Local Sustainable
Economic Development
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Echo Talks – Ideas That Echo
Echo Lectures are a series of talks by local entrepreneurs at the Negev Congress on Local Economies, December 2013
Each of the 5 entrepreneurs presented his and her vision regarding the local economic development of the Negev, and received feedback from a panel of experts.

"Choosing Local, Eating Healthy" – A sustainable food project in Ramat Negev Regional Council
Dr. Alit Weil-Shafran 
Food is a central component in our lives and has a direct impact on our health and lifestyle. A unique collaboration between the Environmental Unit, the Wellness Unit Clinic (HILA), and the Education and Community Division at Ramat Negev regional council sparked an innovative and comprehensive process to disseminate sound principles and tools for healthy eating, based on local resources. 

Dr. Alit Weil-Shafran, married mother of three. Lives in Midreshet Ben Gurion and runs the environmental unit in Ramat Negev Regional Council.She has recently completed her doctorate following two years of work at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research and the Geology Department at Ben Gurion University.

Wadi Atir Project. 
Yunas Nabari 
An innovative project by the Bedouin community in the Negev to build a farm based on sustainable design principles and incorporating communal, environmental, technological and economic elements. The project is a joint venture developed by the Hura Regional Council and The Sustainability Laboratory, a U.S. based NGO. 

Yunas Nabari, lives in Hura, will soon complete his B.A in Political Science with a concentration on Public Policy. Over the past decade has managed various private businesses and for the past three years has worked as General Manager of the Wadi Atir Project. Married and a father of Shay.

Returning to the Center – Yeruham
Neta Siboni-Galili
The Community Programs Division in Yeruham believes in the importance of working collaboratively with local residents. The “Returning to the Center” project is an outgrowth of a mapping of community needs that highlighted business owners' desire to develop and renew the town’s commercial center. After two years of working with the Merchants’ Association, we successfully joined a Ministry of the Interior program for renewing commercial spaces. This project combines work on physical redevelopment with social and economic renewal. 

Neta Siboni-Galili, lives in Midreshet Ben Gurion. Mother of three. A social worker in the Yeruham Municipality for the past seven years during which she established the Community Programs Division.

Social Waste
Matan Yaakov Golan 
The current recycling programs, operated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, aimsto reduce the amount of trash that is diverted to landfillswithout benefiting local economies. The Center for Neighborhood Sustainability proposes a revolutionary program that delegates the responsibility for waste management to the local community, while rewarding those who carry out the program and benefiting the entire community. 

Matan Yaakov Golan, a sustainability entrepreneur, founder and manager of the Center for Neighborhood Sustainability (CNS), from the Tor Hamidbar NGO. CNS operates in Beer Sheva as a model for developing sustainable communities.

Yitzhak Krispel
Of-Ar is a culture incubator in Ofakim. This social-entrepreneurial project provides support for small businesses of three types: shops, businesses run from offices, and studios for artist and crafts-makers. 

Yitzhak Krispel, born in Ofakim. Founder and director of the "Ahuzat Negev" association. B.A in Education, M.A in Non-Profit Management from Ben Gurion University. Graduate of the leadership program at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev.

Our Panel of Experts: 
  • Dr. Safa Abu-Rabia – Faculty member in Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev
  • David Gappell – Director, Schusterman Foundation
  • Yifat Hillel – Director, Centers for Young Adults in the South, JDC Israel
  • Efi Toledano – Director, “Business Entrepreneurship for Youth at Risk” Program, Zionisem 2000
  • Sima Kahlon – CEO, Yeadim, center for the advancement of business in Be'er Sheva
  • Georges Mayer – Honorary Consul of France in Be'er Sheva

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