Israel & Co. Hosts Meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Nearly 170 Future Business Leaders

20 Mar, 2013, 16:17 ET from Israel & Co.

JERUSALEM, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Israel & Co. brought together five top U.S. business school delegations today to meet with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel, to discuss innovation, global needs, what Israel is doing and how the students can contribute. Hosted at the Israel Museum last evening, President Peres addressed a group of nearly 170 MBA students on delegations from Columbia, New York University, The University of Illinois, Dartmouth (Tuck) and Cornell. In his remarks, President Peres extolled the profound impact of Israeli innovation and congratulated the future business leaders on gaining a first-hand view of Israel's vibrancy and creative ingenuity up close.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130320/NE80781 )

"Our greatest gift is that we had nothing," President Peres said in his remarks. "The land is stingy -- swamps in the north, desert in the south. We have two lakes: one dead, one dying. We had no natural resource, no oil. And we faced nakedness, nothingness. And then we understood that the greatest natural resource is the people. Scarcity is an opportunity. We have the best agriculture on earth, all from hi tech. We can transform one drop of water into five drops of water."

The event began with an exclusive after-hours tour of the Israel Museum, followed by a live stage performance by YouMake ReMake, a unique Israeli performing arts company. The captivating show takes YouTube videos and "remakes" them on stage, offering a commentary on the original video that is both engaging and thought-provoking with the subtext of taking a new medium onto the older medium of the stage. After President Peres delivered his remarks, he took part in a healthy Q&A session where he answered questions across the spectrum from economics to security and everything in between.

"Israel & Co.'s goal is to introduce leaders and future leaders to the Israeli culture of innovation and inspiration and learn from a rich experience in Israel," said Rafi Musher, founder and Chairman of Israel & Co. who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. "Key traits of Israelis include their informality, accessibility, and taking on large global challenges.  Meeting President Peres, who can discuss global issues and nanotechnology while challenging them to improve the world, brought it all together."

Israel & Co. is the leading nonprofit organizer of delegations to Israel among corporate executives and future business leaders.

"Having spent years bringing executives and educators to Israel and connecting them with high-value content," said Gil Galanos, the Executive Director of Israel & Co., "it remains a thrill to hear how much they get out of it, how many of them call the trip 'life changing', and how many wish to return to Israel with their companies, colleagues, families and friends, whether for business purposes or just vacation."

About Israel & Co.:

Israel & Co. is a nonprofit whose mission is to bring leaders and future leaders to Israel to learn about key areas of interest they can take home and apply.  Whether around skills and thinking, such as innovation and entrepreneurship, or around industries of expertise, such as agriculture, water technology, cyber security or healthcare systems and medical devices, our goal is to bring together leaders and future leaders for knowledge sharing and collaboration.  By the spring of 2013, Israel & Co. will have assisted more than 40 delegations and 1,300 leadership programs including MBA groups, executives, and leaders in other arenas come to Israel and have extraordinary learning experiences.

SOURCE Israel & Co.