Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of attending the annual Skoll World Forum with some of the team at Medic Mobile. As my cofounder Josh put it, “The Skoll Award and the $1.25 million investment is rocket fuel for our mission as we embark on the next phase of our work.” While the Skoll selection process is extremely competitive, the awards aren’t given for past accomplishments but for possibilities yet to be realized. In Skoll’s words, they’ve just added us to their “social progress watch list.”
With this award, our team joins a humbling group of change makers. B Lab is among the seven organizations recognized this year. I’ve been following their work with interest since I briefly met a cofounder Jay at the Bus Project’s Rebooting Democracy conference in Portland a few years ago. Awardees of years past include Mothers to Mothers, Tostan, One Acre Fund and Partners in Health.
My work and purpose in life have so many connections to Partners in Health and their example of pragmatic solidarity. Paul Farmer’s scholarship and PIH’s call for global health delivery research were guiding lights in my decision to pursue a PhD as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. My recent writing about the idea of Preferential Software for the Poor draws heavily on Farmer’s work, and PIH’s influence has also been ever present in Medic Mobile’s approach to partnering with community health workers.
It was fitting that Josh’s short speech revolved around partnering with community health workers like Dickson from St Gabriel’s Hospital in Malawi. I fondly remember working with Dickson as well, and I couldn’t have been more excited for and proud of Josh and our team as he spoke about our work to a packed house. “All of us– you, and me, and Dickson–are working in solidarity. We are all health workers, waking up every day determined to cure an unjust state of affairs.” Bravo Josh.
Joining Josh and Maeghan (Director of Medic Mobile’s programs in Africa) for a celebratory photo on the Skoll main stage, just after the awards ceremony. Read more about the Skoll week on the Medic Mobile blog.
May 1st Update: Skoll has now posted the Medic Mobile 4 minute trailer that is featured in the longer awards video above. I really like Jane Katanu’s role in this video. She is Medic’s team leader on a project that I’m studying as part of my PhD, so I get to work with her often.