Salim Ismail

Founding executive director of Singularity University, highly sought-after for his 'mind-blowing' and 'jaw-dropping' presentations on the impact of breakthrough technologies.

Salim Ismail is passionate about business, entrepreneurship and breakthrough technologies. He is a technology strategist, software engineer and a successful entrepreneur. Salim is also the author of the Amazon best-selling business management book "Exponential Organisations" which explores how organisations can leverage, control and manage the impact of new emerging technology in business.

His highly acclaimed presentation on 'Exponential Organisations' has been described as 'mind-blowing' and 'the best talk I think I've ever heard'.

Videos of Salim Ismail

Salim Ismail speaker | Accenture Innovation Conference, 2017
Salim Ismail speaker, "Overcoming Resistance to Exponential" Disruption" | SingularityU India Summit, 2017
Salim Ismail speaker, "How do we fix civilization?" | TEDxToronto, 2016

Speaker Profile

About Salim Ismail

Salim Ismail is a technology strategist, software engineer and successful entrepreneur.

He is also a consultant on innovation and growth and believes that "If you are not disrupting your business or industry, someone else is.

Ismail is the best-selling author of the book 'Exponential Organizations' which is a guide to navigating the shifting business environment due to the introduction and proliferation of exponential technologies.

Salim is the founder of and was the executive director of Singularity University (SU) between 2008 and 2010 and has been their global ambassador for the last seven years. The company's goal is to educate, inspire and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to tackle some of mankind's largest challenges. Singularity University has empowered people from eighty-five countries to apply disruptive technologies which include biotechnology, artificial intelligence and neuroscience.

Prior to founding SU, Ismail was a vice president at Yahoo. His last company Angstro was sold to Google in 2010. Salim has founded or been involved with seven start-up companies including PubSub Concepts and the New York Grant Company.

In his dynamic presentations, Salim shares powerful, mind-blowing insights on how companies can leverage technology and strategy to grow 10 times faster than their peers. He turns cutting-edge ideas into thriving startups and applies leading-edge thinking to invigorate industries.

Speaking Topics

Exponential Organisations

As a result of accelerating change, a new breed of businesses is scaling 10 times faster than established organizational structures. Salim Ismail calls these exponential organizations. This talk describes the characteristics and attributes of these organizations and finishes with how to implement these ideas into established companies. He looks at today’s fastest growing technologies and the social impact they will have on our organizational, political, legal, educational, and medical systems. From artificial intelligence to biotech, these disruptive technologies are changing the face of many disparate industries and creating new innovations and opportunities. Audiences walk away with a tailored action plan for moving forward that utilizes five internal and five external strategies to spur astounding growth – like partnering with an incubator and transforming their organization’s leadership team.

Disruptive Convergence

Salim describes major breakthroughs occurring in a series of accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, sensors, neuroscience, medicine, and even energy. He describes the implications of these breakthroughs on both society and business and will give a perspective on their impact tailored to each specific audience.

Exponential Finance

Today there are 8 billion internet-connected devices in the world. By 2020 Salim Ismail predicts there will be 50 billion. Will computer-driven cars be a reality in three years? Will we see a dramatically lengthened lifespan and delayed retirements in a matter of 1-2 decades? What does this mean for investment, growth, and contraction in key industries? As the world becomes more digital, advancements in technology are skyrocketing. Technology strategist Salim Ismail knows the trajectory of fascinating projects that are sure to change our lives and challenge societal norms as we know them. His take on the impact to the financial services sector will have you thinking twice about where to put money and how much is needed for the future.

Exponential Medicine

The fastest technological improvement today is being seen in biotechnology. According to technology strategist Salim Ismail, by the year 2020, it will be cheaper to sequence your genome than to flush your toilet. What will this mean for personalized therapies? Will we eradicate allergies? Or grow replacement organs? Will artificial intelligence make better, more accurate diagnoses than human doctors? Could a computer be your future surgeon? Ismail tells incredible stories of the research and development he’s seen first-hand and the potential for next-generation disruptive technologies. He weighs the benefits with the sinister side and calls on society to prepare our systems for running the world (legal, political, medical) to meet the realities of the very near future.

Future of Entrepreneurship

The confluence of new developments makes today the best time ever to be an entrepreneur. Salim talks about how accelerating technologies, crowdfunding, incubators, fablabs and cloud computing have made it faster, better, and cheaper to be an entrepreneur. This talk also covers the steps needed to create entrepreneurial ecosystems and start-up communities in different regions.


"The best talk I think I’ve ever heard."

"Salim is one of our highest rated Keynote speakers to date. Our attendees have many opportunities to meet and hear exceptional speakers and are not easily impressed. To say that Salim blew their minds would be an understatement. His presentation challenged them and led them to think about their business in a new light. Salim's willingness to create a custom presentation for our audience and to interact with attendees was appreciated. Salim was the highlight of our annual conference." - Association for Corporate Growth
"Salim Ismail was a genuine knockout hit at our executive conference. His message resonated deeply and his dynamic presentation totally captivated a sophisticated and demanding audience. He skillfully wove video and PowerPoint into his talk in ways that amplified his message. And people are still talking about it." - Edison Electric Institute
"I wanted to let you know that Salim exceeded all expectations and was an amazing kick-off to our conference. His session was thought provoking, insightful, and an unbelievable fit with our SHIFT theme. I could not be happier, he spent time answering a ton of questions and hung out with our folks after at the bar." - Global CLP

Books By Salim Ismail

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