WIZE: Challenges of Tomorrow

An evening discussing the opportunities and obstacles of the future
Hosted in partnership between WIZE and the Taub Center

Date: November 08, 2016

Over 100 young Israelis joined the Taub Center and WIZE, an organization that promotes a more knowledgeable Israeli public, for an evening discussing the opportunities and obstacles in Israel’s future. Throughout the course of the event, Taub Center Researcher Shavit Madhala-Brik spoke about occupations at risk of be replaced by technology, journalist and social activist Tomer Avital discussed the need for transparency in Israel’s government and institutions, and entrepreneur Oren Shoval presented his startup Via’s solution to traffic problems.

As part of her presentation, Madhala-Brik explained that certain industries in Israel are at higher risk of being computerized than others, particularly some of those employing Israel’s more vulnerable populations. “Usually when people hear these findings,” she added, “the first thing they say is ‘wow, 40% of workers are going to be unemployed.’ But generally, history teaches us that new technological developments actually create a lot of new jobs.”

Following Madhala-Brik, Avital shared examples of mishandled situations and a lack of transparency in Israel’s institutions. Avital explained that the people in these institutions sometimes have a vested interest in the outcome, which can lead to corruption. For example, Avital discussed imports into Israel. “Every good you want to bring into Israel needs approval from the Standards Institute,” he said. “And who sits on the Standards Institute? Local manufacturers. What’s the goal of the local manufacturers? To maximize their own profits.”

Shoval rounded off the evening with a discussion about creative solutions to traffic problems in Israel and elsewhere. “Can public transportation be effective, available, and affordable?” he asked. “Today it is not. It’s cheap and subsidized by tax dollars, but it’s not easy to navigate.” Shoval’s startup combines carpooling and public transportation to tackle traffic problems.

As part of an ongoing partnership between the Taub Center and the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT), infographics created by HIT students that depicted Taub Center findings were on display throughout the event. After hearing from the three fascinating speakers, the Taub Center and HIT presented awards to the students who designed outstanding depictions of Taub Center research.