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In what has become an annual tradition at the Israeli Presidential Conference, Dr. Yossi Vardi, noted high-tech investor, led a lively panel discussion on the new media developments of tomorrow.

Participants in the panel – entitled “New Media – Is It Still Renewing?” – included AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, Marvell Co-Founder Weili Dai, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond, Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, Robert P. LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson, and Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann.


The session – divided into two sub-sessions, one on content and the second on infrastructure – outlined key considerations and challenges in a world that is becoming increasingly global while at the same time oriented toward one-on-one communication.

“It’s a game that is quite complicated, because it’s a game of scale – 100s of millions of subscribers, of people who are connected – and at the same time, we are speaking about one-on-one (interaction),” said Lévy. “The one-on-one (aspect) is what is making this approach so interesting.”

As has become customary, Dr. Ruth Westheimer offered from the audience her cautious perspective on technology’s impact on human interaction. Following Gelfond’s outline of which platforms are best for certain types of films, conceding that personal devices may be appropriate for movies that are focused on storyline, versus sensory impact, Westheimer voiced concern.

“I want people to go to the movies and hold hands,” she said.

The panel also offered opportunity for comment on Israel’s position in the high-tech world, where it has traditionally played the role of “new technology developer.” LoCascio went so far as to suggest that in the future, LivePerson will have Israel at its core.

“I think Israel has to go beyond the start-up nation mentality,” said LoCascio, who counts half of his 800 employees in Israel. “I challenge everyone who is building companies to try something different and go the distance. Try to build companies with 10,000 people here.”

Facing Tomorrow 2013 is taking place from June 18-20, 2013, at Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.