level, without losing sight of your team’s makeup and broader organizational goals. Most importantly: always be open to new ideas when it comes to learning and leading.

How does your leadership style connect to your organization's goals?

Let us know in the comments or join the conversation online with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

Global Grand Challenges: Connect Our 4 Core Challenges to Your Business Strategy

Global Grand Challenges: Connect Our 4 Core Challenges to Your Business Strategy

Integrate Global Thinking in Your Organization

The global grand challenges (GGCs) underpin the conversations, missions, and technologies that Singularity University and SingularityU Canada Summit focus on. They are not your typical business obstacles. They are problems that are faced by all of humanity and need to be addressed now to ensure a secure and abundant future.

By pushing people to think beyond profits and immediate results, and uncovering strategies, frameworks, and thought processes that focus on outcomes and transformative solutions, we can change the course of history.

These challenges can be used as a launchpad to look beyond the results of your next fiscal quarter and expand the notion of what your organization can accomplish.

The scale is what makes the GGCs so impactful and important. The scale is also what can make them seem so daunting and difficult to tackle. When taken as a whole, the concepts may seem overwhelming or impossible to translate into your small business or long-standing, rigid organization.

Thankfully, there are small steps you can take toward making a big impact. Regardless of your particular passion, the size of your team, industry you work in, or level of expertise, there are ways that you can start making a difference today.

Four Global Grand Challenge Entry Points to Try with Your Team

Asking the right questions is a good place to start. Start broad and work to identify how you, your team, and your organization fit into the bigger picture. Discover which challenge your people connect with the most, whether or not is it an obvious fit for your organization. Not sure where to start? Consider the four global grand challenges we selected for our 2017 Summit focus to spark discussion and make change.

Citizenship

  • Consider new models for decision making within your organization. How can new voices can be considered? What equitable delivery methods can be implemented?
  • Explore how industry policies that impact your team and your customers could be improved for the benefit of all. Can you advocate for or lead the improvements?

Prosperity

  • Assess and reconsider distribution models. What forms of reinvestment can be used to prioritize equality, job creation, and innovation?
  • Contribute your unique skillset to bigger projects and establish cross-sector partnerships and unholy alliances. Leverage your team’s existing network and forge new relationships for true systems change.

Energy

  • What inefficiencies exist within your current power consumption, supply chain, processes, employee behaviours (i.e. commuting), and operations? Look local and incentivize or gamify collective improvement.
  • Take a long-term view. Can you alter or conceptualize practices that minimize consumption by employees or clients?

Health

  • Dive into the data regarding employee benefits, habits, and overall health. What patterns exist and what areas are ready for improvement?
  • Recognize the implications of your product or service on the health of clients and users. Take steps to make processes and interactions more beneficial to everyone’s health.

Working toward change collectively will yield the best and fastest results.

As exponential technologies and rapid development converge, working on the global grand challenges together is more important than ever before.

SingularityU Canada is on a mission to break down the barriers to understanding and working on these and all global grand challenges. Every day, we are motivated to inspire Canadians with the real possibilities and connect a community of forward-thinkers, decision-makers, and pot-stirrers to drive, improve, and invent solutions in Canada.

How will your organization contribute to global change?

Share your wins and challenges with us at #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

3 Ways to Foster an Exponential Mindset at Your Organization

3 Ways to Foster an Exponential Mindset at Your Organization

Share Lessons to Make Your Team More Innovative

If you were able to join us for the inaugural SingularityU Canada Summit, you were exposed to a lot of lessons and ideas over two days. Now what? Have you been able to translate exponential thinking to your teams, share your findings, and start creating change? 

Full room of Workshop participants at SingularityU Canada Summit 2017.
A full room at the Workshops at the SingularityU Canada Summit 2017.

It is not always easy to distill the big ideas and transformative practices we covered into your daily goals and work flow. If you are trying to turn information into impact, consider the ideas below. Leverage these tips from our Summit Workshop series to shorten the distance between what you know and what your team knows and make exponential thinking a universal practice in your organization.

1. Start with a learning mindset.

Lisa Kay Solomon recommends that leaders start by asking questions, joining the conversation, and embarking on the journey alongside your team. Avoid sharing a ‘fire hose of information’ that can overwhelm those who are just hearing about exponential technologies for the first time. Instead, try playing a sci-fi film or video game to find an accessible starting point and bridge the concepts through shared experiences. As you share your knowledge, be open to the viewpoints and insights other people have to offer. Share your favourite sessions from the 2017 Summit to spark discussion and empower people to speak their minds. You may find that your team has been thinking about these concepts and ideas more than you knew!

“Leading as a futurist means optimistically imagining bold new futures – and sharing stories to inspire others.”

2. Look outside of your organization.

Working towards a set goal or business plan can make it easy to lose sight of external threats, internal biases, and new approaches. Time and time again, we have observed that innovation comes from the outside of organizations and often outside of industries. Access it by finding a young mentor, exploring uncommon partnerships, visiting innovation hubs, and talking to people from different sectors. It can be as simple as committing to one coffee a month with someone who has a different role, background, or experience than you. Make time for creative discovery and connect with people within and outside of your vertical. Broaden your horizons and you may be surprised by how quick and expansive the results are – for your network and your outlook.

Workshop participants writing during a brainstorm exercise.
Workshop participants play The Thing from the Future to brainstorm creative solutions.

3. Shift perspectives.

Steer the conversation toward opportunities to take a positive lens on disruption. Use The Thing from the Future and other creative exercises to collaborate freely. Remember Larry Keeley’s view on innovation: it is a rigorous science and discipline that anyone can learn. Reframe and reconsider what you can contribute and don’t be intimidated by big changes. Forget the notion that expertise is required to invent and create. Start today and work collaboratively on projects that are not directly related to your organization or team goals. Unlocking new progress can be accomplished by shaking things up in simple, seemingly disparate ways that promote open dialogue.

People completing exercise to imagine new futures and collaborate on ideas.
Participants imagine alternate futures and collaborate on new ideas.

Use learning to unlock exponential thinking on your team.

Learning leads to innovation. Keep the conversation going and ensure every member of your organization is given the chance to explore their interests, define their values, and work toward new solutions. Each organization, team, and individual learns and grows differently. Consistently, though, good things happen when people are encouraged to grow, emboldened to act, and motivated to try and make a positive difference.

How are you driving learning and sharing your exponential mindset?

Share below or on social with #SUCanada #ExponentialCanada.

Exponential Leadership

David Roberts

Speaker: David Roberts

A must-see experience, our special guest David Roberts will take you on an inspiring journey of self-reflection, describing the essential role you must play to shape our collective future.

Key Takeaways:
– To navigate the changes of exponential technologies we have to rethink most of society’s basic assumptions
– There are no innocent bystanders, we collectively need to get involved and make a difference
– Our brain evolved to ensure our survival but courage of engaging will drive us forward
– Humanity is by nature exponential but it is as a group that we have to shape our collective future

Leading as Futurist: Imagining New Futures

Lisa Kay Solomon

Speaker: Lisa Kay Solomon

Create surprising and provocative new futures through the award winning game The Thing from the Future, created by futurist Stuart Candy and designer Jeff Watson, facilitated by scenario planning expert and author Lisa Kay Solomon.

Questions we’ll explore:
– How can you design generative and expansive conversations about the future?
– What are the range of possibilities, even with limited constraints?
– How do you create abundant bold and imaginative ideas
– How can exploring a multiplicity of futures make us more creative and resilient leaders?

Leading in Exponential Times Masterclass Workshop

Speaker: Lisa Kay Solomon

Lisa Kay Solomon

Lisa Kay Solomon

Chair, Transformational Practices, Singularity University

Lisa Kay Solomon is a well-known thought leader in design innovation with a focus on helping leaders learn how to be more creative, flexible and resilient in the face of constant change.

Lisa Kay Solomon

Chair, Transformational Practices, Singularity University

Leading in Exponential Times Masterclass Workshop

What are the critical skills leaders must learn to successfully navigate a rapidly changing world? How can you create strategic advantage for your organization, while also building the inclusive, equitable, and abundant future we all want to live in?

We believe that all leaders need to be Futurists, Innovators, Technologists and Impact-Drivers, and that these leadership practices can be taught and learned. By understanding, practicing and modeling these transformational practices, you can improve your own capacity to anticipate change and make proactive choices that lead to more positive and preferred futures for your organization, community and the world.

Join Lisa Kay Solomon, Chair of the Transformational Practices at Singularity University for a curated masterclass of the leadership skillsets, mindets and practices of exponential leaders.

Watch

Art vs Science

Speaker: Ann Makosinski

Ann Makosinski

Ann Makosinski

Student Inventor, Makotronic Enterprises Inc.

Ann Makosinski is a 19-year-old student inventor and speaker. Her first toy was a box of transistors, and from there her love of inventing grew.

Ann Makosinski

Student Inventor, Makotronic Enterprises Inc.

Art vs Science

An inspirational talk by a young innovator who proves you don’t need to be an expert to build something disruptive.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Why do we encourage our children to focus on logic and fact and preclude the importance that art plays in leading to success?
  • Develop understanding of the importance of art in the STEM conversation and how STEAM is now the prevailing conversation.

Watch