Tikkun Olam of Disruptive Tech: New Trends in Technology 2014

Tikkun Olam means “fixing the world” in Hebrew, but it’s often translated as social action. A new feature on the Goldman Sachs website is called “25 Ways We Saw The World Change” and comes from the financial company’s recent 2013 annual report. The listing has 7 technology related items and each of these is relevant to the intersection of Judaism and technology as well.

Here’s the list of the 7 key disruptive technologies and the Techie Rabbi has added ways these will affect the Jewish world:

 

E-Commerce Platforms:

The growth of e-commerce will see “the first real digital generation come into its own.” Online shopping platforms will start competing for a larger share of the retail market. Digital commerce is expected to gain traction with annual growth hitting about 17% in the next three years. How will this affect Jewish people living in far flung communities? They will have even easier and cheaper access to Jewish items (Judaica, Jewish books, kosher food) online through e-commerce than ever before.

How technology affects Jewish life

REUTERS/China Daily

Healthcare Technology:

Doctors have been able to use technology to detect diseases as varied as cancer to other infectious diseases early. Goldman points to Massachusetts-Based Hologic which has a “3-D mammographic technology” that allows doctors to detect minuscule cancers that they previously wouldn’t have been able to detect. An unusually high number of physicians are Jewish. The concept of the Jewish doctor goes back to the writing of Maimonides in the 12th century. How will Jewish doctors and Jewish scientists exploit new technology to detect disease earlier than ever before and treat a patient’s terminal illness in unprecedented ways?

How technology affects Jewish life

How technology affects Jewish life

Cloud Computing:

The shift to cloud computing has been a game-changer in both the storage and sharing of vast quantities of data and has even led to new business models. “The most successful cloud computing application companies are the ones that are enabling us to engage with our day job the same way we engage as consumers on the internet,” said George Lee co-head of the technology, media and telecommunications group at Goldman. Jewish nonprofits and synagogues will be taking their databases online. That means it will be easier for these agencies and institutions of Jewish life and Jewish education to keep track of its membership. Jewish federations will rely on a database of their community in the Cloud — not only will this make donor relations easier to track, but constituents will be able to update their interest categories for several Jewish institutions at once… all in the Cloud.

How technology affects Jewish life

How technology affects Jewish life

An Unprecedented Growth Rate:

Tech companies are some of the world’s biggest companies with businesses that have the most impact. “They’re growing faster than many of the companies that came before them, and arrive at critical decision points more quickly.” Many of these tech startups are founded by young Jewish entrepreneurs. The rapid growth of the tech industry is good for Jewish communities in many ways — more jobs, more capital, more resources, and more donors capable of funding new projects, initiatives and institutions.

How technology affects Jewish life

How technology affects Jewish life

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Monetization of Mobile:

Smartphone and tablet sales now outpace PCs and laptops. And companies cognizant of this are trying to capitalize on mobile “whether in mobile payments, mobile content, location-based services or the explosion of valuable data generated by the use of mobile devices.” There’s a lot of scope for companies to monetize this. Mobile is the buzzword of the future. How will Jewish institutions like synagogues and teen initiatives exploit mobile computing for their advantage. Jewish summer camps will have to consider how they handle Jewish campers with mobile devices in the summer at camp. Will this mobile technology disrupt how we interact and engage with other humans in a negative way?

Mobile Computing and Jewish Organizations

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Pervasiveness of Technology:

It isn’t just the growth of technology, it’s also the “pervasiveness.” Over 4 billion people have cellphones and in the next five to ten years nearly all of them will have access to some form of computing technology.  This is changing how people consume and how much they consume. And technology has the habit of building on itself so the growth and pervasiveness will continue. Tech is all around us. And it’s not going away. So, the Jewish community needs to get out ahead of the curve and determine how to embrace the pervasiveness of technology for good — through education, culture and religion.

Tech Disruption and Jewish Organizations

Tech Disruption and Jewish Organizations

The next wave of disruption:

3-D printing, big data solutions (in which data is collected from different devices and information is consolidated), and software-defined networking (SDN) are the next wave of disruptive technologies to watch for. “3-D printing will drive greater customization, reduce costs for complex designs and lower overhead on short-run parts,” according to Goldman. Meanwhile, “SDN liberates networking from expensive hardware, making it easier and cheaper for technology administrators to respond to changing business needs.” 3-D printing means that a community without a Judaica store can print a 3-D menorah, or a pair of tefillin, or yad to read from the Torah scroll. This innovation will make it easier for Jews to move to new areas without a community because the resources will not have to be purchased; they will be created.

3D printing and Jewish applications

PRNewsFoto/UBM Canon

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Posted in Jewish Techs Blog

Jewish Techs: The Jewish Technology Blog

This blog looks at how modern technology affects Jewish life, particularly the impact of the Internet on Jews across the globe. The Internet has made the Jewish community seem smaller. The Jewish Techs blog, written by blogger Rabbi Jason Miller (The Techie Rabbi), explores the places where Jewish culture, education and faith intersect with technology. Of course, like anything, Jews will continue to ask if technology is good or bad for the Jews – the age old question of our people. Good or bad, it is undisputed that technology has changed Jewish life. If you’re Jewish or interested in technology or both… you’ll enjoy the conversation. Thanks for reading the Jewish Techs blog.

The Techie Rabbi – Rabbi Jason Miller

Rabbi Jason Miller, the Techie RabbiJason Miller is NOT your typical rabbi. Known as the Techie Rabbi, he launched Access Computer Technology in 2010 and has grown it into a full-scale technology firm that provides social media marketing consulting and web design in addition to IT support. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary a decade ago, Rabbi Jason has made a name for himself as a popular blogger, social media expert, educator and entrepreneur. Based in Detroit, his congregation includes more than a million people who read his blog and follow him in Cyberspace. He began the Jewish Techs blog in January 2010 as the New York Jewish Week's technology expert.

An entrepreneurial rabbi and an alum of Clal's "Rabbi Without Borders" fellowship, Jason Miller is a rabbi and thought leader whose personal blog has been viewed by millions. The Detroit Free Press called him “the most tech-savvy Jewish leader" and the Huffington Post ranked him among the top Jewish Twitter users in the world. A social media expert, Rabbi Jason is a popular speaker and writer on technology and its effect on the Jewish world. He writes the "Jewish Techs" blog for The Jewish Week and the monthly "Jews in the Digital Age" column for the Detroit Jewish News.

Miller won the 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is one of the winners of a Jewish Influencer award from the National Jewish Outreach Program.