Israeli educational executive Shai Reshef was awarded the twelfth spot in a poll answered by three million readers of popular American news blog site Huffington Post as one of the Ultimate 12 Game Changers.
‘Game changers’ were defined as people considered by readers to be global innovation leaders who have significantly changed the way we live or view the world. The poll began in September 2010, with a list of 100 innovators by Huffington Post.
Reshef was honored in the 12th spot for “taking the world to school” by creating in 2009 the ‘University of the People’ a site based in Pasadena, California that streams lectures and class assignments to people around the world to provide them the opportunity to take college-level classes on the Web for less than $100 and, ultimately, earn an accredited degree.
Reshef’s site currently has 500 students from 100 countries meeting and discussing topics on its online forums, according to Huffington Post.
University of the People is currently preparing communication centers in Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh, Haiti, Liberia and the Palestinian territories to provide Internet access and higher education to those who might not otherwise have it.
Reshef, currently based in California, entered the education field in 1989 when he joined the Israeli test-prep company Kidum, rising to the position of chairman. With Reshef at the helm, Kidum became the largest education-services company in Israel with yearly revenues over $25 million at the time it was sold in 2005.
When asked to describe his new foray into a non-profit educational initiative by Fast Company, Reshef was quoted as saying “I’ve made enough money, it’s time to give back.”