'Make-a-Thon' in Nazareth to Invent 3D Printing & Digital Prototypes for the Disabled

June 20, 2014

“Tikkun Olam Make-a-Thon,” June 29-July 1, Israel

Nazareth, Israel, June 20 – Some 70 talented innovators in their 20s and 30s from around the world will run a very different kind of marathon in Israel, as they compete to invent prototypes of tools for people with disabilities using cutting-edge digital and 3D-printing technology.

The “Tikkun Olam Make-a-thon (TOM),” featuring the slogan “72 hours to make a better world,” will take place June 29-July 1, in Nazareth, with participants hailing from seven countries including Israel, the U.S., Argentina, Chile, India and Singapore. Participants were selected from more than 200 applicants from around the world.

TOM is an intensive international gathering of artists, engineers, designers and occupational therapists. These innovators will produce working prototypes of products to help people with a range of disabilities, using digital fabrication tools including 3-D printers, laser cutters and other rapid manufacturing equipment.

Working in a specially constructed laboratory called a “makerspace” in the recently-opened Nazareth Industrial Park founded by Israel's leading industrialist Stef Wertheimer, these young inventors will create open-source tools that allow innovators worldwide to build on and enhance the models.

This event is part of a growing global movement that democratizes the manufacturing process by sharing access to and knowledge of new technology. TOM organizers also expect the event will inspire follow-up gatherings and meet-ups throughout Israel and around the world.

“A TOM-produced design to help a quadriplegic more easily sip from a straw could then be improved upon by innovators in San Francisco, New Delhi or Lima,” said Arnon Zamir, TOM Co-Founder. “Disabilities transcend borders, and so do solutions.”

“Tikkun Olam” is a Hebrew phrase meaning “repair the world.” In its modern context, Tikkun Olam has come to be associated with social justice work that seeks to bring together a fractured humanity, out of touch with each other and the world itself. TOM proudly accepts this challenge and calls for the collaboration of individuals in order to help make the world a better place than we found it.

TOM was created as part of Schusterman Connection Points, an initiative launched by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, a global organization that supports and creates innovative initiatives for the purpose of igniting the passion and unleashing the power in young people to create positive change in Jewish communities and beyond.

It is being organized in partnership with the Reut Institute’s Cross Lab Network (XLN), which aims to place Israel at the frontier of the 3D printing and manufacturing revolution.

"We are excited to support young entrepreneurs in exploring creative ways to leverage cutting-edge technology for humanitarian impact,” said Lynn Schusterman, Founder and Co-Chair of the Schusterman Family Foundation. “I believe young people hold the key to building a vibrant global Jewish future, and we must invest in their passion and potential to do so.”

About Schusterman Connection Points:
Schusterman Connection Points, an initiative launched by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation to put young Jewish leaders at the helm of creating a series of gatherings around the world. Designed as a new and meaningful way for young Jews to assemble with purpose, Connection Points are part of Schusterman’s broader investment in organizations and programs that empower young leaders to take an active role in shaping a vibrant Jewish future. For more information please visit http://www.schusterman.org/schusterman-connection-points.

About The Reut Institute
The Reut Institute is a non-partisan nonprofit organization that strives to be on the cutting edge of change in Israel and in the Jewish World. The Reut Institute was founded in 2004 by Gidi Grinstein and Noa Eliasaf in order to substantially influence the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people and to leave an indelibly Jewish and Israeli imprint on the world. Reut is supported by private donors and does not accept any contribution that exceeds 15% of its yearly budget, nor any donations from government agencies (Israeli or foreign).

About XLN (Cross-lab-Network)
The Cross-Lab Network (XLN) project founded by the Reut Institute aims to place Israel at the forefront of the emerging 'self-manufacturing revolution' which gives digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printers the potential to empower individuals, turning them in addition to being consumers to becoming potential manufacturers. XLN has now been spread in several locations around Israel where 'makers' of all kind are able to experience the wonders of digital fabrication.

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