“Israel is used to presenting its high-tech at the front. Now for the first time it is putting innovative social initiatives on a major international stage”, says the CEO of the Rashi Foundation, Michal Cohen.
The “Start-up Nation” has become almost a trademark for Israel thanks to its remarkable technological innovation. But in a special event to be held at the UN headquarters this week, Israel will prove that it can also harness innovation for social and environmental sustainability – and Rashi will be there.
The Foundation was chosen among six business and nonprofit organizations to showcase the varied forms of Israeli innovation, including social innovation, and its capabilities to develop creative solutions for challenges faced by people and countries around the world.
The event is part of the program of the annual conference hosted by the United Nations to review the implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals comprise the core of the ‘2030 Agenda’ that the General Assembly adopted in 2015 to guide all global and national endeavors to advance sustainable development for the next 15 years.
What exactly does sustainable development refer to? The goals of the 2030 Agenda cover a wide range of fields, such as economic growth, environmental issues and climate action, as well as social issues – quality education, reduced poverty, improved health and wellbeing, gender equality and more.
At the conference, dozens of countries will present voluntary national reviews on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; sharing their experience will allow other countries to learn both from their success and from the obstacles they faced. Israel is presenting this year its first review, aiming to become an active player on the global sustainability stage.
We are pleased and proud to be part of this effort and to present some of the social initiatives we developed in recent years, which are based on models that other countries can adapt for addressing their own needs . We are also keen to learn about ground-breaking work of other organizations that engage like us in social innovation.
The two initiatives we exhibit serve as good examples of our strategy for promoting social sustainability through capacity building for individuals and families, as well as for cities and within nationwide social systems.
City at the Center helps to develop cities’ capacity to provide social mobility opportunities to their residents, with an emphasis on a shift from single-purpose interventions to long-term reinforcement of social structures. Following a successful pilot in two cities, City at the Center is being implemented now in five more locales.
The Social IT Systems initiative harnesses technology to facilitate effective delivery of quality social services. The solution, which was developed by Rashi as part of our involvement in social welfare programs, supports data-based management of personal and community interventions in various social services.
Read the Jerusalem Post story: Israel to send innovation delegation to UN