Technology Beyond BordersPanel
Inspired by the WIRED documentary ‘Holy Land: Startup Nations’, this panel explores technology as a potential tool for growth and development beyond geographical and bureaucratic confinement.
In countries and environments where there are limitations on the availability of work in certain fields, or where traditional industries are largely controlled by the government or big businesses, technology offers a kind of emancipation due to its separation from geographic constraints.
In Armenia, for example, TUMO empowers young people with a wide range of digital and technological tools and knowledge. This allows them to take on different forms of work, for example by working remotely. In Palestine (as documented in the film) there is a burgeoning startup industry, which allows tech businesses to function in spite of the physical restrictions that are created through checkpoints, occupation, and border controls.
Of course, there are still many limitations, but there is a potentiality there that is worth talking about. Before the panel, Avinash Changa, founder and CEO of the virtual reality-business WeMakeVR and one of our panelists, will give a keynote speech.
Nishan Hagop Paparian (TUMO, Yerevan)
Nishan Hagop Paparian coordinates the development of the instructional content at TUMO, a new kind of educational experience at the intersection of technology and design in Yerevan, Armenia. At TUMO, teens are given the tools and knowhow they need to reach their maximum potential, and they chart their own learning path through hands-on activities, workshops, and projects. There are four TUMO centers in Armenia with more on the way in Moscow, Beirut, and Paris.
Hani Alami (Palestinian entrepreneur, founder of JEST)
Alami is a Palestinian telecommunications tycoon who established a number of telecommunications companies. Three years ago he
established JEST (Jerusalem Entrepreneurs for Society and Technology), the first entrepreneurship center and hub for startups in East Jerusalem. JEST promotes and supports technology and the culture of innovation, with special emphasis on programs for women and youth.
Avinash Changa (WeMakeVR)
Changa, the CEO and founder of WeMakeVR, is a business savvy all-rounder in the field of digital concepts and digital production techniques. He understands the business logic and knows how to apply new concepts in an effective way. Before the panel, he will deliver a keynote speech about the past, present and future of VR. Read more
Hani Mortaja (Gaza Sky Geeks)
Hani works as a Data and Operations Officer at Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG), the first ever startup accelerator and tech hub in Gaza. Founded in 2011 by Google for Entrepreneurs and Mercy Corps, GSG is a co-working space as well as a a tech-education hub helping Gazans as young as 14 turn their ideas into businesses with the help of mentoring and training programs.