Barney Pell invited me to a dinner tonight for the founders, funders, and friends of Singularity University tonight at the NASA Ames campus. I’ve been following the progress of the initiative for some time, via Peter Diamandis, who I’ve known since I attended the International Space University program in 1992. Singularity University brings together luminaries like Ray Kurzweil, with a number of leading minds across the hottest fields in science and technology. Paraphrasing what one alum said, “it’s about applying the best of humanity’s innovation and ideas to the worst of humanities challenges and problems.” I very pleased to see the amazing and rapid progress being made there. They really are doing something exciting, and it’s a truly legendary line-up of visionaries, tech heavy-hitters and genius-level scientists. One of the more interesting things they’re doing is designing a new model for advanced education — literally reinventing education — or at least graduate-level education. It was eye-opening, and the food wasn’t bad either. Best of all, it was surprisingly focused on the applied-side — creating several spin-out ventures to solve big global problems, and make money in the process. Great!