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Innovative technologies are altering the ways for big data to carve global economies. This digital revolution is revolutionizing transportation, medicine and energy. And it is altering the nature of power and political leadership as nations build strength through their people. One nation demonstrating this change is Israel. Built on the brainchild of former Israeli premier Shimon Peres, the Israeli Innovation Center in Jaffa has been launched to showcase this shift.

The Israeli Innovation Center will undeniably exhibit the nation’s technological achievements. It will also encourage collaboration and innovation across all its communities, not only in Israel but also all across the Middle East. According to the Financial Times, Israel is one of the few countries that survive through innovation. With little water and land, settlers explored new farming techniques to raise agricultural productivity. Surrounded by hostile neighbors, the country’s military had no option but to gain a technological edge to survive and then thrive.

Beyond the Israeli Innovation Center

In addition, as Israeli president between 2007 and 2014, Peres had no administration and thus could not issue orders. But this powerlessness enabled him to persuade people to do things. “The only thing I could do was to call on people to volunteer. And you’ll be surprised: I never heard the word ‘no’,” he said. Thus, that is how technological innovation came about. Peres believes that broader technological collaboration could also “contribute to peace across the Middle East if the so-called Start-Up Nation can help nurture a Start-Up Region and promote economic growth and interdependence.” To help bolster the attempt, his foundation is working to encourage new enterprises in Jordan, Egypt and Africa.

“Right now, the world is going through a transitional period: one age is dying, but is not dead,” Peres states, “and another one has been born, but is still in childhood.” He proposes that the digital or big data revolution is revising the rules of our economies. “Information has always existed but is difficult to collect. It’s like eating soup with a fork. Big data gives you a spoon,” he notes. Peres also says a nation’s strength will eventually depend on its people and its companies rather than on the military. In other words, rather than by the heavy-handed approach seen nowadays, a leader’s authority relies on influence.

To fully embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution, politicians must forget the past and focus on the future. Peres maintains that vision is more important than experience and that leaders should have greater faith in the young. As seen from the reality of the Israeli Innovation Center, building communities through digital innovation is now key to a nation’s success.

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