Launching the German-Israeli Future Network (2018)

The launching event of the German-Israeli Future Network, titled “SustainAbility!”, marked the 70th independence day of Israel and took place at Kibbutz Shefayim in May 2018. The conference addressed German and Israeli shared civil society challenges.

70 activists, stakeholders and social entrepreneurs were invited, 35 from Germany and 35 from Israel. The participants examined issues relevant to the futures of both societies in five areas: Education for Democracy, Society and Demographic Change, Digitalization, Environmental Protection and Art as a Change Maker.

The conference was a platform for multidisciplinary networking, while also focusing on identifying mutual challenges and opportunities, and developing ideas for future projects and collaborations.

Greetings by the German Ambassador Dr. Clemens von Goetze and Future Forum Executive Director Dr. Tamara Or opened the first evening event, followed by talks of Dr. Arye Carmon, founding president of the Israel Democracy Institute, and Adi Altschuler, a serial social entrepreneur.

The core workshops of the conference were led by facilitators from five prominent capacity building organizations in the Israeli civil society ecosystem: Shatil, Eretz-Ir, Presentense, Green Course and The Public Knowledge Workshop (“HASADNA”(. Among other activities, the new members of the German-Israeli Future Network participated in the movement workshop Moving Across Borders, facilitated by choreographer and winner of the 2017 Shimon Peres Prize Monica Gillette; and watched and later also participated in a performance by the “Holot Theatre” group, in which Israeli actors and asylum seekers are dealing with the lives of asylum seekers.

An evaluation survey conducted shortly after the event resulted in great feedback, not only concerning the selection of participants, the atmosphere and the logistics, but also regarding the effectivity of the conference for meeting relevant people/organizations and finding potential partners for future collaborations.

Concrete Results: 17 news ideas for collaboration

The end of the three-day-event was actually a starting signal for forging fresh connections and ideas into new long-term relationships and collaborations. To this end, all participants were offered a chance to apply for special project development grants of up to 2000 Euro each, for further developing concrete ideas for collaborations.

We were thrilled to receive no less than 17 promising applications. Alongside the German Israeli Sustainability Dialogue, additional four proposals for new German-Israeli collaborations were granted development grants.

Networking Event in Shefayim in May 2018