By Carine Warsawski, Founder/CEO of Trybal Gatherings
We are entrepreneurs, linguists, educators, engineers, social justice warriors, and global citizens. We share a common passion for Israel and an eagerness to understand how Israeli innovation is impacting international development. We are 12 young professionals who are heading to Kenya next week on Project Inspire, a bold initiative of CJP and the Consulate General of Israel to New England. And we hope you’ll learn with us.
In a region rife with challenges, Israelis have honed the art of problem solving and turned their small desert nation into a powerhouse of innovation and a burgeoning ecosystem of creativity. Israel has the highest density of startups in the world per capita, ranked No. 3 internationally for global innovation. From life sciences to cleantech, cyber security to digital health, agriculture to fintech, Israel’s 5,000-plus start-ups transcend a diversity of sectors. With more than 70 companies listed on NASDAQ valued at over $37 billion, Israeli innovation contributes significantly to the global economy. But how are these technologies adding value to international development efforts overseas?
Israel is more than just a hub of innovation; it’s a GPS of humanitarian stewardship. Project Inspire affords us the opportunity to learn firsthand how the roots and elements of Israel’s innovation culture are building bridges to impact lives in Kenya. We will spend the week based in Nairobi and travel daily to engage with local thought leaders, educational trailblazers, politicians, and NGOs. The itinerary affords us a front-row seat to the ways Israeli ingenuity and entrepreneurship are building a safer and more just world.
Our itinerary is designed to challenge our assumptions and expand our understanding of cross-cultural collaboration. We’ll learn about disability inclusion in Kenyan schools; how Israel’s Education for Sustainable Development initiative is teaching young people to “think global, act local”; we’ll meet with an Israeli-born member of the Malawi Parliament; visit an agricultural consulting company; speak with leaders of a Kenyan women’s empowerment group; and so much more.
The context of our learning will be enriched by firsthand exploration of Kenyan culture. We’ll celebrate Shabbat with the Nairobi Jewish community, have lunch with a local imam, visit an elephant orphanage and endangered giraffe center, and enjoy Israeli night at the Safaricom Jazz Festival.
Each day of the journey we will post a blog entry and photos to share the insights, surprises, delights, and challenges we experience in Kenya. After the trip concludes, each of us will develop a project to facilitate dialogue with the local Boston community on the impacts of Israeli innovation in Kenya.
So, who are we? We are curious, open-minded, adventurous, and extraordinarily grateful for this opportunity. Moreover, we hope you’ll follow along, ask questions, and unpack the experience with us back in Boston.