Mark Pollock believes 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.

Making these therapies available 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, Mark Pollock measures his impact through the breadth of engagement he generates, the quality of connections he creates, and the improvement in efficiency that he achieves.

Breadth of Engagement

Mark Pollock meets and builds 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, Mark is working to engage 1 billion people worldwide through online and traditional media outlets and by working with decision makers through his partner network, via his colleagues in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and through his role as a UBS Global Visionary.

Quality of connections

Mark has been successfully creating connections to help people achieve more than they thought possible since 2011. In particular, he has 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 his 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

Mark has identified systemic failures in translating research from the lab to the clinic. So, he is systematically forging connections worldwide to break through silos across disciplines and institutions to accelerate progress towards the cure. In particular, Mark 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, he has 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.