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Spotlight on Tikkun Olam Makers

Last month, we spoke to Nadav Yesod, Director of Global Communities at Tikkun Olam Makers TOM - Tikkun Olam Makers - is a global network of communities dedicated to improving peoples' lives by making affordable open-source technology accessible to all through our online platform. TOM’s process of innovation brings together the expertise and the needs, allowing a user-focused solution to be created, by connecting local makers with need-knowers (individuals with a personal understanding of unmet needs) to design and manufacture customized solutions

We are thrilled to announce that following the webinar series organized by Pears Program, the Israel Embassy in Ethiopia and UNDP Acceleration Lab Ethiopia in May 2020 about innovation during and post Covid-19, TOM has opened a new community in Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. What is TOM's mission? TOM seeks to address a massive societal failure where the acute needs of millions of people have no affordable market or government solution to their needs because their conditions are rare or require significant customization. TOM’s moonshot goal for the coming decade is to improve the lives of 250 million people through affordable, customizable, and easily replicable community-driven solutions. How did TOM contribute to the Covid-19 response? During the COVID-19 pandemic, TOM communities from around the world have manufactured and distributed more than 130,000 units of Personal Protective Equipment (face shields, masks, ventilator splitters and more) to front-line workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and special education programs and facilities. Tell us about TOM's communities! Local TOM Communities create and disseminate affordable solutions to neglected challenges of people with disabilities, the elderly and the vulnerable. Each TOM Community is comprised of Makers (engineers, designers, developers), 'Need-Knowers' (individuals with a personal understanding of a neglected challenge) and Community Organizers (Dedicated volunteers who plan, organize, and manage TOM activities in their local communities). Since 2014, there are 70+ TOM communities which count over 5,000 volunteers in 27 countries, from Tel Aviv to Melbourne to Mexico City. They have worked on nearly 600 prototypes.

Following the webinar Innovation during Covid-19 organised by Pears Program, the Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia and UNDP Acceleration Lab Ethiopia in May, you have launched a new TOM community in Ethiopia. What do you think about this new TOM community? TOM in Ethiopia is a perfect fit. Ethiopia's rich and unique history and culture, together with its deep sense of social responsibility, innovative spirit, and commitment to development combined with the local amazing talent can really transform the lives of those who need solutions for their day-to-day challenges. We are so proud of the partnership with Bahir Dar University led by TOM's Community Manager, Mr. Henok Merbatie Mesfin, and TOM's fellow student Ms. Epheson Belay, and can't wait to see what they will create.

Thank you Nadav for this inspiring story. We wish you good luck in accomplishing your mission.

Picture: TOM's community in Medellin, Colombia.


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