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Leading philanthropist and businessman condemns Putin’s war in Ukraine as Institute’s Conference tackles global concerns

Dr Boris Mints, Founder and President of the Boris Mints Institute at Tel Aviv University

Today we are going through a very important and at the same time a very sad period of our history, a time when there is a war in Europe, in Ukraine, unleashed by Putin; a senseless, vile and cruel war”

— Dr Boris Mints

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, May 12, 2022 / — From 11-12th May, Tel Aviv University’s Boris Mints Institute hosted its seventh annual conference, to discuss some of the World’s biggest challenges.

The Institute was founded by leading Philanthropist Dr Boris Mints, who was one of the first prominent Russians to speak out against Vladimir Putin and the War in Ukraine.

Dr Mints, who addressed the conference in person, said:

“Today we are going through a very important and at the same time a very sad period of our history, a time when there is a war in Europe, in Ukraine, unleashed by Putin; a senseless, vile and cruel war, which I condemn unequivocally.

“It is right that at our conference, we discussed and analyzed what is happening in Ukraine and the plight of refugees. It just shows how timely our research is.

“And not only on this. Whether it is on cutting edge solutions that give the World’s poorest access to clean drinking water, or that heal the World’s sickest by using nano-medicines, I am so proud of what this Institute does, day in, day out, to make our planet a better place.”

The two-day, in-person gathering of leading current and former politicians, diplomats and academics – joined by hundreds more online – examined subjects ranging from the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, to the global challenges of refugees, water treatment, technology, and sustainability.

One of the highlights, a session entitled No More War, saw interventions from a panel of heavyweights, including former Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor Shlomo Ben Ami, former Israeli Ambassador to the USA Professor Itamar Rabinovich, former Prime Minister of Montenegro Dr Igor Lukšić, and Professor Evyatar Matanya, former Director General of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate. All four are now leading academics. Professor James Wertsch, an expert on narratives and historical thinking discussed what drives Putin, explaining that “he’s driven by myth, shaped by real and imagined enemies and by an aspirational narrative for Russia, seeing the country as a Third Rome.” Professor Miranda Schreurs, Professor of Environment and Climate Policy, School of Governance, Technical University of Munich discussed Germany’s speedy energy diversification, turning itself away from the geopolitics of Eastern Europe.

Following a stimulating Q&A session and a presentation on mRNA technology and its impact on sustainable future, the event concluded with a research symposium on the Global Challenge of Water Treatment by BMI research fellows – who presented the ground-breaking new technology recently developed to purify the world’s waters of metal and plastic – and research presentations by BMI fellows on the Global Challenge of Refugees.

The event was held at the BMI’s Naftali Building based at Tel Aviv University.

About The Boris Mints Institute

The Boris Mints Institute was founded with the intention to encourage research, planning and innovative thinking in order to promote a significant positive change in the world. The Institute is focusing on designing strategic innovative plans to enhance the welfare of communities around the globe. The Institute supports highly applied, practical and solutions-driven research, which is conducted by bright M.A and PhD students under the supervision of internationally renowned senior scientists.

The BMI is a leading academic research centre at Tel Aviv University, focusing on solving global problems through innovative and multidisciplinary strategies. It was established by Dr Boris Mints, a notable businessman, philanthropist and a committed supporter of cultural and social projects around the world. Dr Mints is also the Chairman of the Council of Patrons of The Conference of European Rabbis, an organisation dedicated to protecting the religious rights of Europe’s Jewish communities, and a Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and an Honorary Professor at Tel Aviv University.

Since Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, Dr Mints has been outspoken in his criticism of Vladimir Putin, met the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK to express his support, and helped shelter many Ukrainian refugees in the UK.

Earlier this month, writing in a blog on the Times of Israel website, Dr Mints further tied in his involvement with the BMI Conference to his protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, writing how “immediately after the beginning of Russia’s aggression on February 28, I publicly protested against the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Yet, our response to the world’s problems can be raised a level higher still. In addition to speaking about the problems, we also need to discuss the solutions.” He explained that such were his motivations for founding the Institute and expressed hope that the “conference will be our response to these distressing headlines of our times. The challenges facing our world can indeed be protested, delved into, discussed and, as BMI strives to achieve, solved.”

Boris Mints Institute
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