Story of TOM
By: Ram Hadar Goldschmidt

The summer of 2011 was a social turning point in the Israeli and world point of view.

I was a young (35) entrepreneur deep in the Israeli startup scene, after launching my boutique data firm, one that was intended to provide us with the revenue stream to build our new idea.

I set my sights on Stanford’s newly launched “entrepreneur” grad school program. GMAT was coming up. My life was mapped; my path was known and clear… That is until December 11th when a car ran a red light and met me “in person” while I was riding my motorcycle home.

Everything stopped.

My ongoing 4.5 year rehabilitation followed by an inherent shift in the life I used to live and a shift in my path, going to grad school at Bezalel, Israel’s leading academy of arts and design for an M.Des degree in Industrial design and tech.

I found that my new path, one that led me to the world of MAKE, creating projects for kids with CP and eventually led me to TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers), part of Reut Group (NPO/NGO), with a vision to influence the world of the physically disabled with the “magic” of makers & self fabrication fit right in.

And while I was in a different place as it were (a partner in a newley formed creative agency, no less…) I found it natural to offer them our expertise and making them part of our pro bono program, with the full support of my team mates.

TOM is a place where makers meet for sprints of up to 72 hours, working in groups, following the “from one to many” rule of thumb and solving A specific challenge for A team member with special needs (aka need knower).

Together, we were able to refresh the TOM brand identity with a fresh unique new presence, while pulling it in to the newly formed brand identity of the entire Reut group, an institute dedicated to driving change in communities through research and action.

Our support did not end there, as our team, supported TOM projects both in Israel and abroad (SFmakeathon), in our “official” role as event designers but also as volunteers, supporting 19 challenges from across the ocean over weekend.

It is that sense of mission, that feeling of making a difference by leveraging our design skills, that allowed our team to take an active role in a something bigger, while helping A team member with A personal challenge, who׳s been straggling for 4.5 years. Me.