At the opening of the OurCrowd Summit 2017, Mayor Nir Barkat described Jerusalem as the city that unifies people and history. You can walk through the Old City of Jerusalem and see the age old traditions of the three religions while shopping at the modern Mamilla outdoor mall. You can see archeology dating back to King David while at the same time visit some of the most innovative high-tech parks in the world. King David referred to Jerusalem as the great unifier. (Psalms 122:3)
Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd and host of the event is doing just that. He is turning this city into a hub that helps people come together to solve some very complicated problems whether in health, security, agriculture, transportation or media. He repeatedly used three words to describe OurCrowd’s success; ecosystem, collaboration and future. It brought to mind a comment my father said to me when, as a kid 25 years ago I joined him on an early Sunday morning to visit a trade show at Palais des Congres de Montreal. When I asked him what his job was he told me that he had to predict what the future held twenty years from now so that he could implement policies today that would insure that his company was competitive and up to date.
Indeed I discovered that big name companies and century old institutions were not counting on name alone to carry them into the future. Bayer, Honda, DuPont, John Hopkins University and more were on the hunt for talented individuals and companies that could help guide them into the future and address challenges as they occur. The success of OurCrowd was that it knew too well that big companies face hurdles each day and startups were solving them with ingenious creativity. The chance of both parties meeting presented a great challenge. The idea of creating an ecosystem where people, multinational corporations, startups and potential investors come together on a joint platform presents a special opportunity. One recent example this year was Super Bowl 51 where 111 million football fans enjoyed the greatest upset in football history with technology developed between multinational Intel and start up freeD based in Tel Aviv Israel.
In that I discovered that the best way to take on the future is through collaboration. The future is here as the summit was entitled, was happening as members of 80 countries including Singapore, Korea, Canada, USA, Israel and Italy collaborated on advancing common good. The success of this summit set in motion enormous potential for all those involved. The some 6000 participants at the summit were eager to meet, exchange ideas and find common value. As a first time attendee, I found myself walking into a world of possibility that reaches far beyond my tiny country Israel.
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