On November 29 in Jerusalem, The Israel Sci-Tech School Network (ORT Israel), a grantee of the Naomi Foundation, hosted The First Global Start-Up Education Conference Powered by iSTEAM – Ort Israel. The conference brought together a diverse group of stakeholders including dignitaries, teachers, students, academia, funders, and members of industry, and hinged on the relationship between education, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Panels focused on wide-ranging topics: educating for the needs of tomorrow by bridging the gap between the education system and the future labor market; designing physical spaces that support diverse learning modalities and inspire creativity; and the role of national and local government, and philanthropy in supporting the ecosystem. Esteemed speakers included H.E. Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to Israel; Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Education; Chemi Peres, Managing General Partner and Co-Founder of Pitango Venture Capital, and Chairman, Executive Board, of The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, among others. Ilana Kurizki, Advisor to the Board and Ambassador in Israel for the Naomi Foundation attended the conference, and the following day joined a delegation of attendees on a visit to the ORT Kiryat Motzkin Innovation Center.
The Israel Sci-Tech School Network (ORT Israel) is the largest education network in Israel, with close to 100,000 students per year. Its unique iSTEAM model of education (Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is a new interactive, project-based curriculum now in its second pilot year. The Sci-Tech Network also operates one of the largest research, development, and training centers for science and technology education in the world, developing innovative curricula for robotics, nanotechnology, and biomedical engineering.