MTA’s Semi-Annual Board of Trustees: Socio-Business Innovation and Local Pride

Five entrepreneurs, graduates of the Generator program, presented to the board members how social change can be made without compromising on economic profit. In this session, three new members joined the Board of Trustees, two of whom are MTA graduates.

The semi-annual meeting of MTA’s Board of Trustees was held this month at the College. As part of the event, three new members were introduced to the Board, Karim Panadka, Ziv Rosen and Paz Hirschman. MTA proudly notes that Rosen and Hirschman are MTA graduates, and are now closing a circle and becoming members of the Board.

The event showcased the Generator program alumni (known also as the Social-Business Entrepreneurship Center), who represent to a large extant the future generation of entrepreneurs who will change the big systems and continue to develop projects that do well and make profit as part of and together with large organizations.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mr. Arik Steinberg opened the event by noting the passing of Board of Trustees member Ms. Delia Fishelson (z”l). Dalia accompanied the College and supported outstanding students for many years. She dedicated the scholarships in memory of her husband, the late Professor Gideon Fishelson, one of the College's founders and its first Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Steinberg, together with Prof. Shlomo Biderman, MTA's President, introduced the new members to the Board of Trustees : Ziv Rosen, CEO of the Gulliver Tourism Ltd. and MTA graduate; Karim Panadka, senior engineer and team leader at Salesforce; and Paz Hirshman, co-CEO of Tsofen NGO and an MTA graduate from one of its first classes.

Prof. Biderman gave a brief, comprehensive overview for the members, noting that "for the past five years, the College has worked to build and implement a development plan that addresses the challenges and risks that lie ahead. In the past year, we undertook an in-depth examination of the College's academic and administrative structure, and we are now in the midst of adapting it to the required volume of activity and future academic development of the College, which includes undergraduate and graduate programs, opening dual-major programs, launching research institutes and increasing student numbers, while focusing on unique target populations."

"We are now at a critical juncture: We are transitioning from a conservative, very fixed-minded college to a forward-looking college,"Prof. Biderman added. "In doing so, we are relying on the great progress we have made over the last three years. We cannot revel in our successes, because the state of public colleges is very precarious. I know how crucial the relentless struggle we have been leading in recent years is essential not only for maintaining our achievements but also for protecting the purpose for which we were established."

Prof. Biderman emphasized the College's achievements. "I am a big believer in this college. I believe there is a huge potential and that we are able to bring it to fruition. By mobilizing additional forces in the form of active, engaged faculty researchers, we will be able to further increase our student numbers. We have a great responsibility, as an institution that is undoubtedly considered today to be - and rightly so - the best public college in the country. I believe we can establish and deepen our status in the years to come."

At the event, members of the Board of Trustees were presented with the "Generator" program for social-business entrepreneurship, led by Ofer Flynn, who said that he found in MTA a rich, effective platform for promoting the vision. "When I started collaborating with the College about 4 years ago, we embarked with a shared vision in the field of social-businesses and a shared desire to deepen and focus MTA’s work on the issue and to lead to sustainable change in the community and the environment," Flynn described.

The purpose of the Generator is to give the selected participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge, tools and experience, and to integrate and work together with business organizations and NGOs, surrounded by dozens of professionals, and then, aided by mental and emotional guidance, take the next step in their impact careers and in entering the new economy.

Flynn expressed his heartfelt thanks to Prof. Biderman for his courageous partnership and for the opportunity that has been created to realize their shared vision, with the aim of maximizing the readiness of the alumni to reality in which they live.

Five of the program’s graduates presented their projects to the audience:

• Natasha Milstein, a Bachelor of the BA program in Management and Economics and an MBA student, developed the Angela venture, aimed at increasing the number of official sexual harassment reports in organizations and, as a result, reducing the number of cases of sexual misconduct.

• Ayelet Cohen, a Bachelor of the BA program in Government and Society, founded Afro-Tune, a venture that works to mediate and establish collaborations between African music ensembles and local Israeli bars and cafes.

• Musa Mansour, a student in the MA program for Organizational Consulting and Development, founded in collaboration with Avoda Shava Ltd. the "Connected 2.0" venture, an innovative training program to help women on maternity leave acquire the tools, knowledge and experience to stay connected with the workplace and enrich their knowledge through online courses that are unique to their workplace and profession. The purpose of the system is to help reduce gaps and provide the knowledge that will see them return to their jobs and maybe even advance further in their careers.

• Gaia Venucci, a Bachelor of the BA program in Management and Economics, founded the Cucciolo venture. The goal of this initiative is to provide support, knowledge, and emotional preparation for the various dog adoption stages, from family preparation and adjustment, through the initial adoption period, to ongoing assistance during the first few months in order to reduce dog mortality.

• Mor Peleg, an undergraduate student in Government and Society BA program, developed "For the Premature Babies" as part of her work with the LAHAV association. The venture is designed to provide a comprehensive support package for parents of premature babies, with the aim of facilitating the process and matching each pair of parents with a case manager who will assist them navigate the bureaucracy involved and support them emotionally.

As of 2020, we are proud of the dozens of MTA graduates who have taken part in the Generator, with a staggering 65% of program graduates having secured key positions in businesses, municipalities, NGOs, or have continued to operate the venture they developed during their Generator experience.

For the full photo gallery and Video of the event follow this link:

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