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Ramez Naam

Ramez Naam

    • Former Microsoft executive
    • Entrepreneur
    • Co-Chair for Energy and Environment at Singularity University
Full Bio
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Innovation, author, futurist

Innovation, author, futurist

Ramez Naam Speaker Biography


Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3.  He’s a computer scientist, futurist, angel investor, and award-winning author.  

Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams developing early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and the Bing search engine.  His career has focused on bringing advanced collaboration, communication, and information retrieval capabilities to roughly one billion people around the world, and took him to the role of Partner and Director of Program Management within Microsoft, with deep experience leading teams working on cutting edge technologies such as machine learning, search, massive scale services, and artificial intelligence.

Between stints at Microsoft, Ramez founded and ran Apex NanoTechnologies, the world’s first company devoted entirely to software tools to accelerate molecular design.  He holds 19 patents related to search engines, information retrieval, web browsing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Ramez lectures on energy, environment, and innovation at Singularity University. He invests in innovative energy startups. He’s spoken to audiences on four continents, from Illinois to Istanbul and from corporate boardrooms to Harvard University.  He’s appeared on Sunday morning MSNBC, repeatedly on Yahoo! Finance, on China Cable Television, on BigThink, and Reuters.fm.  His work has appeared in, or been reviewed by, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Business Week, Business Insider, Discover, Popular Science, Wired, and Scientific American.   He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy at Aurora Illinois.

In his leisure, Ramez has climbed mountains, descended into icy crevasses, chased sharks through their native domain, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time

Eight Things Disruptors Do Differently.
As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Here, Naam connects the dots between the tremendous technological advances of the last 20 years and the arrival of powerhouses that shattered industries by simply getting there first. Taking an honest look at the risk involved in paving new ground, he shares the eight things innovators do differently, including innovating from the bottom up and empowering teams to fail, embracing the network effect in a way that creates natural barriers for competition, and having the guts to disrupt themselves. Packed with humorous anecdotes and high-energy visuals, Naam’s talk will have your audience gripped, thinking through new ideas they can explore in their own lives, and reevaluating the future of their industry.

The Clean Energy Revolution.
Of all the infrastructure available to developers, none has had a steeper price drop than solar power, which has come down 250-times in price since its arrival in the marketplace. Here, Singularity’s Energy co-chair talks about how solar and other clean energy sources will continue to change the world we live in, following the pathway of exponential technology that slowly but steadily becomes demonetized and democratized. Inspiring and powerful, Naam’s talk pulls in historical anecdotes, a look at technology evolving now, and a thoughtful review of the ways regulation needs to keep the pace of change. Highly-customizable, Naam’s talk is a can’t-miss for any group considering the impact of the clean energy revolution on their industry.

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