“If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” - Isaac Newton. 


For more than 8 years as Associate Founder and CEO of Singularity University, Rob was teleported into the future through the eyes and work of some of the greatest thought leaders and changemakers in our time. He helped shape SU into a global leader for understanding exponential technologies and utilizing them for transformation and positive impact. He has worked directly with many startups, Fortune500 companies, NGOs, and government leaders to help inform and inspire their visions of the future, while building the paths to create it. 

Today as a Global Ambassador for SU and independent impact advisor, Rob has returned to the present to focus on creating the roadmaps necessary to reach the future he has seen as possible. He is passionate about technological disruption, global entrepreneurship, social impact investing, the future of education, transformation of work, innovative diversity, robots, AI advisors, and the ethics of technology. He has two small kids who remind him daily that his past is mostly irrelevant to their future.


In his past, Rob co-founded Velocity11 in 1999, building automation and robotics for cancer research and drug discovery. After being acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007, he traded the CEO role for a General Manager role attempting to be a catalyst for change at a big company. He gave up in 2009 to go surfing, then found his biggest challenge yet with Singularity University. 

He was recently a public director at Harman (HAR), on the technology and audit committees.  He helped Harman explore options for long-term growth in a rapidly changing automobile industry, ultimately resulting in ~$8 Billion acquisition by Samsung.  As their largest acquisition in history, it brings Samsung directly into the automobile and autonomous car market.

Rob is a member of the MG100 (Marshall Goldsmith’s leadership cohort), is currently on the board of Light&Motion, is an active angel investor, mentor and advisor, holds degrees in Mechanical, Materials Science and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from UC Davis and Stanford University, and is a struggling author, maker, and surfer, but above all, a proud husband and father. 


MG100:            https://100coachesconsulting.com/

SU Faculty:     https://su.org/about/faculty/rob-nail/

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Palo Alto, CA USA

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