The Iranian nuclear threat; the precipitous spike in oil prices; steadily depleting natural resources, including arable land and water resources; migration and mass human movement. What unifies these issues is the fact that they all pose significant challenges beyond the narrow sphere of geographical borders; even the smallest of regional ripples can have a profound impact far beyond a country’s political borders.
But with every challenge comes an opportunity. Response to international events remains crucially important, but of equal - if not greater - significance is preparedness; how far ahead can we anticipate the impact of defining global events such as these, in order to act accordingly?
In this respect, Facing Tomorrow: The Israeli Presidential Conference 2012 has a timely significance. It is clear that insurance against the future is no longer sufficient. Rather. It is imperative to look towards shaping the evolution of events with a global significance. Facing Tomorrow 2012, which will take place in Jerusalem between 19-21 June 2012, will play host to some of the most distinguished names from the worlds of politics, security, science, society, the environment, arts and culture, and Jewish thought and leadership, brought together under the auspices of President Shimon Peres to discuss and debate the issues that are imperative in order to ensure a secure future for the world, the Jewish people and for the State of Israel.
It goes without saying that facing tomorrow requires inward introspection also; the State of Israel is poised at a delicate political and social crossroads. To define how best Israel can play a productive and beneficial role in shaping the new international geo-political order, it is important to take stock of how far the country has progressed in little more than half a century and to consider the domestic challenges that it faces in the future. The relationship between Israel and the Diaspora communities; the balance between loyalty and legitimate criticism of Israel; the future of mixed cities and regions; and the next Jewish Generation: these, and other pertinent issues will also be up for discussion at the Conference.
As with previous conferences, Facing Tomorrow 2012 will continue in the tradition of welcoming an array of exceptional individuals whom have distinguished themselves in their respective fields. Past conferences have been distinguished by the participation of global leaders, international scholars and researchers, entrepreneurs and industrialists, artists, activists, clergy and more.
A few of the speakers in this year's conference: Executive Chairman of Google Inc., Mr. Eric Schmidt; former US secretary of state, Mr. Henry Kissinger; Special envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, Mr. Tony Blair; Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc., Mr. John Chambers; International singer and artist, Ms. Achinoam Nini (Noa); Governor of the Bank of Israel, Mr. Stanley Fischer; Nobel Prize Laureate, Mr. Daniel Kahneman; Israeli high-tech entrepreneur, Mr. Yossi Vardi and many more.
Facing Tomorrow 2012 promises to be much more than a collection of talking heads; it will present attendees, through participation in panels, plenary sessions and round table discussions, the opportunity to participate in shaping the future through the sharing of ideas and visions.
Facing Tomorrow: The Israeli Presidential Conference 2012, Jerusalem, 19-21 June 2012