December 16, 2011 Posted by: Tawnya Lancaster
Congratulations to Tech CU member Dr. Jeffrey Lee, the 2011 winner of our Executive Program Scholarship to Singularity University at NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Lee attended Singularity’s Winter Executive Program, where he had the opportunity to engage with some of the brightest technology minds in the world.
We’re sure, though, that Dr. Lee can more than hold his own amongst his program peers. With more than 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry, he’s spent much of his career developing new technologies to enable space missions. Today, though, Dr. Lee’s explorations are more focused on software systems. Specifically, he’s looking at how economic principals, market mechanics and even game design can help companies and organizations to more efficiently manage their projects and workforce.
“For example, we’re applying game design to areas where games are not traditionally used,” he explains. “The idea is that kids and young adults are engrossed in games, and they spend a lot of time playing them with intense focus. How can we understand and use the behavioral motivators that drive productivity?”
Dr. Lee says that by exploring what drives game players, researchers can study how this might be used in the workplace to help employees better focus on their work. Dr. Lee is also looking at how game design and techniques can be used to help a communal workforce move toward a common goal or objective.
“One of the reasons I was interested in the Singularity program is that I was hoping to touch upon some of the topics we’re exploring,” says Dr. Lee, “How can the theories be applied in a practical way in the real world? Who are the players? Where is the interest? What would be the outlook?”
This is exactly what Singularity’s Executive Program is designed to do. It brings together an exceptional group of tech visionaries who educate, inform and prepare participants to recognize the opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies in many different industries— like those Dr. Lee is working on. And, the participants (which include decision-makers, strategists, CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and government leaders) hopefully walk away gaining more insight into how those technologies will affect their industry and our future in the next 5 to 10 years.
After attending the program, here’s what Dr. Lee had to say:
A world of incredible change is in store for us. Attending SU exposed me to the upcoming technological transformations in many fields — medicine, biology, genetics, materials, computing, artificial intelligence and robotics — to name just a few. Imagine a world where the unique and personal needs of every individual can be served up in a cost-effective and plentiful manner. Personalized medicine, robots that attend to daily mundane chores, intelligent autonomous systems that enable self-driving cars, and on-demand personalized financial and legal “bots” will all help with managing our busy lives — freeing up our precious time to pursue a higher quality of life.
The democratization of business will lead to disruptive change in finance, retail, manufacturing, and consumerism — the legal and ethical questions that come with this change, however, will need to be explored. SU helped me to realize the future will be upon us much sooner that we may think. Those that give thought now to how these changes will affect us, will be well prepared to take advantage when they arrive. Thank you to Tech CU for giving me this opportunity.
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