We have come a long way.
Starting in Port Moresby on 16 September 2014, coinciding with Papua New Guinea’s Independence Day, was important. Papua New Guinea is a country that is unlikely to meet all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before the end of 2015. The troubling progress experienced by Papua New Guinea in reducing child mortality made it an appropriate place to start this journey called the 10 City Bridge Run where we seek to open a conversation asking: “how might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?”
The 10 City Bridge Run is a citizen-led initiative conceived in 2010, which has taken until now to commence. It was framed within the context of the MDGs which seek to reduce global poverty from 1990 levels by two-thirds before 2015. MDG4 is to reduce child mortality.
In 2010, aid agencies pointed to the appalling rate of child mortality per day, measured then using 2008 data, estimated as 24,000 children under the age of five dying every single day. I chose to run ten sub-marathons each of 24km in 10 cities across 10 countries as a stunt to open this conversation about child survival.
There are three basic elements to this initiative: (1) A running stunt involving 10 sub-marathons each of 24 km in 10 cities across 10 countries, (2) Publication of a book titled ‘Life Bridge’ featuring an inspiring photo-essay on the theme of ‘human bridges’ to illustrate the importance of our connections, and (3) Perhaps most importantly, a series of Design Forum to be held during 2015 where the conversation to ask the question: ‘how might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?’ will be opened to shape impact.
After running in Port Moresby, the journey traveled through Sydney, Singapore, Osaka, New Delhi and most recently the Chinese coastal city of Shanhaigeun. I’m writing this reflection from Seoul ahead of the seventh leg of the 10 City Bridge Run.
At the end of a last week, a crowdfunding campaign to sustain this journey ended, falling significantly short of the target. Even in light of this setback, I consider progress to date has been successful.
The following nine lessons learnt explain why I believe our progress has been successful to date, and what this means for the next steps in this journey to improve the delivery of child survival.
Here is the list of the Nine Lessons which will be discussed in the posts that follow (hyperlinks to be added once all posted):
- Lesson One. Feel the frustration that the journey is not yet complete.
- Lesson Two. Deep personal commitment is needed to perform stunts.
- Lesson Three. The view from the other side is better, but you won’t know until you get there.
- Lesson Four. Lead by example by learning.
- Lesson Five. Get people to ask why.
- Lesson Six. Take the pressure off and change the conversation.
- Lesson Seven. We underestimate the influence of our encouragement.
- Lesson Eight. Keep moving forward.
- Lesson Nine. Expressing a silent tribute.