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The Eden Project

July 1, 2013 – 12:28 pm12 Comments

By Romy Grace
Eden Project

The Eden Project is the first Australian Jewish innovation hub for emerging entrepreneurs, social innovators and change-makers. It aims to inspire, engage and develop a new generation of Jewish leaders who can address challenges facing the Jewish community through social entrepreneurship and innovation.

 The Eden Project is the brainchild of a small and diverse group of community leaders entrepreneurs and activists. The Board members are Danny Almagor, Deon Kamien, Amanda Miller, Malki Rose and Tracie Olcha. Romy Grace is the Project Manager.

The Eden Project will support the complete innovation life cycle, from ideas generation and project development to facilitating crowdfunding* campaigns, ongoing support and mentoring for project leaders. The Eden Project’s crowdfunding platform will promote collaboration and trust both within and around the Jewish community including existing Jewish community organizations, to develop and implement projects which benefit the Australian Jewish community or Israel.

The Eden Project is more than just a crowdfunding platform, it is a project dedicated to providing individualised support for projects, ideas and causes by anyone, including businesses and non-profits, seeking to benefit the Australian Jewish community.

The Eden Project invites applications for crowdfunding from early-stage businesses and non-profits. Projects must be by or for the Jewish community and must address a social, environmental or community issue through their business or non-profit. Projects cannot be political or hateful. The Eden Project will select the most innovative and compelling projects (applications open in August) to be launched as 35 day crowdfunding campaigns. The Australian Jewish community will have the unique opportunity to engage with these projects by supporting the campaigns and their leaders. The Eden Project believes that crowd support of these campaigns will be an investment in the future of the Australian Jewish community, its organizations and its leaders.

The Eden Project is supported by founding partners the Australian Jewish Funders, the ROI Community, Danny Almagor and Berry Liberman, Nathan Cher, the Jack & Robert Smorgon Families Foundation and the Charles & Lynn Schusteman Foundation.

The Eden Project encourages all interested applicants and community members to attend the launch night ‘Innovation Journeys’ on Thursday 4 July 2013 at 8pm, Small Giants, 11 Princes Street St Kilda. Ticket Registration at: www.edenproject.eventbrite.com.au.

For more information on The Eden Project please contact Romy Grace, the Project Manager, at edenproject1@gmail.com or on 0419921281.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TheEdenProject/446088512150052

Twitter: @edenproject1

Website: www.theedenproject.com.au

*What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the act by which an individual or organization collects money from a large number of people ‘the crowd’ using the Internet to reach out to a variety of networks.

Crowdfunding allows campaign managers, which include people, businesses and non-profits, to gain support and to finance their ideas and projects through contributions collected from many people. Projects, ideas and causes can come from any field – cultural or technological, secular, for a small business, a personal project or an advocacy campaign – as long as a positive link to the Jewish community and/or Israel is created. The crowdfunding platform will integrate social media and online fundraising techniques which not only allow for traditional crowdfunding but also facilitates community engagement and support.

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  • TheSadducee says:

    who defines what is political or hateful?

  • Jonny says:

    Good one guys…
    I think this is a real gap in the community.
    Hope it successfully captures the hearts and minds of gen y and x who seem disconnected at present with traditional bodies…

  • Fantastic to see this initiative come to fruition. It had its seeds in the AJF planning for the ROI Community Gathering last year, and the fun really started on the day itself when a group came up with a similar idea. It has now taken root and been extended, and should be a wonderful asset for the community.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    This is a very worthwhile initiative.

    But I’m interested in the requirement as a condition of funding, that the project not be political. Every single project I can think of that would benefit from funding from a source like this has a political orientation, even if it is not overtly political.

    The impression this piece gives is that the project will fund things that accord with its own political positions (which is perfectly legitimate, but it should say so if that is the case) because when people see something as politically neutral, what that usually means is that its political orientation accords with their own political views.

  • Alex Fein says:

    From comments on my Facebook page regarding this article: there was discussion about funding existing projects and organisations, such as Galus, Limmud Oz, and youth movements.

    In response, there was the suggestion that these projects and organisations could seek funding and guidance from The Eden Project.

    As Mandi’s stated above, the proviso that organisations and projects not be political may complicate matters.

    I’ve posted on The Eden Project’s Facebook page, asking for an organiser to answer reader questions.

  • Shirlee says:

    Not at all. I can just see the outcome if it did involve political matters, especially in Melbourne!!

  • Malki Rose says:

    We are thrilled to be launching this project and excited to see the progress of ideas and initiatives developed through its implementation.
    The point about how to be truly apolitical is an important one.
    We feel that if a proposed initiative addresses a social, cultural or economic need in a positive way and aims to make the world a better place, upholding principles of Tikkun Olam, then we want to be able to support and nurture it.
    The Eden Project team is comprised of a diverse range of people with presumably very different political views… or not. We wouldn’t know as we’ve never had a single political discussion.
    We have no idea who amongst us is right or left wing, who is in favour of a two-state solution, orthodox or unaffiliated because from the day we first sat down together we talked about an innovation hub to support positive change in our world, not politics…and that remains our goal.
    And, of course, the beauty of crowd-funding is that it truly democratises fundraising

    To find out more about The Eden Project feel free to come along to the launch on Thursday evening (Details for registration are listed above)

  • Shirlee says:

    Thank you Malki, I fully agree with you. Why Melbourne though? What’s wrong with Sydney?

  • Malki Rose says:

    The Eden Project welcomes initiatives from all over either by Jewish Australians or to benefit Jewish Australians.
    Do you mean ‘why is the launch being held in Melbourne and not Sydney?’ – The answer to that is simply ‘Well it has to be held somewhere’. (And it just so happens that all those at the helm of the project are Melbournites, but this certainly doesn’t preclude Sydneysiders from attending or being involved. We do hope to be able to support projects, innitiatives and individuals from Sydney and from all over Australia.)

  • Shirlee says:

    Editor: Please do not write about general Galus policy or moderation policy in the comments section. Please email the editors with any such concerns.

  • Melb&Syd says:

    I have a theory Shirlee, and it goes a little something like this:

    I reckon The Melbourne Jewish young adult community is more entrepreneurial and vibrant than the Sydney Jewish young adult community.
    This is strange, because over $600 000 of communal funds in Sydney is spent on Jewish Young Adult programming. Whereas Melbourne spends about 10% of that.

    Sometimes when you employ people to create and implement programs, you disenfranchise/disempower many people who would have done it in the first place. “let Jane organise the event, it’s her paid job”

    In Melbourne there is a vacuum, and many dynamic young leaders (like the ones behind the Eden Project) are stepping up to create new initiatives.

    I think Melbourne has a lot to learn from Sydney’s model of young adult engagement, but I also think Sydney should look at the Melbourne community for inspiration.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think something like the Eden Project would work in Sydney. There is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit, and initiative.

    let me know what you think.

  • This project started from the ROI Community gathering last August, which was held in Melbourne with about 45 participants, of which around 10-15 were from outside Melbourne. AJF is based in Melbourne and at this time has only a small participation from Sydney, so at this time, Melbourne is the base of “AJF Innovation”.

    The common view seems to be that because Sydney has the JCA and some communal planning, they have the infrastructure to foster programs such as this, and that Melbourne is playing catch-up in that regard. Maybe the Eden Project is an example of Melbourne leap-frogging Sydney? There’s certainly scope for a program like this to extend to Sydney and share resources.

    We (i.e. AJF) are also looking at bringing some other programs here that may involve Melbourne-Sydney collaboration simply to get economies of scale. While the cities are very different in a lot of ways, we ought to find ways to collaborate where possible.

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