Darlene Damm

Vice Chair & Principal Faculty, Global Grand Challenges

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Darlene Damm is Vice Chair & Principal Faculty of Global Grand Challenges at Singularity University. She has spent nearly two decades working on moonshots and initiatives designed to solve our world’s toughest social problems and empower people to create abundant futures.

At Singularity University Darlene focuses on helping people understand how exponential technologies are creating abundance in the global grand challenge areas, as well as articulating and preparing for new social challenges created by exponential technologies including technological unemployment, inequality and ethical issues.

Darlene has a broad background spanning across both technology and social change. In 2012 she founded DIYROCKETS, the first company to crowdsource space technology, and in 2011 was an early co-founder of Matternet, one of the world's first companies using drones for commercial transport and delivery of medical goods in the developing world. 

Darlene served with Ashoka, the world's largest association of social entrepreneurs for nearly ten years where she built the organization's fundraising system (raising over $30 million per year) and led Ashoka's presence in the Silicon Valley launching major partnerships with companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook. In addition, she helped launch Ashoka's StartEmpathy initiative which has scaled to over 30 countries ensuring young children grow up learning empathy and changemaking as core skills for the 21st century. 

Prior to that, Darlene spent over a decade working in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, East Asia and the US on educational and economic programs that empowered youth and helped bring developing nations into the global economy. 

She received her bachelor's degree in History from Stanford University and her master's degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She was a Fellow with Japan-US Community Education and Exchange and a graduate of Singularity University. She holds a patent and regularly speaks around the world and publishes on the topic of technology, innovation and social change.

Expertise & Speaking Topics:

  • Introduction to Exponential Technologies and Abundance
  • Moonshot Thinking
  • Solutions to Technological Unemployment
  • Is Technology a Tool for Good or Evil?
  • Darlene also speaks about  and participates on expert panel discussions focusing on how exponential technologies impact various industries including food, learning, nuclear security, transportation, space exploration, the media, governance and more.