Diederick Croese is co-founder & CEO of SingularityU Benelux. Previously he worked five years for Deloitte’s incubator where he co-founded Fast Ventures, a venture discovery technology (semantic search) to match larger companies with tech ventures, now part of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services. During that period he co-launched Holland Festival Young, he co-founded Founder Institute Amsterdam, a pre-seed startup accelerator network from San Francisco and he was executive director of TEDxAmsterdam. He started his career as a lawyer, six years at Clifford Chance. He has a background in law (University of Amsterdam & Fordham University New York) and philosophy (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).
Our best intentions seem inadequate when we’re easily distracted.
We have made great progress and at the same time we experience system flaws on a global level. Each of us has the ability to see far beyond our own local villages, and in doing so we experience innumerable discrepancies. Greatly improved living standards for many are a major factor in overconsumption and environmental degradation, while many parts of the world still remain burdened with the harsh realities of extreme poverty.
Is prosperity limited to the circumstances of one’s birth? How could we seed genius from all corners of the globe? Will global technological progress by some through the process of creative-destruction result in abundance for all? What is actually needed and how much is enough?
We cannot look far beyond the present with any great certainty – our future has yet to be written. What we can know with great certainty is that very few things will remain the same. Our ability to recognize patterns of change will help us to navigate increasing complexity and to emphasize technological scenarios in pursuit of the good life.
Which scenarios will we choose to favor? Our challenges can unite us. How will we apply technology to power advances at the heart of human progress? How can we evolve in a way that helps solve humanity’s grand challenges? The current technological revolution brings with it the opportunity to transform the world and nearly everything in it. And yet underlying this experience we are also confronted with enduring questions as never before – what does it mean to be human?
In a rapidly accelerating world we have to answer larger and larger questions for which fitting responses are not easily found. Knowledge and values will guide us through these uncertain times if we are prepared to continuously challenge and update them.
How able are we to consider the implications of our actions not just for our own immediate surroundings but also for the larger system of which we are an undeniable part? How can we transform our shortsightedness to see beyond our limitations? To what degree are we capable of extending empathy and considering the true extent of our impacts?
Exponential advances in technology make us vulnerable to the unconscious adoption of solutions that may introduce highly undesirable consequences. Are we using technology or are we at risk of being used by it?
With you, I believe in the power of human progress. We have come so far, let us continue that journey together. Your presence shows that you do not passively want to wait for someone else to answer these essential questions, but that you choose to actively be part of the solution. Technology can solve humanity’s grandest challenges when we consciously align our intentions and actions – together we can solve it.
With unwavering confidence in the human spirit, let’s boldly create the opportunities of the future together.