About - טכניון - החממה החברתית About - טכניון - החממה החברתית

The Social Hub is the flagship social engagement program of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.  The hub facilitates engagement of faculty members, teachers and students  with diverse communities and strengthens the Technion's social commitment to its environment.

The Social Hub strives to make unique academic knowledge accessible to the public, and to expose the Technion community to the rich knowledge of communities, to build a mutually beneficial dialogue and to create synergetic partnerships.

The cooperation between the Technion and the community strengthens the social commitment of its teachers and students and, in turn, strengthens Israeli society.

The Social Hub's activity started within the Technion's Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, and has expanded to additional faculties. The Social Hub also works with NGO's, civil society organizations, non-profits, culture and art institutions, leading academic institutions and local government.

The Social Hub is a member of international networks which aim to promote similar goals: The Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities Network and Living Knowledge.

The Technion Social hub was established in 2011 by Prof. Rachel Kallus with the support of the Council of Higher Education of Israel.

Circular Urbanism: How can technological innovation in the realm of food help both supply-chain optimization and moderate social inequality?

Our project, which addresses the challenge of social inequality and environmental crisis stemming from the existing linear food systems (production-distribution-consumption-waste), seeks to “close the loop” by creating a toolbox containing solutions, in both cyber space and the “real” world, to ensure food equity, food security and waste prevention. Based on Big Data, AI Algorithms, and sharing technologies, our system will promote circular food systems on the city scale. The system will operate in accordance with three interrelated principles:

  1. Stakeholder and infrastructure analysis and coalition building:
    a) Analysis of the stakeholders – that is, the actors in food distribution and urban institutions in the realm of food on the city scale, including urban food factories, urban agriculture initiatives, retail businesses, food-related NGOs, and private and municipal sites for composting and re-production.
    b) Forging an active coalition and connectivity between municipal, private, and public institutions to enable a circular food system on the city scale.

  2. Smart planning and management: Our data-driven system is designed:
    a) To plan, by creating original analysis reports based on the correlation of three data-sets concerning: i) the sociological, ii) public health, and iii) the built environment. These analyses will enable the research team to produce “urban menus” – meaning, tailor-made nutrition profiles for the benefit of residents in different parts of the city.
    b) To manage the supply chain in a manner that links up institutions that enjoy supply with those lacking it.

  3. Sharing technologies: The system will produce a real-time report to serve as the basis of peer-to-peer operation within the coalition. For the final leg of the initiative, our system will bring together a network of volunteer and municipal institutions to create a volunteer management system for existing supply and distribution lines in order to improve the mobility of valid nutritional products, with an emphasis on distribution to the lower classes.
Social Hub Team
Amit Sadik
Design Developer
Ariel Gorbet
עו"ד ד"ר דורית גרפונקל
Research Fellow, Flagship project
Ronit Piso
Head Coordinator
Dr. Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Academic Director