Scientists are deep thinkers who want to solve big problems, yet they often exist in disparate silos that rarely intersect with other sectors, especially the arts. But not in Recife, Brazil! The SingularityU Recife Chapter has brought together the local scientific, entrepreneurial, and artistic communities to collaborate on emerging technologies and global grand challenges.
One such collaboration is an event held this past summer (which sold out within 8 hours) featuring a performance that combined music with virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). To show why purpose must be considered when designing innovative tech, participants experienced a first-hand demonstration of AR and VR in the creative economy field, giving them a deeply visceral experience of this emerging technology. An inspired discussion about the trends in VR and AR and the importance of thinking through the impact of these new “realities” followed.
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A growing community of scientists, entrepreneurs, and more
Along with such creative events, the diverse professional background of the leadership team helped grow the SingularityU Recife Chapter to an impressive community of over 480 members within its first 7 months.
While everyone on the leadership team has a scientific background, their interests extend far beyond the field of science. Onicio Leal Neto, the Chapter’s current license holder, is both a social entrepreneur and a biomedical scientist. He’s also a Ph.D. candidate in Public Health with a sleeve tattoo on his arm that clearly expresses a more artistic side.
Likewise, Alfredo Junior, another team leader, describes himself as “a physicist by training and an entrepreneur by heart.” While he holds a masters in Nuclear Engineering, he is also the Licensee & Lead Organizer of TEDxRecife, the Founder and CEO of Impact Hub Recife, and current Board Director of Impact Hub Global, a network with a mission to turn intention into impact.
Growth through diversity and shared purpose
This diversity of talent and interest has spurred the rapid growth of the Recife Chapter and allowed them to fulfill their mission of bringing together the scientific and entrepreneurial business community with a focus on social problems. According to Onicio, “Recife is known as Brazil’s ‘Silicon Valley,’ so entrepreneurship is everywhere here. We asked ourselves,‘How can we use this to our advantage?’ and felt that what was needed was to bring people together around shared purpose. That’s why we’re using our Chapter to bring together scientists, companies, startups, and more, to find a way to solve social problems. We are helping to change the mindset of people to understand the future and how we can drive technologies to solve relevant problems in society.”
The Chapter’s immersive and inclusive offerings have certainly engaged the local community in a noticeable way. It continues to draw a mix of entrepreneurs, scientists, corporate professionals, and even a few students, who are eager to learn more about how exponential technologies can support social impact.
Are you interested in engaging members of your local community in thoughtful conversations about exponential technologies? If so, learn more about our growing global network of Singularity UChapters. Explore the current Chapter locations, and if you don’t see your city or country represented, apply to lead a new one!
In the Spotlight: Singularity University Chapters
SU launched the SingularityU Chapters program in 2015, and the SingularityU Global network has grown rapidly ever since. In this “SingularityU: Chapter in the Spotlight” blog series, we interview Chapter leaders to learn what led them to establish their SingularityU Chapters, what their Chapter experiences entail, and what makes their cities an important part of a global ecosystem.