מכון פרידברג לכלכלה

Economics, Growth and Prosperity | Building on the Abraham Accords
Past event

11.9.2022-15.9.2022, Sunday - Thursday

Location: Neve Ilan Hotel

All Expenses Paid

What is economic freedom? Why is it important and how does it produce growth and prosperity? Listen, learn, and discuss with some of the best economists and leading policymakers from around the world.

Outstanding Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini, and Morrocan students, from all fields of study, second-year undergraduate and above (Including BA, MA and PHD students), who aspire to leadership, are encouraged to apply to this exclusive program. Formal lectures, informal discussion sessions with faculty, off-site excursion.

Videos from the Seminar are available here

Sunday, September 11

15:00-16:00Registration/Hospitality/Hotel Check-in
16:00-17:30Introduction Session
18:45Welcome Dinner
Sabah Al-Binali, Partner and Executive Chairman, OurCrowd Arabia
The Abraham Accords: Opportunities/Challenges and How free markets enhance the deal

Monday, September 12

8:30-10:00Russ Roberts, Shalem College & Stanford University Hoover Institution
The Power of Markets
10:30-12:00Russ Roberts, Shalem College & Stanford University Hoover Institution
The Challenge of Measuring Economic Progress
14:00-15:30Michal Halperin, Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, Harvard University Kennedy School
Can Competition and Regulation Live Together?: Striking the Right Balance
15:45-17:15Country analysis: student break-out sessions
18:15Departure to Jerusalem
19:00Jerusalem Press Club Dinner
Talal Al-Zain, Founder and Director, Jisr Capital, Bahrain (Zoom)
Elie Brender, Exigent Capital Group
21:00Jerusalem Walking Tour
23:00Return to Neve Ilan

Tuesday, September 13

8:30-10:00Michal Halperin, Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, Harvard University Kennedy School
Big Tech and Digital Platforms Set a New Stage for Competition Enforcement
10:30-12:00Josh Rauh, Stanford University Business School
The Role of Government and the Free Market Economy
14:00-15:30Razeen Sally, National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Economic Freedom in Asia: A look at Singapore and China
15:45-17:15José Piñera, distinguished Sr fellow, Cato Institute, Washington DC
Toward a world of worker-capitalists
Zoom Session
19:00Gala Alumni Dinner
Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd
Realizing the Economic Potential of the Abraham Accords
Discussion with Sabah Al-Binali, Partner and Executive Chairman, OurCrowd Arabia

Wednesday, September 14

8:30-10:00Josh Rauh, Stanford University Business School
The Problem with Investing for “Social Good”: Shareholder vs Stakeholder Capitalism
10:30-12:00Razeen Sally, National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
What Happened in Sri Lanka?: Lessons in What not to do
13:00Departure to Tel Aviv
14:00Peres Center for Peace and Innovation
15:45Departure to Neve Ilan
20:00Break Out Sessions: TBA

Thursday, September 15

8:30-10:00Wrap-up and Evaluation

Russ Roberts


Prof. Russ Roberts is President of Shalem College. An economist, writer and teacher, he is also the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the founder of EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious, an award-winning weekly podcast with more than 750 episodes and millions of unique downloads. Past EconTalk guests include Yuval Noah Harari, Martha Nussbaum, Milton Friedman, Thomas Piketty, Angela Duckworth, Christopher Hitchens, Agnes Callard, Bill James, Emily Oster, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, A.J. Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato, Alan Lightman, Dwayne Betts, and Michael Lewis.

His latest book is Gambling With Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis (Hoover Institution Press, 2019). Roberts explores the role that past bailouts played in the risk-taking that led to the financial crisis of 2008. In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014), Roberts takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.

He is also the author of three economic novels, all of which teach economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008) tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us that create and sustain economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (MIT Press, 2002) looks at corporate responsibility and a wide array of policy issues, including anti-poverty programs, consumer protection, and the morality of the marketplace. His first book, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism (Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2006) is on international trade policy and the human consequences of international trade. It was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of 1994 by the Financial Times.

Together with filmmaker John Papola, Roberts has produced two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, both of which have had more than 11 million YouTube views, have been subtitled in 11 languages, and are used in high school and college economics classrooms around the world. He is also author of the poem and animated video “It’s a Wonderful Loaf,” which elucidates the patterns of daily life that emerge without coordination. His series on the challenge of using data to establish truth, The Numbers Game, can be found at PolicyEd.org. Roberts archives his videos and other work at RussRoberts.info.

Roberts has taught at Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, George Mason University, the University of Rochester, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he was the director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

José Piñera


Cato Institute Distinguished senior fellow José Piñera is co-chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice and Founder and President of the International Center for Pension Reform. Formerly Chile’s Secretary of Labor and Social Security, he was the architect of the country’s successful reform of its pension system.

As Secretary of Labor, Piñera also designed the labor laws and introduced flexibility to the Chilean labor market and, as Secretary of Mining, he was responsible for the constitutional law that established private property rights in Chilean mines.

Dr. Piñera now advises governments throughout the world on the establishment of personal account retirement systems. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Wired, and several other publications. Pinera received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Michal Halperin


Michal Halperin is a Senior Fellow in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government in the Kennedy School in Harvard University. She was the General Director of the Israeli Competition Authority until August 2021. The Competition Authority is an independent professional authority within the Israeli Government working to promote competition for the good of the public. Prior to joining the IAA, she was a partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices as head of the antitrust department.

Joshua D. Rauh


Joshua Rauh is a professor of finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He formerly taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (2004–9) and the Kellogg School of Management (2009–12).

Professor Rauh studies corporate investment and financial structure, private equity and venture capital, and the financial structure of pension funds and their sponsors. He has published numerous journal articles and was awarded the 2006 Brattle Prize for the outstanding research paper on corporate finance published in the Journal of Finance for his paper “Investment and Financing Constraints: Evidence from the Funding of Corporate Pension Plans.”

In 2011 he won the Smith Breeden Prize for the outstanding research paper on capital markets published in the Journal of Finance, for his paper “Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are they Worth?” coauthored with Robert Novy-Marx. His other writings include “Earnings Manipulation, Pension Assumptions and Managerial Investment Decisions,” coauthored with Daniel Bergstresser and Mihir Desai, which won the Barclays Global Investor Best Symposium Paper from the European Finance Association and appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Other work has appeared in the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Finance.

Professor Rauh’s research on state and local pension systems in the United States has received national media coverage in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and The Economist. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Finance and an editor of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance and the Review of Corporate Finance Studies. He holds a BA degree in economics, magna cum laude with distinction, from Yale University and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Razeen Sally


Dr. Razeen Sally focuses his research and teaching on global trade policy and Asia in the world economy. Between 2012 to 2022 he had a teaching position at the National University of Singapore, and is also currently on the Global Agenda Council for Competitiveness of the World Economic Forum.

He has spent the last decade on the faculty of the London School of Economics, where he received his PhD, teaching International Political Economy since 2000. He has also held adjunct teaching, research and advisory positions at universities and think tanks in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Razeen was on the faculty of the London School of Economics for eighteen years, and from 2012 he has also been an Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. In 2006 Razeen co-founded the European Centre for International Political Economy, which has grown to become Europe’s leading trade-policy think tank. He remains a co-director at the centre. Razeen has written on the history of economic ideas, especially the theory of commercial policy.

He is author of “Trade Policy, New Century: The WTO, FTAs and Asia Rising” (2008). He has also consulted for governments, international organisations and businesses in Europe and Asia, and comments regularly on international economic issues in the media, including Forbes magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Razeen’s memoir of Sri Lanka was published in 2019 entitled Return to Sri Lanka: Travels in a Paradoxical Land.

Sabah al-Binali


Dr. Sabah al-Binali is a Partner and Executive Chairman at OurCrowd Arabia. He is seasoned executive with over twenty years experience and is an active investor and entrepreneurial leader with a proven track record of financing, building and growing companies in the MENA region. Dr. al-Binali is currently Partner and Executive Chairman at OurCrowd Arabia, Chairman of Universal Strategy and a member of the Advisory Board of Zayed University’s College of Business. 

Dr. al-Binali has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of The National Investor and as Chairman of its Investment & Strategy Committee, Chief Investment Officer of SHUAA Capital, Director of the Board and member of the Audit Committee at Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia, Vice Chairman of Gulf Finance Company, Chairman of Zawya, founding CEO and CIO of Saffar Capital and Head of the Treasury and Investment Division at Union National Bank. 

Dr. al-Binali holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the UK Institute of Directors. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, dissertation title: Competitive Analysis of Risk-Taking and Valuation of Financial Derivatives, and holds a B.S.E from Princeton University.

Talal Ali Al Zain


Mr. Talal Al Zain is the Founder and Director of Jisr Capital. Mr. Al Zain previously was the Chief Executive Officer of PineBridge Investments Middle East BSC (c), and Co-Head of Alternative Investments at PineBridge Investments. Prior to this, he was Board Member and CEO of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company; having previously spent 18 years with Investcorp Bank as Managing Director and Co-Head of Placement & Relationship Management. Talal was Vice President of Private Banking international and Head of Investment Banking Middle East with Chase Manhattan Bank; as well as a Corporate Banker with Citibank Bahrain. Talal Al Zain is a Board Member of the Bahrain Islamic Bank, Alubaf Arab International Bank and Finance-Insurance-Tax Committee at Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He previously chaired and served as a board member on many corporations including McLaren, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Gulf Air, and the Bahrain International Circuit.

He holds an MBA in Business Administration (majoring in Finance) from Mercer University, Atlanta, USA; a BA in Business Administration (majoring in Accounting) from Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, USA.

Jon Medved


Jonathan Medved is the Founder and CEO of OurCrowd. Named by the Washington Post as “one of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists” and by the New York Times among the “top 10 most influential Americans who have impacted Israel,” Jon is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and one of the pioneers of Israel’s venture capital industry. Jon is a regular television guest on CNN, BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV and SkyNews, and is frequently quoted in major business publications. Start-up Nation, the best-selling book on Israel’s high-tech economy, describes him as “one of Israel’s legendary business ambassadors.” A California native, Jon moved to Israel in his 20s where he successfully built and exited several startups. These include MERET Optical Communications, a fiber optics pioneer sold to Amoco; multilingual leader Accent Software (Nasdaq: ACNTF); and mobile video platform Vringo (NYSE:VRNG). In 1994, Jon was a co-founder of Israel Seed Partners, one of Israel’s first venture capital funds. Including the OurCrowd portfolio, Jon has backed over 400 tech startups as a venture capitalist and angel investor.

Elie Brender


Eliezer Brender is co-founder and CEO of Exigent Capital Group, a boutique investment house that manages strategies across public markets, private and distressed debt, growth equity, venture capital and real estate. The firm’s primary sector focus is financials and banking, healthcare technology and energy/ESG, and makes investments on an international scale, including in Israel, EEMA, the Americas, and Europe.

Brender and his partners leverage their firm to focus and impact philanthropic enterprises with an emphasis on education, in particular the study of history, philosophy, and science, and on technological advancement with applications for the future of Israel. They are also involved in business and organizations that work in the areas of diplomacy, national security and Jewish identity.

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