The 10 City Bridge Run is a citizen-led initiative that asks a simple, but important, question: “how might we use our networks to improve child survival?”
This initiative begins with a stunt: running 10 half-marathons in 10 cities across 10 countries. The stunt is to open a conversation, asking “how might we use our networks to improve child survival?“. This is framed with a second question to be explored through a series of Design Forum: “What would this look like if women held the answers?“
The 10 City Bridge Run is set within the context of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, specifically with a focus to Millennium Development Goal 4 which seeks to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 from a recorded 1990 level.
This year, more than six million children under the age of five will die, many from largely preventable diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, compounded by the effects of environmental conditions and malnutrition.
To put that into perspective, that would be more than the entire populations of the Australian cities Sydney and Perth being completely wiped out this year, such is the magnitude of death among children under the age of five. More than 16,000 children dying every single day. The 10 City Bridge Run was created to help address this problem.
The mission of the 10 City Bridge Run is to find, then share, innovative and sustainable best-practice in delivery of child survival to improve the lives of many millions where the need is greatest.
Connect like you give a damn! It won’t be the same without you.
Who: This initiative originated from Matt Jones, an Australian soldier turned social entrepreneur, co-created with a team of volunteers and with the support of the social purpose business Social Alchemy. We would love you to join us on this epic journey!
It has taken a few years to get to this point. In doing so we have a taken the seed of an idea, and now we are ready to hit the road.
Where: The 10 cities to be visited are located in countries where the issue of child mortality is, in some way, at its worst (Papua New Guinea, India, Pakistan, Angola, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Kenya), or where there is potential for greatest leverage to make a difference towards influencing resources for change: (Australia, United States, United Kingdom).
Why: The purpose of the 10 CBR draws inspiration from the words of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, taken from the McKenzie & Co 2012 report on Delivery:
It’s time for the international community to compile global delivery knowledge and mobilise it for practice. Leaders in government, business, and civil society must pool their knowledge and strengths so that the most effective delivery practices can be scaled and standardised worldwide.
Design Forum: In each city where running takes place, a Design Forum will be held to help to identify and share best practice. Every design forum will be framed asking “what might this look like if women held the answers?”
Outcome: The outcome for the 10 City Bridge Run is a conduit between design, medical, education, logistic and infrastructure experts and the humanitarian world to create an open source network for child survival: something we are calling the “wellbeing-wiki“. The ‘wellbeing-wiki’ will need to be adaptable, ground-up, multi-lingual and cross-cultural in its application, and developed by those closest to the problem itself. Access needs to be free to engage in and free to share.
The reality is that there is already a lot of good work going on in relation to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Much of this is well documented, and there are many excellent gatherings occurring along with a wealth of information available through social media. Returning to the question this initiative seeks to address, how might we use our networks best to improve the delivery of child survival?
Knowledge management is a challenge in itself. Some can become redundant or overtaken by events. Taking both a short-term and long-term perspective, are there better ways of finding and sharing best practice that will have a decisive impact on the lives of many millions? It is a question worth asking for very little expense.
Vision: Healthy children, with healthy mothers, in healthy communities. This is our vision.
Photographs might express one of four particular themes:
- Tell a story. Provide an interpretation of “a human bridge”,
- Bridge the Imagination Gap,
- Connect the Near and the Far, and/or
- “With empathy comes connection”.
The best 100 photographs selected from among this collaboration will be captured in a book called “Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection”. Pre-sale of this book enables the 10 City Bridge Run.
Why is this important?
Child survival and child mortality are two sides of the same coin. Most of us take child survival for granted.
Child mortality is defined by death of children under the age of five. We define child survival as more than simply ‘not dying’. We recognise the importance the welfare of every mother has to improving child survival, and we recognise three broad areas that contribute towards optimal delivery of child survival: health, education and freedom.
It is not all bad news. There have been great advances being achieved in the delivery of child survival, but often unevenly distributed. We believe that small actions from many people can and will make a difference. On its own, taking a photograph of a human bridge will not solve any problem. But along with the actions of many people, a movement of people, together we can make a difference.
Swedish statistician Hans Rosling argues data trends show that it is possible to meet MDG 4 target for child mortality by 2015. Are we going to let this opportunity slip through our fingers?
Hear what the avuncular and entertaining Hans Rosling has to say about child mortality in this TED Talk. He suggests that data shows progress with positive trends toward making this target possible:
Become a Supporter!
Please support this initiative by making a small contribution on one of three levels:
- Hardcover copy of the book Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection: $240
- Softcover copy of the book Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection: $24
- Encouragement for the journey ahead: $5