About Isabel Maxwell

Isabel Maxwell

Isabel Maxwell is a Tech Pioneer of the World Economic Forum, president emerita of Commtouch Software (Nasdaq:CTCH) & Senior Adviser to Global Water Solutions, an exciting large-scale solution to world water shortages. She Co-founded Magellan, the earliest online search engine, acquired by Excite in '96.

Isabel is highly active in the social enterprize space - She was former Senior Adviser to Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus' Grameen America which makes microloans to very poor entrepreneurial women. She is a highly active director of Israel Venture Network and has been building up their pioneering Social Entrepreneur program in Israel since 2004. She has also been a Governor of the Board of the Shimon Peres Center For Peace since 1999, and is co-organizer in Los Angeles of The Israel Conference.

Isabel also had a long career in TV & Feature Film /Documentary production in the UK and US. She passionately believes in the power of individuals to make a difference in the world. French-born & Oxford-educated, Isabel has divided her time between Silicon Valley, Israel & LA for the past 15 years.

Latest Posts by Isabel Maxwell

Penelope Douglas and The HUB: A New Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurs

September 16, 2011 by  


Penelope Douglas, now spreading her wings at SOCAPS’ The Hub, (Hub Bay Area is a place where for profit and non profit social change ideas build and scale into viable enterprises) as their new president of the Board, talks to Isabel Maxwell about what she is trying to accomplish – building a new eco-system for social entrepreneurs.

Penelope Douglas has a long history of being a leader of social change. Before coming to SOCAPS’ The HUB, Penelope founded Pacific Community Ventures in 1998 with the pioneering vision to invest human,intellectual and financial capital in small businesses to create opportunity and shared prosperity for economically underserved communities. That innovative nonprofit has helped to create more than 5,000 jobs for lower-income workers at 250 small businesses throughout California.

Foster Care System: Fostering Media Connections for Foster Children Globally

September 15, 2011 by  


The Foster care system globally is getting a helping hand from Ryan Blankshire who talks about her project here with colleague Eytan Altman. Ryan’s goal is to give the Foster Care system and issues, much more coverage than they currently have.

World Economic Forum, MENA at Marrakech, 2010

October 31, 2010 by  


The World Economic Forum of the Middle East and North Africa was held this year in Marrakech, Morocco. IMG_3751

The main themes centered around Key Drivers for Development, Energy, and building up the middle classes – though the perennial problems of lack of education, lack of skilled labor, the gender gap,
lack of ability to implement innovation, and so on.
I spoke on the “Low Carbon or Low Cost” Panel at the WEF Forum and joined the 800 delegates attending from all the MENA countries and many other countries from around the world at this globally famous Forum. The event has expanded way beyond its original Davos routes.
Apparently, most Arab states seem to have emerged from the recent economic crisis in relatively good stead.  Yet for all the talk of opportunities in the MENA region, the Arab world is still grappling with a slew of age-old now, challenges – not least a huge increase in their young population coming into the work force ill-prepared for the work of 21st century workers. And more than 60% of the population of the MENA region, is below the age of 25.

There was general consensus that this conference was less well attended at top level than last year’s in Jordan, because there were no high level Moroccan leaders present which caused a ‘domino’ effect in the region with no one sending their top leaders either , in consequence…

Social Capital Markets Ahoy!

October 3, 2010 by  


SOCAP10 The Third Annual Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP10) will convene the social enterprise community after a milestone year that has included evidence of “an additional $120 billion in untapped resources for socially-minded companies, a proliferation of investment funds of $100 million each and a new index to help investors better target their financing”.

SOCAP10 starts tomorrow, Monday October 4-6, 2010 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center and follows upon two highly successful SOCAP conferences in 2008 and 2009.  Those last two years, the world’s leading social innovators came to SOCAP and successfully defined the social enterprise landscape and validated the space.

There will be many different tracks and panels, including one on Social Enterprise in conflict zones such as the Middle East.  This year, Kevin Jones and the 1000 investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and foundations will help define “What’s next”!

Disruptive Mobile: Marvell, Qualcomm, Blackberry

June 3, 2010 by  


Levi Shapiro of TMT Strategic Advisors and Weili Dai, Co Founder and COO of Marvell Technology were on the Israel Conference stage started the discussion on a panel about the disruptive nature of mobile yesterday in Los Angeles.

Marvell sees themselves as a one-stop semi-conductor provider shop. Dai says, “the market is about accessing live content through connected devices….and making it affordable.”

Disruptive Mobile @ IL Conf

NTT Docomo President and CEO Masaaki Maeda talks about their role as a leading cellular provider in Japan and the kinds of things they do on the marketing front through a partnership they have with McDonalds for Mobile Paye.

Noam Ziv, the VP of Technology for Qualcomm pipes in with a few stats: “Today, there are over 1 billion 3G phones in the world. The prediction is that by 2013, there will be over 2.8 billion. To put these numbers into perspective, there are more people with cell phones than people who have running water.

It’s clear that mobile services are becoming an essential part of our lives regardless of where you live in the world. Says Ziv, “our vision is to grow wireless connectivity and to collapse time and space in healthcare. We want to put everyone on the net, which we feel will make a world of difference in enabling healthcare throughout the world in geographies where it would otherwise not be possible.”

Below Selwyn Gerber, Managing Partner of Gerber & Co and others listening intently.

Gerber at IL conf



Redefining the Way the World Looks at Natural Beauty

June 3, 2010 by  


Delta Gallil and CEO Isaac Dabah are an amazing success story in intimate apparel. Founded by Dov Lautman, the Company is a model of leadership in co-existence employment and corporate responsibility. 

Making new fabrics using real lasting cotton results in garments looking like new after 30 washes. Suits that Delta Galil created have won 16 medals in the Winter Olympics. 

Delta Galil

Delta is the # 1 producer of intimate apparel in the U.S. with 110 stores in Israel. 40% of the men's underwear market share is under the Delta Brand, 50% market share is in socks, and 15-20% is in ladies' underwear.

Lance Kalish, Chief Carrot Counter at Yes To Carrots was founded in Israel in 2006 with six products across 16 stores. Today, they are in 28,000 stores, and are the fastest Beauty Brand in the world. "We have redefined the way the world looks at natural beauty," says Kalish. He adds, "we are the YES company in the NO environment. When asked how they grew so fast, he says, "we understood our limitations and we ignored them. We also do whatever it takes to get it done."

Israel In Flash: SanDisk’s Eli Harari

June 3, 2010 by  


SanDisk CEO and Founder Eli Harari reviews the Company's 22 years history at today's Israel Conference. in Los Angeles at the Luxe Hotel. Founded in 1988 by three immigrants from IL, China and India, they had a venture backed IPO in 1995. Today, they have 3,300 employees worldwide, they tout 240,000 retail outlets throughout the world, with global operations in China, Japan, Milpitas, CA, and India and their 2009 revenues were at $3.57 billion.

They have developed a global standard for digital film and storage systems, as well as memory cells for mobile phones. With their partnership with Toshiba, they manufacture about 40% of the world's output of Flash Memory.

Networking at the Israel Conference

June 3, 2010 by  


Networking break at today’s Israel Conference. Below, Don Levy of Sony Pictures and Yitz Applbaum of The Westly Group

Don Levy @ Israelconf
 Isabel Maxwell & Yitz Applbaum at the IL Conf

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