Maala Conference – Opening Session Summary 2017


"We've chosen the theme of Innovation for Good Life, because we believe that this is the essence of CSR today: the way businesses contribute to good life.  this is the step forward from discussing whether businesses are good or bad or whether they mean right or wrong. The question of good life is more concrete and could be measured in terms of the value that businesses create." Momo Mahadav, CEO Maala at the Opening Session.

The Second International Con(fair)ence, with the theme of “Innovation for Good Life,”  took place on November 29th-30th, 2017 in Hangar 11, Tel Aviv.

This unique two day event was comprised of engaging talks on the main stage and working-lab brainstorming sessions; along with immersive field tours, providing intimate insights into practices of Israeli companies and how they contribute to good life. This year’s conference continues our exploration into diverse processes of innovation and sustainability.

Opening Session | Main Stage

Micky Adiv, Maala Chairman and CEO G1& Momo Mahadav, CEO, Maala

 Adiv: "Innovation for Good Life" – this wouldn't be the typical CSR agenda several years ago. I believe it shows real progress in terms of what we do in Israel, and reflects the maturity of how we identify and formulate our ultimate goals in this field.

Mahadav: we no longer expect everyone to adopt the CSR language but rather to acknowledge how the values that we believe in are practiced on the ground by the rest of Humanity, meaning non-CSR professionals, –  HR, marketing, customer care, finance, environmental management, procurement and of course innovation.  

MK Gilad Erdan, Israel's Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs: A Vision for Israeli CSR Leadership

Ittai Ben Zeev | CEO, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange:
TASE Opening Bell Ceremony Honoring CEOs of companies listed on the Maala Index for Corporate Responsibility

"We want to make the Israeli stock market attractive not only to Israelis, but to foreign investors as well. We are proud to launch two new ESG-bond indexes, joining our existing Maala index to create a family of CSR indexes. This places the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in a small and exclusive club of organizations offering SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) indexes."

Showcasing Innovation for Good Life:

Virginie Helias | VP Global Sustainability, P&G:

We learned from global surveys that good life today is less about wealth and abundant consumption, and more about value in life. P&G has launched several campaigns and products promoting responsible consumption and social value. Examples include: a razor by Gillette, designed to be safe and easy to use by caregivers while assisting others (such as elderly parents) to shave; recycled plastic shampoo and dish soap bottles, consisted of 10% recycled plastic washed up on shores and 90% plastic recycled by consumers.

"We believe that good life can be found in many aspects of life, even in the most trivial, every-day activities such as shaving, showering and drinking a glass of water."

Showcasing Innovation for Good Life
Host – Jo Confino, Executive Editor, Impact and Innovation, The Huffington Post

Eyal Shimoni | CTO, Strauss Group:

Food tech includes innovation in every aspect of the supply chain in the food industry, from the fields, through the factories and all the way to the consumers. Social responsibility isn't about a specific act you do, but rather about the way you act in every level of work in the company. For example, in food tech responsibility is reflected in using technology in agriculture, caring for you workers and their rights, reducing waste, manufacturing healthy products for consumption and more.

Michel van der Bel,  Corporate VP of Europe, Middle-East and Africa, Microsoft

As a leader in technology, Microsoft is realizing its potential and ability to contribute to sustainable development and good life. For example, it has developed an app that will enable visually impaired people to use smartphones more conveniently. Microsoft understands the importance of responsibility in technology development, stating that innovation in computers and technology has to develop carefully, while assessing its reception in society and its effect on cultural and social development. While technology can achieve great things, it can be turned to bad causes, and therefore should be developed responsibly

Sasja Beslik | Head of Group Sustainable Finance, Nordea Bank:

The financial sector is lagging behind the business sector with regards to CSR. One the challenges in today is to learn from corporations and create value for investors. Although, the financial sector is beginning to shift in the right direction. A good example is with Volkswagen. When their emissions scandal was exposed, not only did Volkswagens sales drop significantly, but their stocks dropped as well and investors withdrew their investment for lack of corporate responsibility.
Our attitude at Nordea is that we prefer our own first hand assessment in every company we invest in around the world, so we travel to every place and examine the cases on the ground. This enables us to detach political incentives from our investment and examine the local point of view. We had a great example of this here in Israel. We were pressured greatly by various factions to withdraw our investment in the light rail in Jerusalem. So we decided to visit the site, and I spent hours on the train, speaking to passengers and business owners in the area in order to understand the social impact of the light rail. We came to a conclusion that the positive social and societal impacts of the train out way the negative effects of the train and continued to invest in the light rail.

Avinoam Sapir | SVP, Growth Markets Innovation & Cluster Manager – Israel, Africa, Turkey & Ukraine, Teva.

We strive for innovation in healthcare in order to create an impact and strive for good life. This is achieved through several channels. Importing healthcare innovation to Israel. For example, Oncotest – advanced technology assisting doctors in prescribing the appropriate treatment for every cancer patient, thus saving many people without the use of chemotherapy. A second method is developing innovative ideas locally in Israel. For example Tevadaptor – a medical device invented in Israel to create a closed circuit for giving cytotoxic medications to patients, thus preventing dangerous exposure of medical staff to the drugs.