Sustainable development in the Negev: A model for meeting en...

Sustainable development in the Negev: A model for meeting environmental, social and economic needs

Dec 16, 2013 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Join the Task Force and Jewish Funders Network on December 16th for a luncheon discussion on: "Sustainable development in the Negev: A model for meeting environmental, social and economic needs" with Mohammed Alnabari, Mayor of Hura Michael Ben-Eli, Founder, Sustainability Laboratory, and Joshua Arnow, Arnow Family Fund moderated by Michael Hirschhorn, President, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation The Negev Desert, home to approximately 650,000 people - including 215,000 Bedouin, is Israel's most sparsely populated region. As efforts rise to develop the region, many Bedouin leaders have voiced a desire for development approaches that will create economic opportunities and retain time honored traditions and practices. ( The Mayor of Hura, Dr. Mohammed Alnabari, partnered with Dr. Michael Ben-Eli of the New York-based Sustainability Laboratory to design an entrepreneurial cooperative, Wadi Attir, that models holistic, innovative sustainable development approaches for the Negev, relevant locally, as well as to communities in other arid parts of the world. The project integrates modern science and cutting-edge technology with traditional Bedouin know-how to foster community development, local business and regional education. Come hear Mayor Alnabari, Michael Ben-Eli, and Joshua Arnow, supporter and key funder of the project, share their vision for sustainable development in the Negev and discuss how these practices meet the region's diverse environmental, social and economic needs while unleashing a powerful sense of possibility in the region. Join us for this important discussion. Event details: December 16th at 12:30pm New York City A light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to [email protected]. Location details provided upon RSVP. Speaker Bios: ( Dr. Mohammed Alnabari is the Mayor of Hura, one of the seven Bedouin townships in the Negev. He has served as Mayor since 2004 and just commenced his third term. Mohammed's past positions include heading a pharmaceutical R & D team at Agis (today known as Prigo). He holds a BA and an MA in organic chemistry, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PhD in organic chemistry from Ben-Gurion University. Mohammed is a founding member of the Project Wadi Attir Cooperative and works closely with Dr. Michael-Ben-Eli and the project team, to guide its successful development. He represents a new generation of model leaders in the Bedouin community and has developed close working relationships with various ministries within the Israeli government. As a scientist, public leader and visionary, he is bringing innovative approaches to improving the lives of the Bedouins of the Negev. ( Dr. Michael Ben-Eli, founder of the Sustainability Laboratory, is an international consultant on management and organization. His work has focused on strategy development, organizational design, sustainability, and change management. He graduated from the Architectural Association in London and later received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Cybernetics at Brunel University, where he studied under Gordon Pask. He was a close associate of R. Buckminster Fuller, with whom he collaborated on projects involving research on advanced structural systems and exploration of issues related to the management of technology and world resources for the advantage of all. Dr. Ben-Eli pioneered applications of Systems Thinking and Cybernetics in management and organization. Over the years he worked on synthesizing strategy issues in many parts of the world and in diverse institutional settings, ranging from small high technology firms to multinational enterprises, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, health care and educational organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and international multilateral organizations. In recent years, he has been working primarily on issues related to sustainability and sustainable development, focusing on helping inspire leaders in business, government, community, and youth accelerate a peaceful transition to a sustainable future. ( Josh Arnow is a project leader focusing on strategic philanthropy and innovative initiatives that advance humanity's transition to a sustainable future. He has extensive experience in real estate development and investment management. Josh currently serves as a director of the Arnow Family Fund, senior advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, and is on the boards of WorldLink, The Sustainability Laboratory, and the Earth University Foundation. For the past six years, he has devoted much of his time to initiatives that support development and education within the Bedouin sector. ( Michael Hirschhorn has served as Executive Director of the International Human Rights Funders Group since 2008. Prior to directing IHRFG, from 2003-08, Michael was Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center. Earlier, from 1995-2001, he served as Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City. Michael was an Assistant to the Chancellor of the NYC Public Schools and a Visiting Non-Profit Executive at Yale's School of Management. Michael serves as President of the Trustees of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, and also serves on the boards of several rights-related and educational non-profit organizations. Michael received his BA from Yale University in 1981 and his MBA & MSW from Columbia University in 1989.