Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Emerging Trends in the "New Economy"

Conference Chair: Eric Benhamou


PANEL I: Current Political Situation in the Middle East Panel Chair: Michael Sonenfeldt, MUUS & Co.

Speaker: PROF. STEVEN SPIEGEL, Political Science Dept. UCLA
Topic Title: "The Current Phase of the Peace Process

My lecture will deal with the state of the peace process and the possibilities for moving forward given conditions at the present time. It will also try to asses the latest developments in a historical context in terms of changing global politics and also in terms of both regional dynamics and domestic politics in key states. In particular, the presentation will address the implications of the US elections, the Arafat leadership style, and Israeli domestic divisions on prospects for progress.

Speaker: DR. DROR ZEEVI, Chaim Herzog Center, BGU
Topic Title: "Discourse of Peace and War in the Arab World"

The Arab Middle East is in the midst of great changes and transitions. They are apparent everywhere. The most evident aspect of this transition is the series of successions in the Arab world. King Abdallah of Jordan, King Mohamed VI of Morocco, and Bashshar al-Asad of Syria have already taken over from their fathers. Further successions are expected in the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Iraq and other states in the near future. One of the issues I will underline is the effect this series of successions will have on the countries involved and on the region as a whole.

Another great questions facing the Arab world today is the rapidly globalizing world, and its position within this trend. While we should not see the Arab world as one coherent whole, and there are certainly differences between states and peoples, we should assume a certain basic disposition that is common to most inhabitants of the region, characterized in this respect as a very difficult transition to the new world of the internet and the global economy. I would like to suggest that the discourse of peace, and the drums of war, in the region, are not divorced from these developments, and that the attitudes of people could be construed as part of the struggle over choices in the twenty-first century. Governments, hoping to latch on to the rapid changes, find themselves contending with their subjects for the proper place of nationalism, religious tolerance and tradition in the next generation.

Speaker: PROF. YORAM MEITAL, Middle East Studies Dept., BGU
Topic Title: "Egypt's Perspectives on the Current Situation in the Middle East"

The recent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians have an enormous impact on the whole of the Middle East. Egyptian leadership believes that if the present situation continues, the two pillars of peace - certainty and stability - will be rocked to their foundations. This in turn, may have serious ramifications not only on the prospect for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but also for Egypt's most vital domestic and foreign interests. Although Cairo holds Israel mainly responsible for the deterioration in the region, the Egyptian administration believe that there is a way out from the current dangerous situation, and principally it is based on Israel's consent to honor all the commitments that were agreed upon with the Palestinians, and on the role that the American administration is ready to play in the difficult task of solving the Arab-Israeli conflict and bring stability to the Middle East.

Speaker: OMAR SALAH, CEO, Century Invest. Group
Topic Title: "Economic Cooperation to Promote the Peace Process"

I will examine the role/value of high-tech cooperation in cementing peace in the Middle East. Specifically, I will discuss the propensity for peace between Jordan and Israel; opportunity for high-tech cooperation in promoting peace between peoples/nations and prospects of peace and the future of the high-tech industry in the region.

Speaker: MAJOR GENERAL YOM TOV SAMLAH, Southern Command
Topic Title: "Current Situation Between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza"

PANEL II: New Economy: Business/Technology Panel Chair: Eric Benhamou, 3 ComCorp

Speaker: PROF. YIGAL MEIR, Physics Dept., BGU
Topic Title: "The Future of Nanoelectronics and the Uncertainty Principle"

The aim of Nanotechnology is to build smaller and faster devices. At the present rate of miniaturization, in ten or fifteen years, a singly electronic component in our computer will contain only several atoms and electrons. Such a small entity does not follow classical Newtonian laws, but rather abide by quantum mechanics, which tells us that there is an inherent uncertainty in the result of any operation (the Heisenberg uncertainty principle). As computers with non-deterministic results are impractical, a new approach must be sought in order to continue the present rate of miniaturization. Basic research laboratories are crucial in such a pursuit of knowledge.

Speaker: HOWARD STERLING, COO, SB Venture Partners
Topic Title: "Is Israel a Technology Subsidiary of Silicon Valley or Vice Versa?"

Innovation is only as good as its acceptance in the marketplace. An analysis of the Israeli hi-tech landscape reveals a very unique relationship between Silicon Valley and Israel. As Israeli companies look to grow at a rate equivalent to their US counterparts a "cross fertilization" is occurring between the regions. Lines are blurred as companies and venture capitalists establish operations in both regions. Israeli entrepreneurs look to the US capital markets for funding as US companies and investors look to Israel for innovation.

Speaker: DOROTHY ZINBERG, Harvard University
Topic Title: "The Emerging Role of Universities as E-businesses - a Peril and a Hope

In universities the craze is turning well-ordered practices and comfortable traditions on their heads. Undergraduate students are becoming entrepreneurs - sometimes seeking advice or investment from faculty when there are no guidelines in place. Faculty see either themselves or their departments as incubators for embryonic enterprises and seek out venture capitalists with whom they can link arms. There are both significant needs and advantages from some of these new arrangements - state-of-the-art teaching and technology, and profits. But as universities increasingly come to resemble corporations, at what point will society say: "Enough! No more taxpayers' money; no more contributions from loyal middle-class alumni and alumnae; let the biotech and billionaires foot the bill?" Working out the balance is crucial for the future health of higher education.

Speaker: DANIEL BEN-SIMON, Author & Journalist, Ha'aretz
Topic Title: "Israeli Divisions - Internal & External"

PANEL III: New Economy: Socio-Political Dimension
Panel Chair: Zvi Alon, NetManage, Inc.

Speaker: DR. HARRY SAAL, President, Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley
Topic Title: "The Internet: Force for Good or Evil"

Like any technology, the incredible power and change brought about by this new Internet paradigm can serve to level existing barriers in society and bridge differences in economic status, disabilities and the like. But many are concerned about the creation of a so-called "digital divide," wherein "the rich get richer" and the enabling serves to further accelerate the "haves" from the "have-nots." In particular, I will focus on the impact I expect to happen on non-profit organizations as a result of The Economic Boom.

Topic Title: "Industrial Revolution-Past, Present and Future"

What has been harder to predict for an industrial revolution - technological changes or the accompanying social and managerial changes? To answer this question we shall consider the industrial revolutions of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and late twentieth centuries. We shall also consider a scenario for a new revolution in the next 25-50 years.

Speaker: ERIC BENHAMOU, Chairman, 3ComCorp
Topic Title: "Technology-Enabled Education for the New Economy and the Digital Divide"

3Com chairman and CEO Eric Benhamou will provide his vision for technology literacy in the classroom. He will show a classroom that will be a rich, multimedia enabled environment that makes it radically simple and intuitive for teachers and students to teach and learn together and develop tools needed to succeed in the new economy. Benhamou will also explain the roles and responsibilities of government, industry, the educational community and parents in bridging the digital divide, all roles being essential as our society becomes more "connected."

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