The prestigious summit of leadership and innovation will host guests from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East
Making their first appearance outside of the U.S., Forbes has announced that this year’s 30 Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) will take place in Israel this spring. The five-day series of events will be held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, kicking off on April 3, 2016.
With the announcement of the event, an initial list of speakers and guests was released, including former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres, experienced Internet entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, and Co-Founder of Waze Uri Levine. Joining the group from abroad are names like Miki Kuusi who helped to found Helsinki’s Slush and is now leading his latest startup Wolt, Sir Ronald Chen of Apex Partners and the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group, as well as actress Zosia Mamet from the HBO series Girls.
The event will open by the historical Kedumim Square in Jaffa, with a full schedule of panels and festivities planned for the first two days. The group will receive a tour of Tel Aviv’s hi-tech hub with a tour around the iconic Rothschild Boulevard before moving on to Jerusalem where they will explore the rich sights and smells of the city.
While in Jerusalem, the group will be holding events at the Tower of David in the Old City, as well as at the Israel Museum, offering a contrast between the city’s fascinating history and the innovation that is helping drive its future.
According to Matthew Krieger, one of the spokesmen for the event, there will be 600 participants in attendance divided evenly between the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, he tells Geektime.
From Philadelphia to the Middle East
The decision to fly out to the Startup Nation for this event was clear says Krieger, explaining that, “When you think about entrepreneurship and innovation, Israel is the first place that comes to mind, both from a technology point of view as well as a social impact perspective. Israel plays a big role throughout the world. This was a key factor in the minds of the organizers when they were looking where to hold the event.”
The organizers hope that the event will be an opportunity to meet people from different walks of life from across the world from the same age bracket and figure out how to build the next generation of their industries.
Part of the decision to come to Israel relied on the cooperation of the cities. Krieger says that the organizers of the event are working closely with the municipalities to make sure that it is going to be successful. He notes that holding the entrepreneurial event at the Israel Museum and bringing the groups to key locations like the Old City of Jerusalem or the heart of Tel Aviv on Rothschild Blvd show that they are deeply committed to making this a successful event.
Jerusalem standing out
While Tel Aviv has built up its reputation as the capital of the Startup Nation with its bustling tech scene, Jerusalem has been working hard to make its own name as a center for business and entrepreneurship.
The local government has played a role in bringing attention back to the city. Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat told Geektime that, “Jerusalem is one of the strongest brands in the world with over 3,000 years of investment and today we are emerging as one of the top hubs for innovation and excellence. As an entrepreneur, I deeply value the importance of bringing creative minds together and as Mayor of Jerusalem, I am honored to be hosting the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Jerusalem and look forward to welcoming the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs to our city.”
Barak Cohen, who is the Deputy Director for Development and International Relations at The Israel Museum where part of the event will be hosted, told Geektime that, “Jerusalem is the obvious choice for an event celebrating ingenuity and entrepreneurship and the next generation of global leadership because it isn’t simply a hi-tech hub or gorgeous destination for a conference, but something much grander…it is the epicenter of human history and culture!”
On the final day, participants will have the chance to volunteer with community organizations in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country, as well as in Ramallah in the West Bank. Krieger explains that they want to connect people coming in from abroad to the organizations taking part in the service day and build lasting relationships, while giving them a way to follow up with them after they leave. The list of organizations will be published later after they have been finalized.