Founded in 2014, Our Generation Speaks (OGS) is a fully-funded, three-month summer fellowship program and incubator where emerging Israeli and Palestinian leaders create high-impact ventures. Every summer, OGS brings the region's best and brightest to Boston where they engage in tailored seminar and mentorship programs and are equipped with the tools to launch new ventures. OGS fellows develop and pitch their ideas throughout the summer and selected teams are granted seed investment for their ventures that will generate significant social and economic value in the region.
The OGS fellows and alumni community of young Palestinian and Israeli change agents cooperate across ethnic and political lines to build shared prosperity within the region.
Israelis and Palestinians are deeply frustrated by continued unrest in the region. Extreme voices and opinions dominate public discourse, while reason and substance are ignored and marginalized. Over the course of this heightened conflict, optimism and reconciliation have become synonymous with weakness. The future of the region’s youth is being determined by a generation weary from past negotiations and by leaders who have lost hope for change. In response to these issues, OGS identifies emerging change agents among Palestinian and Israeli women and men who look to build shared prosperity for the region.
Every summer, OGS brings a cohort of 30 Israelis and Palestinians to Boston's finest institutions for 3 months to create ventures and build trust
Ventures created at OGS have raised external capital, generated jobs, and improved the social and economic prosperity of the region
OGS NEXT is a vibrant community comprised of 100 OGS alumni who work together to maintain trust and build shared prosperity in the region
HOW WE DO IT
Recruitment and Selection
The annual OGS Fellowship brings together about thirty talented up and coming Israeli and Palestinian leaders who are granted acceptance after a thorough recruitment and selective admissions process.
Over the course of the three-month fellowship, all fellows participate in a residency at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where they engage in a tailor-made seminar program focused on entrepreneurship, communications, financial management, negotiation and more.
During the fellowship, fellows are provided with an ideal environment to launch high-impact ventures through our partnerships with MassChallenge, the world’s largest accelerator, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and designX programs.
Throughout the summer, fellows receive one-on-one mentoring and coaching services from a highly accomplished network of leaders who represent the public and private sectors, including serial entrepreneurs and leaders of Fortune 500 companies.
At the end of the summer, OGS selects ventures in which to invest seed funding. OGS provides continued support for the enterprises created from the fellowship, including future investments that are available upon application.
Once the fellows graduate from the program, they become OGS Alumni and members of our alumni leadership network, OGS NEXT, which engages our alumni in professional development workshops and works on the ground in the region to build an Israeli-Palestinian community of change agents.
Ohad Elhelo founded OGS in 2014 and now serves as a member of the OGS Advisory Board.
The OGS Advisory Board is comprised of community and business leaders who represent the ethnicities of the region. Among its members are Hani Alami (CEO of CoolNet) and John Harthorne (Founder of MassChallenge).
OGS is a recipient of the 2017 New England Innovation Award.
OGS is in the process of recruiting for its fifth cohort with the support of its partners, Brandeis University and MassChallenge.
In 2021, the fellowship will admit 50 participants and aims to launch at least ten new ventures in the region.
Our Generation Speaks is an independent organization that does not receive funding from any government.
We are funded through the generosity of over fifty independent American, Palestinian, Israeli, and other international donors who share our goals and values