Challenge

Life Bridge

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IMG_3699The 10 City Bridge Run basically has three components to unpack the key question at the heart of the project which involved opening a conversation to ask “how might we improve the delivery of child survival?”

The first component was a running stunt that was completed in early 2015. Looking back, it is easy to describe what happened. Recalling the events does not do justice to the difficulty involved in completing that task.

The second component is a book called Life Bridge which will feature a photo essay on the theme of “human bridges”. The central assumption to how change might occur is through connections between people. More than any amount of money, institutional will or technology, there must be people committed to driving change at the heart of any solution. Not only people, but radical collaborations of people through this idea of the human bridge.

The third component is a Design Forum where game changing ideas to address the challenge can be brought to life.

For now, the important work is the delivery of the book Life Bridge because it defines the human bridge.

In some regard, just defining a human bridge makes not one iota of difference. No change directly occurs. It is only conceptual.

This is the challenge. The human bridges have to be more than entertaining concepts. It has to point somewhere. Until I deliver on this, it remains an idea. People will need to see it to believe that it can make change occur.

Earlier, I had though that just by soliciting photos of human bridges that the idea might be demonstrated. I even thought that maybe I could take the photos to illustrate the idea. Neither of those on their own is sufficient. There is a lot of hard work required at the construction of the human bridges, as conceptual as it might be, for it to become a utility for change.

There will be space for collaboration with a broader range of photos of human bridges, but the immediate task is to make the essence of this idea tangible.

I have arrived at an idea where the core definition of the human bridge will be constructed from 24 photos of photos that emerge from collaboration with 24 Korean artists. The reason it is Korean is that there is an interesting perspective about the collective and collaboration from Korean society and thinking, along with the 20th century history which saw the nation emerge from the wreckage of colonialism and war into an industrial powerhouse. It is a country that is not without its challenges, and the fact that there is imperfection readily seen in a good canvas upon which to construct the human bridges.

More particularly, it means that I need to communicate an idea across another culture and language in such a way as to convince other people that it is worth their while to collaborate on this idea. Through that process of dialogue and discovery, the essence of the human bridge will emerge.

I can’t exactly tell you what it will look like now, any more than I could tell you the value of running a ridiculous Quixotic challenge a couple of years back. My concern is that much of the earlier interest in the idea has since waned, understandably. It is now my responsibility to build that interest and attention to what the impact of the human bridge might be.

Any suggestions from you would be welcome. Thanks for being part of the journey.

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An idea that changed the world

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This image was selected as a picture of the we...
I am become death, the destroyer of worlds…

Global Zero seeks to mobilise people to join a movement with a seemingly impossible objective. The achievement of zero nuclear weapons held on earth by the year 2030.

Seriously? Yes, seriously. Impossible you say. But take note: aspirational goals are worth setting, even if the degree of stretch is well beyond our view and reach.

But is it impossible? It would be an idea that changed the world. Every change begins with an idea, with imagination.

This is where there is similarity with the 10 City Bridge Run. An initiative fuelled by the believing that a triumph of imagination is possible. The other similarity is that presently there are 17,000 nuclear equipped warheads in arsenals held on earth. There will also be 17,000 children who will die today, and tomorrow, and the next day. That number is decreasing, but it is an obscene amount.

There will never be a ‘zero’ count of child mortality. Death is part and parcel to being alive. But present levels are too high, and they shape a terrible over-populated future with health issues with a food and water security crisis if not addressed. We can’t see that problem now, but it awaits us if nothing changes.

Food for thought. Take a look at the short clip from Global Zero below. Impossible: what is in a word?

Passport Lost, Passport Found

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Passports

A funny thing happened on the way to the Embassy of Ethiopia earlier this month…

I was in the process of getting the necessary visa clearances for the journey ahead, only to receive a call from the Embassy of Ethiopia. I had sent my passport, and the envelope arrived without the passport. The seal had come loose and the passport fell out.

I did think to get the passport reissued, but the cost seemed to be unreasonable, and including the lost fee and an express reissue would have cost over $400. So I decided to wait.

Yesterday, I received a welcome email from the Passport Office in Melbourne. The passport had been recovered and is on its way back to me.

With the loss of the passport, I made the decision to delay the start date of the 10 City Bridge run until 12 December 2012. Partly because my passport was missing, but also for some other pragmatic reasons:

  • It doesn’t conflict with the US Election.
  • It doesn’t conflict with the Korean Election.
  • The start date 12.12.12 is a memorable number, and emphasises the starting figure for child mortality at the beginning of the Millennium Development Goals: 12 million under-five deaths per year in 1990.

The other good news is that I have also since developed a 16-page Supporters Passport which I am just about to send to all existing supporters to keep you guys informed. I welcome other people to become supporters through buying a passport for as little as $5 to help finance this journey. I am using the same site where I successfully crowdfunded the funding necessary to prove the concept for this journey. All supporters will receive a complimentary copy of the book ‘Life Bridge’ once it is published in early 2013.

Good to have my passport back. Please visit www.pozible.com/lifebridge to get yours for this journey, too.