No Politics, No Religion…Only Computers!

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.

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