Author Speaks to Hillel Gala November 21
In one of this community’s widest reaching examples of shared experience, thousands of Jewish British Columbians are reading Start-Up Nation, the landmark book about Israel’s economic miracle.
Start-Up Nation, by Dan Senor and Saul Singer, was already catching fire when local philanthropists Joseph and Rosalie Segal sponsored copies of the book to be distributed to thousands of supporters of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Senor, the book’s co-author will be the featured speaker at Vancouver Hillel’s annual Gala November 21.
In advance of the author’s visit, Hillel students are invited to join book clubs that will read and discuss Start-Up Nation, the issues it raises and the lessons the world can learn from Israel’s history of economic, industrial and agricultural innovation. According to the authors, Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel – a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources— produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK? How is it that Israel has, per person, attracted over twice as much venture capital investment as the US and thirty times more than Europe? Israel has more companies on the tech-oriented NASDAQ stock exchange than any country outside the US – more than all of Europe, India, and China combined. Nor is Israeli innovation limited to computers, security, and communications; the Jewish state leads the world in medical device patents, and is a strong global player in cleantech and biotech.
Drawing on examples from the country’s foremost inventors and investors, Senor and Singer describe how the country’s adversity-driven culture, flattened hierarchies and government policies create a society that uniquely combines both innovative and entrepreneurial intensity. The authors argue that Israel is not just a country, but a comprehensive state of mind. Where Americans emphasize decorum and exhaustive prep, Israelis put chutzpah over charm. “When an Israeli man wants to date a woman, he asks her out that night. When an Israeli entrepreneur has a business idea, he will start it that week,” as one analyst puts it. At the geopolitical level, Senor and Singer dig in deeper to show why Israel’s policies on immigration, R&D, and military service have been key factors in the country’s rise.
“No college experience disciplines you to think like [the military does], with high stakes and intense pressure,” one veteran notes, explaining how state service preps Israelis to communicate, to forge teams, and to improvise at work. As Start-Up Nation shows, there are lessons in Israel’s example that apply not only to other nations, but also to individuals seeking to build a thriving organization. As this country reboots its can-do spirit, there’s never been a better time to look at a remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues. These and other topics will be addressed in the book clubs. To learn more about Start-Up Nation, click here. To join a book club and to be sure you do not miss hearing Dan Senor at Hillel’s Gala November 21, talk to your campus director.