…Innovation Networking Group in Palestine a la Apple style, led by a CHE-ME leading member in the West Bank.
“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller
A slogan launched by 90 Palestinian Young men and women led by their mentor Nafiz Rifai on June 10, 2007 in the West Bank. Nafiz, the co-founder of the Build Palestine Initiative and an active member of the CHE-Middle East, led the group of young Palestinian through an unfolding process of self-discovery, and together “we revealed the goals and aspirations of these fearless Palestinians” he said.
These 90 college graduates and students were discussing the lack of opportunities in the Palestinian Territories and the hundred and one reason to feel depressed and down. Nafiz tried to help them to focus on seeing an opportunity in the current situation to elevate the mindsets to a place were the focus is on strategic thinking, and where they can hold a vision of hope and happiness.
One of the young men listened carefully and took Nafiz aside and said “when you live in a place were all doors are closed; you are not allowed to fall in love, have a job, dream of a better future, and someone comes in and tells you about a Better place in heaven where you can be happy…which one do you choose?” Nafiz, being the wise leader he is, validated the young man’s feelings and shifted the focus on “what could be done.” The room became an “Innovation Networking room” where each attendee came up with two or three ideas for technology training and job insourcing for Palestine.
Innovation Networking at Apple’s remote offices helped launch the iPod and many of the innovative software used by apple computers. This Palestinian Innovation Networking group of young people can have a tipping point effect when they initiate the work of their “Computers Only” campaign.
They asked us to help design the project and apply the principles of Integral Natural Design pioneered by Dr Beck in South Africa. They suggested the following ideas:
To prepare themselves for Global jobs and make it attractive for international companies to outsource their skills
To ask Microsoft and Dell for equipment and training workshops from these company’s experts
To set up a Technology center in the West Bank that promises to teach every high school student much needed computer skills
To help the whole society focus on 21st century skills and shy away from empty political talk and from manipulating the purity of religion to attack others
The 90 bright men and women promised to become 1000 Palestinian at the launching of the project and 5000 technology-driven Palestinians a year after that. They will contribute $1 each a month to support their younger compatriots to acquire computer skills. They are planning on turning this project into a 100% Palestinian financed project a year after the launching.
A meeting that happened around the 40th anniversary of the Nakba, a sad day for Palestine, promises to launch a campaign that will turn a sad memory into a technological phoenix rising.
Working on the transition from Apartheid in South Africa, Dr Beck’s integral design strategy for the peaceful transformation of SA involved decision makers in the country, especially Nelson Mandela and De Clerk as well as the business community and South Africans from all walks of life who believed in a comprehensive solution to that deep rooted problem.
Our work in Palestine presents a similar comprehensive approach that is having the approval of decision makers in the government as well as Palestinian community and business leaders.
In a meeting with Information Minister Moustafa Barghouti , the Minister shared with us the struggles that his ministry is facing trying to keep the Palestinian struggle on the forefront of the world events with a budget of $40,000/year which is equal to a one hour budget for any media outlet in the US. Despite the scarcity of funds, Dr. Barghouti is a resilient and optimistic person who is presenting the message of the Unity Government to the world with such competence, command and passion. He was very interested in Dr Beck’s proposal and asked us to help attract international media experts/volunteers to support the ministry’s task.
Our meeting with the Planning Minister
, Prof. Sameer Abu Eisheh, covered the use of GIS systems already used by the Ministry to support the new technology of Vital Signs Monitors(VSM). The VSM technology is based on Dr Beck’s theory and designed to track the critical indicators in cultures. Consider an operations-type room, with floor to ceiling video screens, where the critical indicators are displayed and overlaid on top of each other. Such a Monitor can search for the deepest trends, major value-systems conflicts in the making, serious sink-holes in development projects, and the general health and well-being of the culture. This technology was pioneered by Dr Beck’s partners, the Arlington Institute, in Singapor sponsored by the Singapor government. Dr Beck and I will be working with the Ministry on a proposal to design the project and implement it in the West Bank.
Mr Hussain El-Sheikh who was appointed recently by President Abbas as the head of the Leadership Committee for the districts asked us to devise a plan that will support a transformational aspirations of this committee. Nafiz Rifaee and Abdel Majeed Suwati who have been working with us for more than 2 years, will introduce the conceptual model to the Leadership Committee. They are already working with young leaders in Al-Khalil, Bethlehem and Ramallah on Integral projects. We will link to their new website soon.