Initiatives address such issues as post-trauma of shell shock victims, skills-training for refugees and loneliness of elderly.
Fifteen budding entrepreneurs completed the first round of Beit Berl College's Accelerator for Social and Educational Initiatives – a four-month program during which the participants developed their initiatives from the ideation stage until the pilot stage, with the help of personal mentors. The round culminated in a festive hackathon event, where the initiatives were presented to an audience of veteran entrepreneurs and Beit Berl faculty.
“Beit Berl is the only college in Israel to open a Hub for Social and Educational Entrepreneurship, and to join a global network of 500 hubs. The Accelerator connects Beit Berl to a new international model for advancing society and education,” explains Amit Lerner, co-director of the Hub.
Initiatives addressed a wide range of social and educational challenges; many were aimed at encouraging interaction between different sectors of Israeli society, using a variety of platforms. Among the promising ideas: training teachers to contend with shell shock victims, developing cooking workshops where refugees teach about their cultures through food, and designing community-based spaces and activities designed to empower senior citizens. A number of the initiatives are already being applied as pilot programs.
The Accelerator’s participants consisted of Beit Berl Masters students and alumni, as well as members of the community at large. Learning from the pilot year, several changes will be implemented when the second round is launched in the Fall. Next year, the Accelerator will be longer and will be divided into two separate stages: ideation during the first semester and the pilot stage during the second semester. Finally, the organizers realize that, beyond the weekly meetings, there is a need for physical space on campus to work on the projects.
To learn more about the Hub for Social and Educational Entrepreneurship or to register for the next Accelerator click here