As cyber-activism and Facebook revolutions sweep the Middle East, 150 Jewish social and business entrepreneurs, technology whizzes, thinkers and artists from Hong Kong to Zagreb, Sao Paulo to San Francisco, and Melbourne to Beersheba will converge on Jerusalem Sunday for the ROI Global Summit of Young Jewish Innovators, to connect and create new tools and novel approaches to shape the Jewish world and beyond.
ROI Community is an international network of 600 social entrepreneurs and Jewish innovators in 40 countries on six continents who are creating innovative ways to connect to Jewish life.
“These young Jewish social entrepreneurs are transforming the Jewish world through their vital initiatives and commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world,” said Lynn Schusterman, the American Jewish philanthropist who, in 2005, created ROI Community as a partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel. “As change agents within their own communities, in Israel and beyond, these 20- and 30-somethings are key to ensuring the vibrancy of Jewish life 3,000 years down the road.”
Keynote speaker Marina Nemat, whose best-selling memoir Prisoner of Teheran recounts the torture she endured while imprisoned by the Khomeini regime as a teenager, will address human rights and the revolutions sweeping the Middle East.
Opening keynoter Daniel Birnbaum, who, as CEO, oversaw Israel’s biggest IPO in 2010 for start-up SodaStream International, will share how building a corporate culture grounded in environmental responsibility boosts business. And, in conjunction with the Jerusalem Season of Culture, world-renowned video artist Kutiman will unveil a new piece inspired by Jerusalem during the ROI Global Summit.
‘Translate ideas into initiatives’
At the heart of the program is peer-to-peer training and collaborative project-building lead by ROI network members from around the world. In addition, some of Israel’s most successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders will teach Master Classes, to inspire the ROIers with their personal stories and insights for effecting change.
Among the dozen Master Class teachers will be Yossi Abramowitz, president of the newly formed Arava Power Company and Jewish educator/activist; Independence Party MK Einat Wilf, a Cambridge PhD and former Senior Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, who serves on the Foreign Affairs and Defense, Education and House committees; and, Rachel Azarya, the youngest Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.
“ROI Community creates a space where connection and innovation happens,” said Justin Korda, ROI Community Executive Director. “Our ultimate goal is to link up dynamic, creative young Jews, enabling them to translate their ideas into initiatives that bring the joy of Jewish life to Jews around the world and impact the world around them. Ultimately, we envision a thousand-strong network of innovators engaging a million people in diverse forms of Jewish life.”
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