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Director of UN World Food Bank Program, Ertharin Cousin: “We can have a vision, but a vision without investment is simply a hallucination”

June 19, 2013 – Jerusalem, Israel – Dr. Miriam Haran, Director of the M.B.A. studies at Ono Academic College, led an expert panel addressing the question “Is there Hope for a Greener Tomorrow?”

While participants are hopeful that tomorrow will be “greener”, they highlighted a number of potential obstacles that must be overcome, including greater global collaboration, investment and governmental support of green technology.


Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose foundation is dedicated to protecting the environment and encouraging sustainable development, opened the panel and stated that, “due to the tireless efforts of scientists around the world, our prospects for a greener tomorrow are growing stronger every day. Pulling international talents, resources and energies together can help create a greener tomorrow.”


Hon. Professor Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico and the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. “We have to be optimistic but we also have to be responsible, realistic and critical of the fact that we have failed to seriously address the problem (of climate change).” He called on countries to challenge the status quo and to overcome issues like sovereignty and national pride in order to encourage collective action for global good. He warned, “If we continue along the same path we took in the 1990s and continue today, we will fail.”


Ertharin Cousin, the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program echoed the need for global unification. “We can have a vision, but a vision without investment is simply a hallucination. We need the global community to come together, to invest in the value and change, in order to help those we serve. We can’t change our past but we can shape our future.”


Efi Stenzler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KKL-JNF outlined several ways that Israel is leading in agriculture technology and suggested that Israel act as a beacon of light to the world by exporting its expertise in drip irrigation, unique planting methods, pest technology and desertification strategies.


Shai Agassi, Founder and former CEO of Better Place closed the panel by offering another perspective: “Tech innovation isn’t enough,” he said. “You must understand the business side and potential of that innovation.”  He pushed for governments to help support green innovation, mentioning the use of taxation as a method to help either stimulate or kill local green innovation.

Facing Tomorrow 2013 takes place from June 18-20, 2013 at Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.


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About Facing Tomorrow 2013

The Fifth Israeli Presidential Conference 'Facing Tomorrow' will be held from June 18-20, 2013. The first conference took place in May 2008, one week after Israel celebrated its 60th year of independence, and on the basis of its success became an annual event. The conference is centered around discussions, panels and plenary sessions aimed at answering one question: how can we foster a better tomorrow for the international community, Israel and the Jewish world. For more information, please visit www.presidentconf.org.il.