Late president Peres delivers hologram message at Israel Innovation Summit

Peres Center for Peace inaugurates its innovation center; as an image of its founder warns that ‘technology without values will endanger humanity’

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

A hologram image of late Shimon Peres delivers a speech at the Prime Ministers Innovation Summit; October 25, 2018 (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)
A hologram image of late Shimon Peres delivers a speech at the Prime Ministers Innovation Summit; October 25, 2018 (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)

Shimon Peres, the late Israeli president who helped forge Israel’s identity as a so-called Startup Nation, was heard from again via hologram message heard by hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and members of foreign delegations attending the Innovation Summit in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The message, a “spiritual will” prepared by Peres before his death two years ago, was released by his family for the first time at the summit, where the Peres Center for Peace inaugurated its Israeli Innovation Center.

“My vision for the Israeli Innovation Center, established here within the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, is to serve as a window to the future. A place for dreams. A place that expresses the desire to leave the next generation with a better and brighter future,” Peres said in the message.

“The future is made of the dreams of today – we must continue to work on developing the vision of tomorrow, not simply on remembering the past. We have the power to create change and the opportunity to have an impact. A revolution against convention is necessary. It requires daring, dissatisfaction, and healthy and vibrant chutzpah.”

“We must caution ourselves: Technology without values will endanger humanity, while values without technology will bring about hunger and stagnation.

“The Israeli Innovation Center will tell the extraordinary and inspiring story of the State of Israel as the ‘innovation nation.’ A home of optimism and hope. A place for cooperation and coexistence between all sectors of Israeli society, and a link between Israel and the world.

“The purpose of this place is to spread ideas near and far — to bring peace and prosperity closer, to make a positive change both in spirit and in reality — for us and for our neighbors, and for humanity as a whole,” the hologram said.

The innovation center, set up at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, spans four floors, showcasing a hundred events that transformed Israel into the Startup Nation. Prototypes of inventions, and iconic entrepreneurs appearing as interactive holograms telling their stories, will be on show at the center.

The exhibition also includes a floor dedicated to current startups that will present the latest innovations in their fields, and a floor that simulates a time capsule where visitors can explore future Israeli inventions.

As part of Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the first Prime Minister’s Israeli Innovation Summit focused on the challenges of the future and the contribution of Israeli technology to the creation of a better world, the organizers said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and China’s Vice President Wang Qishan attended the summit, along with the founder of the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, Jack Ma; the former CEO of Google and founder of the hedge fund Innovation Endeavors, Eric Schmidt; entrepreneur and former British minister for internet safety and security, Baroness Joanna Shields; senior vice president at Facebook, David Marcus; and representatives of VC funds, entrepreneurs, researchers and managers.

Local entrepreneurs and industrialists, including Gil Shwed of Check Point Software Technologies, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua, IBM VP Aya Soffer, Marius Nacht and Kira Radinsky were among the speakers.

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