USIC Events

Past Events

Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

As dire as the water crisis is, it presents one of the greatest opportunities for new economic growth through improved water technology, infrastructure, and business. Come hear from Let There Be Water's author, Seth Siegel, as he details how much we can learn from Israel. With hardly a day without a water-crisis story somewhere, Let There Be Water offers prescriptions on how countries, cities, and businesses can avoid the worst of it. With sixty percent of the country in a desert and despite a rapidly growing population, Israel has been jumping ahead of the water-innovation curve for decades. Israel's national unity and economic vitality are, in part, the result of a culture and consciousness that understands the central role of water in building a dynamic, thriving society. By boldly thinking about water, Israel has transformed the normally change-averse, water-greedy world of agriculture with innovations like drip irrigation, creation of smart seeds for drought-friendly plants, and careful reuse of highly treated waste-water. Israel has also played a leading role in the emerging desalination revolution. Beyond securing its own water supply, Israel has also created a high-export industry in water technology, a timely example of how countries can build their economies while making the world better. Built on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews with both world leaders and experts in the field, Let There Be Water tells the inspiring story of how this all came to be.

Seth M. Siegel is a businessman, activist and writer. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and other publications around the world on business, political and cultural issues. Siegel has often appeared on television and has been widely quoted in major print media. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rady U.S.-Israel Innovation Immersions - Experiences and Perspectives

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Networking Reception: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Presentation: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
Rady School of Management, Wells Fargo Hall, 5th Floor, Rady Sky Pavilion

"Since returning from Israel, my eyes have completely opened to all the innovations from the country (like the Waze traffic and navigation app), and my mind has opened to consider the opportunities we as students and professionals have to collaborate."

- Christopher Russow, Immersion Participant and Rady School MBA `14

We invite you to join the U.S.-Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Sustainability (USIC) for a panel discussion with Rady School MBA students and Israeli graduate student participants of our third annual Immersion Program.

What can be gained by immersing oneself in a foreign country's business environment? Even one to two weeks of such immersion can provide students with a significantly heightened understanding of the cultural and economic climates of their host countries. The USIC spearheads such transformational journeys year after year - for both Israeli and Rady MBA students - in order to foster business education and multicultural collaboration between the two innovation powerhouses of Israel and California.

A diverse delegation of 20 Rady MBA students, faculty and alumni have recently returned from the "start-up nation", and are excited to share their unique experiences, as are the 20 visiting Israeli graduate students who will be introduced to San Diego's remarkable civic and business climate throughout the week of February 9, 2015.

This upcoming San Diego Immersion will include many special speaking engagements with prominent business leaders, interactive presentations by distinguished faculty, "Cali Baja" cross-border regional panel discussions, and site visits to the Leichtag Ranch, Qualcomm, Digitaria, and so much more! Similarly, the Israel Immersion consisted of high-level academic and industry site visits throughout an intensive two-week tour of Israel's innovative ecosystem. Some highlights involved discussions with the Mayor of Tel Aviv, executives at Qualcomm, eBay Innovation Center, Next Generation Technology (NGT3), Netafim, Innovation: Africa, and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), as well as with distinguished faculty at a number of Universities - from Technion to the IDC to TAU. Students visited Yad Vashem, toured Old Jerusalem, spent a night at Kfar Hanokdim (a remote Bedouin camp), hiked up Masada before sunrise while learning about its historical significance, and learned about the prowess of the IDF at Nevatim Air Force Base and how it contributes to the Israeli entrepreneurial culture. Students also networked with immersion program alumni at a unique reception intended to help cultivate our growing Cal-Israel community on innovation. To learn more, please visit the Rady students' Israel Immersion blog.

Stanley Foster Memorial Cal-Israel Innovations Speaker Series

Event Details:

The Cal-Israel Innovation Project: Addressing Global Challenges to Economic Growth Through Innovation

Date: July 21, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m. Reception

6:00 p.m. Program begins

Location: Beyster Auditorium,
Rady School of Management

For additional information contact Marge Donnett at

Stanley Foster exemplified innovation, business leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to his remarkable leadership in business, Stanley was a highly respected business leader and a civic pillar that gave generously of himself in many meaningful ways. Stanley cared deeply about both secular and non-secular communities and was a tireless activist in almost any good cause that promised to improve health, education, the arts and the economy.

The Stanley Foster Memorial Cal-Israel Innovations Speaker Series is a forum for high-level academic, business, political and philanthropic leaders from California and Israel who are committed to sharing their expertise to transform the world.

The idea for the Cal-Israel Innovations Speaker Series was conceived in March 2014, shortly after California Governor Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – thereby launching a unique strategic partnership to foster academic, economic and cultural connections with the potential to catalyze positive global impact. This memorial speaker series was subsequently established to perpetuate Stanley Foster’s community-building spirit and affinity for Israel, the cross-cultural exchange of innovative ideas and the educational, professional and entrepreneurial advancement of future leaders.

The inaugural Stanley Foster Cal-Israel Innovations Speaker Series event will feature a bilateral panel discussion entitled, “The Cal-Israel Innovation Project: Addressing Global Challenges to Economic Growth Through Innovation.” The discussion will explore how the two major global innovation hubs are expanding cooperation and building on their respective strengths as the “start up” and “scale-up” locations to develop and deploy future-forward solutions to benefit nations throughout the world.  

Topics in this broad panel discussion will range from scaling up water management technologies to achieve Israeli levels of performance in water supply and distribution in the context of the water crises here in California and abroad, to reducing the world’s dependence on crude oil through alternative energy and related clean technologies.

Throughout this ongoing series, visionary leaders with domain expertise will address major global challenges to economic growth and security through technological and knowledge-based solutions in Israel and California.

Special emphasis will be placed on the following key sectors as mentioned in the Cal-Israel MOU:

  • Water Conservation and Technological Water Management
  • Alternative Energy and related Clean Technologies
  • Cybersecurity
  • Health and Biotechnology Solutions
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Education
  • Arts and Culture

Confirmed speakers include:

Innovation Management: How to Find a Winning Business Idea and Convert It into Marketplace Success

Featuring Professor Shlomo Maital, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Event Details:

The Cal-Israel Innovation Project: Addressing Global Challenges to Economic Growth Through Innovation

Date: August 25-29, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.
  1 hour lunch break
Location: Rady School of Management

For additional information contact Marge Donnett at

Brief Overview:
Free & open to the entreprenueurially-minded community. This course challenges each student to develop a creative idea and build a business around it. It simulates an accelerated startup process and “market for ideas.”

Professor Shlomo Maital is a Senior Research Associate at the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies & Technology, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He was the academic director of TIM-Technion Institute of Management, Israel’s leading executive leadership development institute and a pioneer in action-learning methods, from 1998 - 2009. He is the author, co-author or editor of 12 books, including Technion Nation (2012), Global Risk/Global Opportunity (2009), Innovation Management (2007; 2nd edition, 2012); and Executive Economics (1994). He also cofounded SABE – The Society for Advancement of Behavioral Economics.

Course Objectives:

  • To give each participant a set of tailored exercises that stimulate creativity;
  • To challenge each participant to construct a PCM (personal creativity machine), an individual structured process for generating an unending stream of creative practical ideas;
  • To provide each individual student with a toolbox useful in the realm of innovation, capable of crossing the “Valley of Death” between idea and marketplace success;
  • To practice applying these tools to a wide variety of key management decisions encountered in innovation;
  • To apply these tools to participants’ own ideas, to explore how to implement management tools in successful innovation;
  • To instill the business- and market-oriented way of thinking in participants’ mindsets;
  • To familiarize students with the key elements of business design: how to wrap a winning creative business model around an innovative idea.

About the USIC

The U.S.-Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Sustainability (USIC) at the UCSD Rady School of Management is a knowledge hub and incubator of innovation and economic development in Israel, the United States and beyond. We engage the academic, scientific and technology communities of Israel and San Diego in scholarship and cross-cultural business exchange to inspire ideation, breakthrough technologies and the translation of discovery into new market opportunities.  The Center’s programs are designed to foster collaboration, enable unparalleled immersive learning, facilitate joint research, advance the educational development of future leaders, fuel job creation, and incubate global solutions.