On March 16, the day before elections for the 20th Knesset, dozens of young people joined the Taub Center for a What’s Happening event in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem event cover

This unique evening was jointly sponsored by WIZE, the movement to change the culture and night life among young people in Israel.

The event took place at Mike’s Place and included short talks from journalists and leading social activists alongside Taub Center researchers. Talks touched on a variety of aspects of Israeli life, from the changing Israeli labor market to the influence of low productivity on the daily lives of everyone in Israel.

There was also a screening of the short animated films designed by students in the Visual Communications Department at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, under the guidance of Itamar Daube and the distribution of infographic postcards designed by the Visual Communications Department at the Holon Institute of Technology under the guidance of Sigal Perelman and Bob Orel – all of which were based on Taub Center studies.

Eitan Regev: “Challenges of the Israeli Economy”

Eitan Regev, Taub Center researcher, presented the obstacles that impede growth in the Israeli market place, among them employment inequalities, an education system that ranks near the bottom when compared to the rest of the developed world on international measures, and a low level of labor productivity in comparison to other Western countries. In his words, narrowing educational gaps, a new way of systemic thinking on the part of the education system, and dealing with problems of bureaucracy and impediments to importing goods would all lower the cost of living and contribute to growth.

Dalia Narkis: “The World Works Differently”

Dalia Narkis, chair of Manpower Israel and the head of the Mediterranean region in the company, spoke about the changing work place, emphasizing that nowadays people change work places with greater frequency than in the past – often within a year and a half. She noted that research has shown taking a second degree immediately after a first degree is not as effective with regard to work promotions as taking the second degree after accruing a few years of experience. Narkis said that the technological era and the internet has created a wide variety of positions that were not even available a few years ago and that in the future, places of work will not be able to meet all of the demand for positions, leaving room for entrepreneurship and the self-employed.

Sagit Azary-Viesel: “Government Priorities in the National Budget”

Sagit Azary-Viesel, Taub Center researcher, pointed to several problems with the state budget, among them the fact that “social” budgets in Israel are lower relative to other countries. Likewise, government ministries tend not to fully use the budgets available to them. The solution, she says, is increased budget transparency and careful follow-up on budgets.

Gal Alon: “So Where Are We in This Story?”

Gal Alon, founder and CEO of Insights, called on everyone present to work toward change in the areas in which they are active, to find the values that are important to them and to find the framework within which to fulfill them. In his words, we all share responsibility, and that means becoming more involved and being partners in decision making in organizations and institutions where we work and where we are active.

Gad Lior: “The Government’s Economic Policy”

Gad Lior, senior economics journalist for Yediot Aharonot and emcee for the evening, summarized the event and presented the complexity in  creating economic policy: Should the wealthy and successful businesses be taxed higher – something that will bring in more money to the state coffers but which might force some of them to leave the country? He weighed the variety of perspectives presented throughout the evening, closing the evening with what he thinks of as the burning questions in the political process.