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The 2009 Israeli Presidential Conference Summation

About the conference


“I have learned that out of the greatest crises fascinating opportunities can emerge. Such opportunities are uncovered by those with a loving heart and an optimistic spirit.”   
President of State of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres
Facing Tomorrow, the annual global conference initiated in 2008 by President Shimon Peres will take place a second time on October 20-22, 2009 in Jerusalem. The Conference focuses on our mutual tomorrow - investigating the trends that are shaping the future and exploring actions that could and should be undertaken towards the betterment of tomorrow for Israel, the Jewish people and the world at large.
2009 presented us with numerous major crises and difficult dilemmas that demand action: the ongoing economic crisis, ecological deterioration, instability in the Middle East, Iran’s continuous efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The impact of these issues will be far-reaching at the levels of national security, community life and the individual.
With these challenges in the backdrop, this year’s Conference will investigate the parameters of the various crises, assess the threats and opportunities that may surface, and consider the policies and decisions that should be implemented to address these grave challenges. We will focus on ways we can make today’s crises an opportunity - a gateway for positive change on our journey towards tomorrow.
Conference discussions and deliberations will take place in plenary meetings, working groups and panels, addressing topics as diverse as:
·         The Global Economic Crisis - Building a Functioning World Economic System
·         Geopolitical Challenges of the 21st Century
·         A Greener Planet for Tomorrow
·         Culture and the Arts – Adjusting to the New World
·         Islam: Between Moderation and Extremism
·         The Role of the New Media in Shaping our Future
·         The Individual in an Era of Crises and Change
·         Geopolitical Developments and their Impact on the Jewish People
·         Will we see Peace in our Region?
·         The Influence of the Global Economic Crisis on the Jewish World
·         In which Fields can Israel act as a World Hub?
·         Jewish Peoplehood – Unity versus Pluralism
  • Should the Jewish World be Organized Differently?
  • The Future of Capitalism
·         The Future of Artificial Intelligence
·         How should Education and Learning be adjusted to reflect Tomorrow’s Challenges?
·         What is the Scientific Community Striving to Discover?
·         What will we Eat Tomorrow?
·         The Human Brain and Tomorrow's Challenges
·          The Challenges of Jewish Continuity in a Changing World
·         Judaism in the Age of the Internet
·         The Future of the Trilateral Relationship: Jerusalem – Washington – U.S Jewish Community
·         The Young take Initiative
·         How can Tertiary Education in Israel reach an Ivy League Standard?
Tomorrow promises to be the product of a fascinating interaction between science, politics, technology, religion, economics, culture, philosophy and society. The Israeli Presidential Conference will serve as a space of inspired deliberation by a select group of the world’s best minds.
Some of the extraordinary individuals who have confirmed their participation include:
• Christine Lagarde, the French Minister of Finance, conductor Zubin Mehta • Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Kishore Mahbubani • French philosopher and economist Jacques Attali • Former Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov • President of Skype Josh Silverman • Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales • President and CEO of Sesame Workshop Garry Knell • US Investment Strategist for Goldman Sachs Abby Joseph Cohen • Renowned architect Frank Gehry • French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy • Author of “Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam” Tawfik Hamid • Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fisher • Neuroscientist Henry Markram • Former US Administration officials Amb. Stuart Eizenstat and Elliott Abrams • Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Edward Luttwak • Dean of College of History and Culture at Henan University in China Zhang Qianhong • Executive Chairman of the Rothschild Group Baron David de Rothschild • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL Tim Armstrong • Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Axel Springer AG Mathias Döpfner • Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Reuters Tom Glocer • Chief Executive Officer of TiVo Tom Rogers • Art Levinson former Chief Executive Officer of Genentech • futurist and inventor Raymond Kurzweil, who will be discussing the future of human intelligence in a public dialogue with President Shimon Peres •.
Heads of states, ministers and public officials from around the world and Israel will too be joining you and our other esteemed guests at our event.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is our partner in bringing this conference to fruition and is providing its excellent intellectual and research resources towards the conference content.

 We look forward to seeing you this fall in Jerusalem.                                     

  Adv. Israel Maimon, Chairman                                                                        
       The Israeli Presidential Conference Steering Committee