Small but mighty.
Have you heard of the butterfly effect?
Put simply, it’s the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the planet can have a great consequence (such as a tornado) on the other side.
This notion — that a small act can create profound change — has relevance in our everyday lives. Our simple, small-scale actions can grow and accumulate to have great societal impact.
Perhaps your small gesture of kindness starts a ripple effect that encourages others to perpetuate the thoughtfulness. Maybe your donation to a local organization, when coupled with others, helps it to grow and make real change in a community.
In this issue of Aperio, this theory is put into practice in a variety of ways. We see that studying and using tiny things — nanoparticles, zebrafish or cellular behaviour — can be a significant step toward understanding, and then addressing, large-scale challenges.
The Azrieli Fellows Program is another example. It started in 2007 with 11 researchers and an idea to create a network of scholars that would forge strong academic links between Israel and the rest of the world. Today, with more than 400 alumni, the program is the most generous and wide-ranging of its kind in Israel and attracts talented researchers from around the world.
Our first steps in Canada and Israel in 2007 have supported and empowered a vibrant global research community for almost 17 years.
I hope this issue has you thinking about change — and about the next small but mighty step you will take.
Naomi Azrieli, OC, D.Phil
Chair and CEO,
The Azrieli Foundation