Using Collaborative Approach To Philanthropy Could Help Bridge Gaps In Health Care, Other Issues
Devex: Opinion: Richard Branson on why philanthropists should club together
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group and co-founder of the Audacious Project
“To bring about radical change, sometimes you have to be audacious. … Yet, too often, the really big ideas just don’t get the backing they need and fail to get off the ground. … Over two events, we raised $250 million for world-changing ideas and the Audacious Project was born. … [T]his collaborative approach to philanthropy seeks to turn ideas into action and is already helping to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. One example is an initiative to improve access to health care … by putting digital technology into the hands of community health workers. … The project is not only working to boost the number of trained community health workers, but also to extend their reach through digital technology. Equipped with smartphones, they will be able to carry out automated diagnoses of deadly diseases and to capture the immunization status of every child in real-time and with a time-stamped geo-location identifier. This will help to build up a record of children that are not being reached, making it easier for vaccinators to pinpoint them and ultimately close the gaps in immunization. … The Audacious Project provides a … process that actively encourages people to think bigger and brings them together with a groundbreaking coalition of funders, including philanthropists, donors, and the public. … [F]rom this, new opportunities will emerge — not just to bridge the gap in health care, but also to solve some of the biggest challenges our planet faces…” (12/10).