Forbes Israel – 50 Most Influential Women 2015

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All women listed in Forbes “50 most influencing women in Israel” impact our lives in the present. Some of them not only influence the present but also the future. Maya Elhalal-Levavi takes it even further: One of the most interesting entrepreneurs in Israel wants us all to begin thinking today about the future, “a moment before it is too late”. “We may only have a short window to take the opportunity” says Elhalal-Levavi. “Everyone knows that technology is evolving faster today than in the past, and its progress is going to continue accelerating to a very rapid pace. We are facing the critical tippingpoint where technology will change our lives in every aspect. But we can impact the technological change and create the reality we want to live in by dedicating our time and resources now. Soon those changes will happen so rapidly, that we may then only be able to observe the situation, and try to adapt. Now we still have the chance to influence it”.

But how can you make people deal with issues such as “The influence of life expectancy increas on the institution of marriage” or “The labor market in the technological future” instead of the current popular reality shows on TV? The answer according to Elhalal-Levavi is clear: With original innovative media formats. “Actually, we do just that: develop original and innovating formats of media” – Maya describes ESH.Media, a company she established in 2014. One of its original formats, Bubbles, created in collaboration with Israeli researcher Dan Ariely, and it mixes “difficult questions about life with whisky, music and humor”. These days she is working on a new format, The ESH Gathering that is going to bring together some of the most remarkable minds in the world to a series of exclusive discussions about the impact of technology on our lives in the future. “The goal is to create a discussion and foster cross-pollination. Another goal is to shape Israel not only as a leader in entrepreneurship but also in the field of future thinking. There are things that happen here now are not being done anywhere else in the world, and this is how I want the world to see us”.

Elhalal-Levavi (37) was the first Israeli woman to graduate the exclusive executive education program at Singularity University in NASA Research Park, California. There she realized that it is time to prepare ourselves to the future more seriously. Before, she had already founded 4 start-ups, graduated a Computer Science program the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzeliya and participated in the Zell Entrepreneurship Program.

A month ago Elhalal-Levavi began serving as the president of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) in Israel, the Israeli branch of the world wide Entrepreneur’s Organization. The EO was co-founded 30 years ago by Michael Dell and it includes more than 11,000 members in 50 different countries. “Ideas and talks are amazing, and important, yet eventually it is the entrepreneurial actions that change reality. I look to the future with great anticipation” she concludes “a new, fascinating and exciting world is ahead, which we could enormously benefit from – if we only prepare ourselves right”.

Gil Karie

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