In addition to the many Biblical sites I have seen while traveling in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt, I have been meeting with Social/Mobile/Tech people along the way. Here is a short list of some of the topics of conversation so far.
“Brain Drain” is the trend of smart, young people, leaving Palestine for other countries where they don’t have to live as second class citizens. They move to the US, Jordan, Dubai, Lebanon and other places where they can create a better life for their families.
“Maktoob” was a popular search engine developed in Jordan and recently purchased by Yahoo. This is the dream of every young Palestinian Technologist just like Americans; to develop a start up that goes viral and is purchased by a larger company.
“TEDx Ramallah” occurred in April ’11 in Ramallah and was simulcast in Beirut and Amman. For those who attended in person or on line it represented a watershed event where people could share, collaborate, develop ideas and build the Palestinian community. TED has grown from Technology, Entertainment and Design to include a broader range of topics as indicated by the 28 videos from TEDx Ramallah.
“Pal Connect” was the first-ever Palestinian conference for social media, held in Ramallah in December 2011. The event attracted social media professionals, journalists, traditional media professionals, academics, students, and civil society representatives. The folks I spoke to said they expect next year’s event to be bigger and better.
“Palestine ICT Incubator” PICTI assists tech entrepreneurs take their ideas to market by helping with designing, developing, implementing, and promoting those initiatives to business ventures. A Start Up weekend was held in 2011 and another one is planned for 2012. Spark is another business and technology incubator program being developed at Birzet University.
I hope you have found these as interesting as I have. Please offer your thoughts in the comment section of the blog.