TEL AVIV, Dozens of innovators and makers will gather in Tel Aviv this month for TOM:TLV, a three-day technology marathon where participants will build models and prototypes of aids for people with disabilities. The organizers hope and intend to develop these products further and make them available for widespread use in the near future.
TOM:TLV, starting March 17 at the Tel Aviv Port and culminating March 19 at the Tel Aviv Hilton, will bring together technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities who will develop ideas and products that address challenges of people living with disabilities, their family members, and health-care professionals.
TOM:TLV is the latest in a series of events created by TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers), an initiative of the Reut Institute and ROI Community. TOM is a movement of makers, technology developers, and innovators who seek to solve unmet social challenges in disadvantaged communities and nations, fulfilling the traditional Jewish value of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, who is spearheading innovative efforts to include people with disabilities throughout the global Jewish community, has joined TOM:TLV as a strategic partner, with the hope of producing affordable and cutting-edge products that will significantly improve the lives of people living with disabilities.
The make-a-thon will take place in a specially designed workspace at the port’s Hangar 11 and will feature advanced technology including 3D printers, laser-cutting machines, and CNC machines (computer-operated milling devices). During a pre-event at the new Israeli development center of the global firm Autodesk, teams participating in TOM:TLV received the disability projects they will be working on.
A closing event will take place in conjunction with the Jewish Funders Network Conference at the Tel Aviv Hilton, when TOM:TLV participants will showcase their prototypes to investors and representatives of philanthropic and social organizations.
The first TOM event took place last summer in Nazareth, where teams of volunteers developed a robotic arm for a nine-year-old child, accessories aiding paralyzed limbs, and a hat that alerts the blind to physical obstacles. The upcoming event will focus on product development teams to help people with disabilities be more independent and get more involved in their communities.
“Shared prosperity is the challenge of all developed nations", said Reut Institute President Gidi Grinstein. "We, at Reut, are committed to improving the lives of millions of people by deploying the explosive combination of cutting-edge technologies and new opportunities to collaborate globally toward creating extremely affordable products that will help many people remain employable, productive and happy. This is our service to the value and mission of Tikkun Olam”.
“The Ruderman Family Foundation attaches great importance to strategic collaborations, especially with colleagues such as the Shusterman Foundation and the Reut institute,” said Shira Ruderman, Israel Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We believe that the full inclusion of people with disabilities into society can be achieved through the development of accessible technology and therefore we feel it is important to be a partner in the TOM:TLV initiative. It is our hope that one day these technologies will be developed independently and not based on funding from foundations and other donors."
“TOM brings together young entrepreneurs to explore creative ways to leverage cutting-edge technology for humanitarian impact,” said Justin Korda, executive director of ROI Community.“ This partnership between ROI, the Ruderman Family Foundation and Reut is truly a model where each bring its unique skill set to the table and the results have infinite potential to improve the lives of people living with disabilities worldwide.”