Whether working to generate an ethic of civic obligation in Israel or to develop scalable environmental initiatives, social entrepreneurs can help organizations and communities transform themselves for the sake of their local environment and the world.
Michael Podberezin, Jerusalem, 24
Megafon is a website that enables Israelis to better connect innovative proposals, ideas, and policy suggestions to each other and to their elected representatives. Who he relates to in Jewish history: Shmuel (Samuel), because he listened to the people. When the people said they wanted a king, regardless of his own opinion he realized that, as a public figure, he needed to follow the will of the people. It is something I hope leaders in our time will learn. Changes he hopes to see/ help achieve in the next 10 years: I hope to see greater accountability by Knesset members to the people who voted them in. I hope to reengage the public that lost its faith in the political parties with the political system and their representatives. I hope to create a constructive discourse for
Romi Shamai, Jerusalem, 30
Peula.com, meaning “action” in Hebrew, will be a web tool empowering citizens to act in matters they care about in the public domain by collecting public support and networking in a simple and easy way. Inspiration to innovate: A feeling of injustice, a motivation for trying to fix it, and a good feeling that things can work better, that I have the power to change it and therefore also an obligation. And I’m enthusiastic about completing it. Challenges in field: To harness people, to make them use the system. The challenge of every new system is to make it popular. It won’t change anything if people don’t use it.
Josh Keyak, New York, 21
Green Me Up is a program that encourages people to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint through healthy competition and incentives. Inspiration to innovate: The lack of action to meet the environmental challenges facing us. People know about the issues but don’t have incentive to change their habits. There’s no immediacy as the rewards and threats are in the future. Vision for PT’s future: I want to see PresenTense in more cities in the U.S. and visit hubs around the world. I’m excited to see more and more past fellows succeed.