Tsur Taub

Ashoka Fellow
Israel,
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Tsur Taub was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Tsur is the founder of Agora (the Hebrew term for the Israeli cent), which uses a web-based infrastructure to enable individuals with usable possessions that they want to dispose of to give them to others who are in need of them. The Agora platform has a simple user interface, the first of its kind, that generates listings of items for users based on their needs, and is not limited by geography or target population. Agora incentivizes giving: it provides citizens with the mechanism to give equipment, goods or products that they no longer need, while also enabling others to find and receive items they are looking for but cannot otherwise buy or obtain. Agora is free of charge to all users, and since its beginning has been reshaping the face of donations and community building across the country, making giving simpler, direct, and more personal.

The Agora initiative is systems-changing both in the way that it facilitates the giving of unwanted items to people who will use them and in the scale of such giving that it facilitates. It also eliminates the need for a third party, or middleman, between the givers and the receivers, and it significantly reduces the burdens and costs of collecting trash and disposing of it in landfills. Agora has enabled more than 200,000 users—including ordinary citizens from a diverse array of social groupings, welfare workers assisting particularly disadvantaged individuals and families, and students seeking to equip their lodgings—to exchange some 216,000 items. And perhaps even more importantly, through the exchanges it facilitates, Agora is helping to address an array of divisive issues in the Israeli setting, including wide disparities among social classes and limited contacts and interchange among ethnic and social groups.

The Agora model is attracting growing interest in other geographical settings, and Tsur has recently begun work on a global platform for Agora, in association with potential partners in several overseas locations.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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