Carmel 6000: Leading The Revolution in Social Tech Innovation
He was the Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President for Strategy and Technology at NDS Group Ltd, and is a well-respected board member at several up and coming start-ups. So what is Yossi Tsuria doing in a National Service (Sherut Leumi) program for young women?
Watch out 8200. Here comes Carmel 6000.
Recognising the power of the “technological revolution” and its capacity to change lives in extraordinary ways, Yossi Tsuria decided it was time to apply his well-honed skills to the non-profit sector.
“The high-tech world is cruel — if you look at the bottom line it is all about money,” says Tsuria.
But technology doesn’t always reach the poor or the sick, and Tsuria decided to bridge the gap between the Start-Up Nation, the world’s leading business sector in technological innovation, and those who need it most.
Tsuria founded Carmel 6000 and its mission is to create technologies that target the disabled, the sick, the poor, or the underdog.
“We see this as an opportunity for us, the Jewish people, to take the lead, to make an impact on the world in a significant way.”
It wasn’t enough to create the technology. Tsuria sought to bridge yet another gap, the gender gap. In the tech world, women are underrepresented across the board, from coders to venture capitalists, from engineers to equity funds. According to the latest data from the Finance Ministry, several factors are at play, chief among them discriminatory stereotyping, a shortage of role models and a lack of networking opportunities.
The Carmel 6000 program was designed to groom the next generation of creators, young women creating technologies that help the neediest among us. Rather than join the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, high school girls can join the Carmel 6000 program and whilst fulfilling their mandatory national service, they are taking part in a program that offers them mentoring from successful women in high tech. They learn networking skills side by side with coding and engineering, while creating devices, programs and applications that help the underserved in society. Says Tsuria, proudly,
“These women will change the face of the State of Israel.”
The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Diaspora Affairs and the Israel Innovation Authority joined the initiative and Carmel 6000 has taken up residence in NDS offices in Jerusalem where around 30 young women are carrying out their National Service and working on these projects.
In addition, the program has mentors that that are working side by side with the women on these projects. These mentors are coming from companies such as: Cisco,Microsoft, Martrix, IAI, and Orcam(sister company of MobileEye). Moreover there are volunteers from all over the world, who are coming from periods of a few weeks to a few months and even a year to learn the problems, conceiving creative solutions, and contributing to the development process.
The focus this year is in the sectors of Education, and especially Education of kids and young people who has some kind of mental or physical disability. The programme met with leaders at several NGO institutions as well as staff at special needs schools and asked them what their needs are that Carmel 6000 could possibly address. The result was a portfolio of 20+ projects, some of them are “world first” that carry the potential to have a real impact.
A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. This blog will keep you updated on the development of the Carmel 6000 dream, outlining the journey of the pariticipants and the products that are coming out of the programme.
Avital Weisinger, Carmel Participant.
Avital Bayer, International Director