Silicon Valley visionaries to debate post-COVID-19 future in free webinar

April 15, 2020


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As healthcare professionals across the globe continue their fight to save human life and contain the spread of COVID-19 — a top priority if society is to return to some sense of normalcy anytime soon — glimpses of the virus’s potential long-term impact on human constructs such as markets, globalization and technology, are beginning to emerge.

In just three-weeks’ time 17 million people filed for unemployment in the United States, and the world’s GDP growth is expected to drop to 2.4% in 2020, according to the OECD.

Some experts predict “V” or “U” shaped rebounds of the global economy, while one banker’s bleak outlook in The Economist described it more like “a bathtub.”

American and European businesses exposed to supply chain disruptions after China shuttered factories in January to slow the spread of the virus are now weighing the costs and benefits of globalized industry while they currently grapple with their own mandatory closures at home.

Meanwhile, technology such as teleconferencing tools, robots, and e-commerce platforms and delivery apps, are seeing accelerated adoption and valuation as they fill gaps in the market.

But questions remain: How long will these changes last? And how much of an impact will COVID-19 have on the acceleration of market shifts around the globe?

Silicon Valley visionaries Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Adeo Ressi will wrangle with these and other issues related to technological change in the time of COVID-19 in an upcoming free online webinar from Founder Institute on April 16.

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis

The featured speaker, Dr. Diamandis is the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, which organizes competitions for moonshot projects in areas such as space travel, oceans, global learning, environment, safety and robotics, among others.

Most recently XPRIZE announced it is organizing backers to launch a COVID-19 related challenge.

In addition to XPRIZE, Dr. Diamandis has co-founded a multitude of ventures including Singularity University, a global learning community that teaches the application of exponential technologies to solve global issues and BOLD Capital Partners, an investment firm.

He’s also written various books on exponential technologies including his latest that he co-authored with journalist Steven Kotler, “The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives.”

It would be a safe guess that many of the areas discussed in his book will be examined on the webinar, but with additional insight related to humanity’s most-recent struggle, the coronavirus outbreak.

Adeo Ressi

Practicing social distancing safely on screen next to Dr. Diamandis will be Ressi, the co-founder and CEO of Founder Institute.

FI is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, with chapters in over 185 cities across the globe and an estimated portfolio value of $20 billion.

Since its inception 10 years ago, FI has helped build and scale over 4,000 companies throughout the world and is currently providing fellowships for startups working in the healthcare space during the COVID-19 crisis.

Ressi, a fixture of post-dot com bubble Silicon Valley, previously founded The Funded, an anonymous review board of venture capitalists in the Valley in the early aughts, and famously sold two companies for $1 billion before he turned 30 years old.

Ressi previously was a board member of the XPRIZE foundation as well.

The webinar is part of a free series that is being produced by Founder Institute in light of social distancing restrictions which led the accelerator to cancel its continuous startup events across the globe.

Anyone interested can register via the link here.

Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an ESPACIO portfolio company.

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