The 10 City Bridge Run is a citizen-led initiative which uses a stunt to open a conversation asking an important question:
“how might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?”
The Power of the Imagination
So much of our lives we underestimate our ability to impact. This is for many reasons, but perhaps the two greatest are that we assume our ability away as being insignificant, and secondly that we don’t realise our potential through the power of our imagination.
What if contributing towards the big unmet challenges really was within our reach? Who are we cheating by not fulfilling our potential? This initiative focuses on a major problem of health affecting literally millions of people every year, mostly in places that we don’t know the names of, and involving people we will never meet.
I learnt a lot as I ran across the ten runs in the global endurance challenge which I called the 10 City Bridge Run. But now it is time for this journey to step up to the next level, and consider the next steps ahead.
The journey began in 2010 when Matt Jones, a soldier turned social entrepreneur, asked a question about child mortality. A plan was hatched: run 10 sub-marathons, each of 24 km, in 10 cities across 10 countries as a stunt to bring awareness to this conversation, culminating in a series of global Design Forum to occur throughout 2015.
The 10 City Bridge Run aims to use human-centred Design Thinking to resolve this challenge. Bill Gates recently said:
“I’m convinced that getting our brightest minds to focus on our biggest problems will save lives and make the world a better place.”
This epic journey commenced running the first leg in Port Moresby on 16 September 2014, and concluded the with the tenth city in New York on 3 January 2015.
Tony Lake, the Executive Director of UNICEF, painted the pressing need for action recently in the 2013 ‘A Promise Renewed’ Progress Report. “There is no time to spare…The lives of nearly 35 million children are at stake.” “Each voice that speaks out against the death of a child is a reminder of unfulfilled promises and a call for urgent action.“
At it’s core, this campaign is about raising global awareness to convene a conversation about improving the delivery of child survival. This involves four seemingly simple, yet complex, key ideas:
- Design Thinking: ‘How Might We’. Read this blog from IDEO’s Tim Brown where he defines Design Thinking by explaining the term ‘how might we’.
- Using Our Networks. Discussions about networks and collaboration has become almost cliche. Watch this prescient 2005 TED video where Clay Shirky explains how we can use our networks without regard for institutional models:
- Improving Delivery. This report from McKinsey and Co provides one of the best overviews of what ‘delivery’ is about. This is important in relation to the context of the Design Forum.
- Child Survival. The much-loved and avuncular Hans Rosling provides excellent information about child survival and why it is important. Let him explain it himself in this video below: