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Stories that inspire, enlighten and inform audiences at all levels

Upcoming Talks:​

November 26 - Stories of Resilience, San Antonio via Zoom 

November 28 - Stories of Resilience, San Diego via Zoom

December 13 - Stories of Resilience, Ottawa via Zoom 

Stories of Resilience online lecture  gives communities outside of Israel an inside look at day-to-day life in Israel under attack. The online lecture includes anecdotal information about day-to-day life in Israel in the wake of the ferocious October 7th Hamas attack that murdered and wounded thousands of civilians, as well as stories of resilience, heartwarming solidarity initiatives and innovations-for-good even in these dark times.

Innovation Stories lecture takes audiences on a journey behind the scenes of Israeli innovation:

  • stories of the people who come up with wild ideas that later become audacious solutions

  • stories about spectacular failures and the role they play in serial entrepreneurship

  • stories of personal problems that have global outcomes

  • stories of a unique culture that creates a unique brand of innovation for the world

A veteran innovation journalist, I love asking the questions people want to know about Israeli innovation. I've also made it my specialty to answer them. With a finger on the pulse of the latest Israeli innovations, and having interviewed dozens of CEOs, CTOs, innovators, creators, and risk-takers from first ideas to successful startups, my Innovation Stories lecture series is brimming with stories of the groundbreaking innovations that continue to change how we do things.

This lecture is a great way to learn more about Israeli innovations in a fun, engaging and inspiring way.

This lecture is updated constantly and is never the same as new innovation is continual.

The lecture can be tailored to a specific theme (specific tech sector; social initiative) or be presented as story covering a broad-spectrum of innovations.

Israeli Flags

“Sobering but inspiring look into life in Israel
at this critical moment in history”

Susan Rizzo, Director of Education, Temple Sinai

Failing Forward
Israel’s innovation sector has a “fail forward” culture. A culture that accepts failure as part of the learning process to creating something better. This attitude has been a boon to the local innovation scene and has helped propel forward many innovations.


In this talk, I take audiences on an adventure of some of the best failures Israeli innovators have created, how failures have triggered new innovations, and what lessons can be learned – and taught – because of these flops.


But not everyone can proudly say that they failed. This talk also touches on why failure needs to be better integrated into education and how a blame-free environment can help transform failures into learning experiences. The talk looks at failure in different fields, as well as the definitions of the word, “fail”, in other languages and how each culture responds to failure.


To change the world, we must be open to change itself, to taking risks and action, and to trying new things. Failure will happen. How we learn from our failures is important.  This talk is for everyone. It is especially beneficial for students. 


Humorous Technology 

What is humorous technology?

Academics and innovators are working on ways to create technology that can lead to humorous experiences that may then improve how we interact with the tech in our lives. But what about designing tech that could impact how we interact with one another?

Wouldn’t it be great if the technologies around us could move in a specific way that would then help make our social interactions friendlier, more comfortable and more fun?

In a two-year research study, I designed and evaluated nonverbal humorous movement on an existing robotic object.

My research, conducted at Reichman University, shows that humorous technology can be nonverbal, and it can create a humorous experience that can prompt positive feelings among strangers.

It’s not by chance that Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other big tech companies are all working to add humor to their technologies. And as new technologies are cropping up all the time --whether in our homes, workplaces or public lives—there is a need for humor to improve our interaction with tech and our interaction with one another.

My work was published at CHI, the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction and I presented my research at four international conferences (New Orleans ’22, Haifa ’22, Hamburg ’23, and Herzliya ’23).


In this talk, I tell the story of humorous technology, what it is, how it can improve our lives, how it is being tested, the failures that come with trying to create humorous tech, and where it may be used in the not-so-distant future. This talk focuses on my research and also includes case studies from the larger tech arena. 

The talk is designed to make you think about what comes next. 

Past talks:


Paper Presenter:

  • CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Full Paper (CHI 2023). "Humorous Robotic Behavior as a New Approach to Mitigating Social Awkwardness", Hamburg, Germany, April 2023.

  • Novel Technologies, Designing Non-Verbal Humorous Gestures for a Non-Humanoid Robot, IsraHCI, Haifa, June 15, 2022,

Poster Presenter:

Educational Workshops

  • iCON conference - workshop with Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. March 2023. Chicago, USA.


Public Speaking
Keynote Speaker

  • "Herzlian Dinner - An Insider's Look at Breakthrough Science, Medical Innovation and Technology from Israel and Its Impact on the Global Community" - online talk - Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix,  February 2021.

  • "Women. Innovation. Business: How Israeli Innovations Are Changing Our Lives” - 2019 Annual Women For Israel Luncheon, JNF, Boca Raton, Florida, March 2019. 

  • "Women. Innovation. Business" - H2H9 Heart to Heart: A Woman's Journey to Israel, Jewish Federations of North America's National Women's Philanthropy, Tel Aviv, February 2018.

  • "The Culture of Israeli Startups and the Wild Ideas that are Helping Change the World", Fourth Annual - Israel’s Challenges on Campus & Beyond 
    Onward to a Pro-Active Agenda, Neve Ilan, July 2018.

  • "Israeli Innovation in Global Health Sector" - Israel Speaker Series, JFNA, Rochester, NY, April 2015.

  • "Israel's Incredible Innovators" - JFNA, Atlantic City, NJ, December 2015.
  • "Israeli Innovation: Cyber" - JFNA, Rochester, NY, April 2015, Rochester, NY, December 2015.

  • "Israeli Innovation: Cyber" - The Jewish Federation of Springfield, Springfield, Illinois, December 2015.

  • "Israeli Innovation in Global Health Sector" - CJP, Boston, Massachusetts, December 2015.

Moderator and Panelist 

  • "The Amazing Adventures of Three Female Jewish Innovators" - 2019 ILOJC, Hollywood, Florida, January 2019.

  • "Israel: Present and Future" - Jewish Federation of Broward County, February 2018.

Guest Speaker

  • Innovation stories by Viva Press -- itrek, Tel Aviv, May 29, 2023.

  • Israeli Women Innovators - Denver's Temple Emanuel, Women’s Inspirational Journey in Israel, December 2022.

  • Innovation stories by Viva Press -- Houston, JFNA, Tel Aviv, November 2022.

  • "Big picture overview of Israel Start Up World" - Onward Israel-Birthright, Tel Aviv, July 2022.

  • “A Deep Dive Into Israeli Innovation” - online lecture - Startup Israel 101 - The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, July 2021.

  • "Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israeli Innovations" -- online lecture -- King David High School, Vancouver, Canada, May 2021.

  • "Israel: 73 years of Innovation (…and We’ve Only Just Begun)" - online lecture - Netanya AACI, April 2021.

  • "Social innovation in the times of social distancing" - online lecture - Onward Israel, January 2021.

  • לצלוח את הכישלון - סדנא בנושא למידה מטעויות - 
    January 2021 אמירים אור תורה בנות ירושלים - ינואר

  • "Israeli Innovation in the time of Covid-19" - online lecture - First Narayever Congregation, Toronto, Canada, June 2020.

  • "Innovation in the time of Covid-19" - online lecture - Zoom&Learn series, Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, Canada, April 2020.

  • "A Culture of Creativity" - JCRC Wisconsin State Assembly, Tel Aviv, November 2019.

  • "A culture of creativity" - Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, Tel Aviv, December 2018.

  • "Israel's Role in Driving the Next Generation of Tech" -CJP, July 2018

  • "70 Years: Israeli Creativity & Innovation" - First Narayever Congregation, Toronto, Canada, May 2018.

  • "Innovation - High Tech Israel" - JFNA, Omaha, April 2015.


  • Innovation stories, itrek Routes travel, Tel Aviv, January 2023.

  • "The Art of Interviewing and telling a story," 4-class series, Reichman University, December 2021

  • "Israeli innovations in the time of Covid-19" - online learning initiative and discussion - Israel Engagement Associate: IACT, April 2020.

  • "כשטכנולוגיה, ספורט ובריאות נפגשים" - 
    מרץ 2020, רב תחומי עמל ליידי דייויס ת"א

  • "Israeli Innovations" - Da’at Educational Expeditions, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, December 2019. 

  • "Fact vs Fiction: Covering Israel" - Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications  - Northwestern University, March 2019.

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I give talks on innovation (and specifically Israeli innovation), humor in technology, social initiatives, women in business, journalism-related topics, the culture of creativity, failure, wild ideas and more. From small audiences of two people to bigger audiences of 1,400 participants, I am always excited to lead a workshop, present a talk, and give a lecture to tourist groups, diplomats, entrepreneurs, investors, college and school kids and, really, everyone who wants to learn more. I create each talk or presentation anew. 

Viva joined us in Florida at the 2019 International Lion of Judah Conference where she moderated a panel session on “The Amazing Adventures of Female Jewish Innovators” for 1,400 conference attendees. Viva is a pleasure to work with and is insightful, organized, responsive, and hilarious! I highly recommend her to speak on a diverse range of topics including Israel, women, innovation, technology, and more! She is a skilled moderator, conversationalist, panelist, presenter, and more!

Sarah Fels, Program Manager,
The Jewish Federations of North America

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