How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.
Digital Israel is a national initiative, which operates as part of the Ministry for Social Equality. The initiative strives to harness the unique and meaningful opportunity provided by the digital revolution and the progress of ICT in order to reduce socio-economic gaps, promote economic prosperity, and create a smarter, friendlier government.
We wish to transform Israeli society into an innovative society, which is also a technology leader; in which every citizen, business, municipality, and government organisation can take advantage of the inherent opportunities of ICT in the most optimal way possible.
The Digital Israel Bureau promotes innovation in the fields of digital education, digital health, digital welfare, realisation of government benefits, and in a variety of other core issues. We also lead government initiatives in areas such as smart cities and the National Plan for Digital Literacy. Additionally, we deal with the creation of technology infrastructure and developing human capital in the digital age, which will allow the government to address the challenges of the 21st century.
One great example to share is ‘Campus – the National Initiative for Digital Learning’. Campus is an online learning platform aiming to reduce social gaps, increase the equality of opportunities for different segments of the population, and to provide flexible training solutions for an ever-evolving labour market. We have over 150 open and free courses, including academic courses from leading Israeli universities, language courses, professional training and more.
What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?
We worked on many revolutionary projects in 2018. One of the most exciting initiatives was creating a national plan to promote digital health as a substantial growth engine to Israel’s economy. We led a government resolution that provided incentives for research and industry, created supportive regulation and supported infrastructure development in Israeli health organisations – all aimed to leverage Israel’s unique assets in the field of digital health to create a significant, striving industry.
If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?
Digital transformation in governments is a huge challenge, therefore it is important to work and think on it in multiple dimensions: have a long-term strategy but with the ability and flexibility to support constant changes and updates; create a balance between substantial infrastructure projects and some good, quick wins; work on reducing and adjusting cross-government barriers, like human resources, regulation and procurement; and most importantly, create a lot of partnerships – cross-ministry, cross-industry, cross-sector and global.
What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?
Our strong focus in 2019 will be Data Strategy and AI: Data-based decision making in government; Data-Driven Innovation; Big Data and AI projects; and the supportive policy and necessary regulation.
What is the one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?
I believe it is the combination of a few skills. First, my determination and conviction. I strongly believe in the importance of my mission and I rarely let the obstacles in my way (and there are many every day) stop me or move me from where I believe we need to go.
”I strongly believe in the importance of my mission and I rarely let the obstacles in my way stop me or move me from where I believe we need to go.”
Second, I manage to keep seeing the big picture and separate the wheat from the chaff. There are so many details and miscellaneous issues which pop up in my job that you can get easily lost in.
What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?
The world as we know it will be substantially different in 10 years. Most governments’ roles and responsibilities will dramatically change – government services (seamless, proactive), civil servants work (robotics, AI), regulation (automated), social public services (education, health care, welfare) and more.
Governments will have to adapt and transform, or will stop being relevant. I believe that this is precisely the role of Digital Israel – to help the government successfully navigate this transformation.
Coffee, yoga, music… what powers you through your day?
My family ☺ My husband and my four amazing kids are my source of power. My mission in life is to help create a better future for them.