September 2010 Newsletter


Children of the Holocaust
By Yoram Yahav 

Holocaust Survivors journey from Cyprus, Yoram Yahav, Yoyah Group

Holocaust Survivors journey from Cyprus

 A friend of mine from China wrote me a letter and brought up the term “Children of the Holocaust”. He asked me if my parents fell under that category and I responded that the category was intended for people such as I. He asked for an explanation of what my parents went through so I sent him the following which I share with you now.   

I was born in Israel to parents who were “graduates” of several concentration camps. My father came from Czechoslovakia where his family owned fur plants. As with many families of their generation, he was in complete denial that something “different” may be happening to them. Being handsome, smart and sure of himself, he grew up skiing, speaking several languages and hanging around women of all kinds.  Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia changed his fate forever, just like it did for the whole Jewish people. At the age of 16 he saw his parents being beaten up by the Gestapo for gold coins they hid in the seams of their jackets. At the age of 18 he lost his mother, who died in the camps. More >  

Secrets of Israeli Innovation
By Professor Shlomo Maital

Kibutz Lehavot Habashan, Professor Shlomo Maital

Kibutz Lehavot Habashan

  Over the years, I have spoken to groups of managers, entrepreneurs and business students from abroad from America, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, China and elsewhere – who come to Israel to learn the secret of Israel’s incredible inventiveness.   

They know Israelis invented mobile and multi-core microprocessors, Copaxone, drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, Aziltec, a key data-compression method, USB flash drives, Interferon, one of the earliest cell phones, a tiny video camera you swallow that checks your intestines, solar water heaters… and that list is not even a forshpeiz (appetizer). They want to know, how come?   

Although I researched innovation for many years, I always struggle to provide a good answer. There are no laws of innovation that Israelis follow, I explain. Innovation is best defined as intelligently breaking the rules, something Israelis do with gusto. The rule is, break the rules.   

In future, I will respond differently. I will tell future groups an improbable but completely true story about how a talented, entrepreneurial group of people took over a run-down kibbutz factory that made fire extinguishers, in the remote northern tip of Israel. Against all odds, in five years, they turned the factory into a world leader in fire-dousing technology that saved many soldiers’ lives and prevented horrible burns. More>   

How do we know what trends will rule in 2011?
Welcome to trend spotting – an essential skill from the business futurist’s tool box. 
By Debbie Meltzer 

What trends will rule in 2011? Futurist tool box, Debbie Meltzer

What trends will rule in 2011

Once, not that long ago, alternative medicine was voodoo practice, organic grocery shopping was hippie hype and location based technology was a concoction of science fiction. 

While most of us were turning a blind eye, these micro-trends spiraled into megatrends and earned a respectable position in the market. How did these “outcasts” manage to claw their way into the mainstream? How can we anticipate the next rising stars? And why should we care?  

Global trend guru Gerald Celente thinks we should care; “those who view the world through their profession alone,” he says, “will miss out on the opportunities.”  

One of the biggest shortcomings most of us marketers suffer from is a tendency to navel gaze. Granted, we should know our industry, but we can never underestimate the importance of scanning socio-economic, political, environmental, cultural and geo-political trends.  

The moment we stretch our neck out and scan our environment in high resolution is the moment we begin to observe patterns. And as soon as we pay attention to patterns we begin to detect trends. From here lies a very definite pathway to driving innovation. More