Reduced Inequalities

Social Equality Discourse in Full Force

Governments come, governments go – particularly in Israel, if the past few years are any indication; thankfully, the social impact discourse pushes ahead. Indeed, especially during the past month or so Israel has seen an impressive number of social equality activities that have kept the issue front and center.

Here’s a partial list: unveiling of the annual Maala ESG Index, which this year added a diversity and inclusion classification in partnership with Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission as well as a list of growing companies developing products with environmental and social impact (here is more about Maala); the “Impact as a Currency” gathering held by the Israeli Forum for Impact Economy (Sir Ronald Cohen, described by the organization as “the father of impact,” opened the event with remarks in English); the “Innovation Creates Impact” conference by Social Finance Israel  (SFI) including SFI’s CEO, an SII Changemaker; the “Speaking Climate Change” event conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies; the “Non-profit Organizations” conference held by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel; the “Arab Community Economic Conference” by Haaretz; “Periphery Tech” by Calcalist; the “Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit” by The Jerusalem Post; and the annual “Conference on Economy and Society” held by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI).

Social Equality Discourse in Full Force - SDG 10 -Social Impact Israel

We can’t summarize all the events, of course; here we’ll highlight the IDI event – which, as always, included an especially impressive array of prominent researchers, civil society leaders, private sector heads and senior government officials (including director of the Economy Ministry’s Diversity in Employment Administration, featured in attached photo, an SII Changemaker).

The sessions reflected both the robust nature of Israel’s social equality discussion as well as the depth of its honesty. Some of that can be seen from the English-language tweets posted and the empirical data published (especially this document about inter-generational mobility), but the truly heady stuff came out only in Hebrew – here’s a sampling:

  •  The President –
    “Inequality has been reduced in the past decade, but it is still high in comparison with OECD countries. We need to share the country’s pie of prosperity and integrate everyone in the employment world.”

  • Environmental Protection Ministry Director General (an SII Changemaker)

    “Israel is almost at the bottom when it comes to environmental technology, as compared with being sixth in ‘classic’ hi-tech technologies. We need to create knowhow in order to advance breakthrough academic research, experimentation and implementation of environmental technologies in Israel as well as international cooperation.”

  • Science and Technology Ministry Director General –  
    “If high-tech continues to comprise very specific communities – mostly from the center of the country, the Tel Aviv area, particularly Rothschild Boulevard there – we will not have sufficient engineers. There won’t be engineers to deal with energy, environmental protection and transportation. We therefore must diversify the communities involved; there are many quality communities – the Israeli periphery, the Arab population, the Haredi Jewish community, and the most ‘trivial’: women – that aren’t a part of the high-tech industry.”

Wow – that’s what we’d call social impact honesty. We applaud such public recognition of Israel’s weak spots; it’s critical that they be overcome with the utmost urgency.

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