We believe we can cure paralysis in our lifetime. And, right now, we are at an exciting inflection point with the research.
Breakthrough therapies have been discovered and some will be made available to paralysed people within the next 10 years, if we support our collaborators to navigate a pathway from scientific breakthrough, to regulatory approval and commercialization.
By making these therapies available, we will change the lives of up to 500,000 people worldwide who suffer the injury each year, according to the World Health Organisation. At best, these people face multiple infections, nerve pain, uncontrollable spasms, frequent hospital stays and shortened lifespans. At worst, in the developing world, they die within 3 years of injury.
Taking a systems change approach to accelerate progress towards the cure, we measure our impact through the breadth of engagement we generate, the quality of connections we create, and the improvement in efficiency that we achieve.
Breadth of Engagement
We meet and build meaningful relationships with decision makers on the global stage by speaking at top tier conferences like TED, Davos, World Economic Forum, InnoTown, F.ounders, EG and Wired amongst others.
In addition, we are working to engage 1 billion people worldwide through online and traditional media outlets and by working with decision makers through our partner network, via Mark’s colleagues in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and through his role as a UBS Global Visionary.
Quality of connections
We have been successfully creating connections to help people achieve more than they thought possible since 2011. In particular, we have already catalysed collaborations with key researchers in neuro-modulation and robotics; created multiple transatlantic research collaborations with academics working in this area and industry involvement; and built working relationships with leading research foundations through Mark’s role as an ambassador for Wings for Life Spinal Research Foundation and Simone and Mark’s membership of the board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Improvement in Efficiency
We have identified systemic failures in translating research from the lab to the clinic. So,we are systematically forging connections worldwide to break through silos across disciplines and institutions to accelerate progress towards the cure. In particular, we co-created the Druid Collective, an initiative within the World Economic Forum to connect science and technology spin-out companies with relevant expertise and capital. So far, we facilitated the formation of a $4 million venture philanthropy fund with a Silicon Valley VC and US philanthropic foundation to fund a medical device start-up.