Update: Highlight on Boehringer Ingelheim US 9/11 Day of Service Project
Update: On September 11th, Ridgefield, CT employees had the opportunity to get engaged with Making More Health online, through Boehringer Ingelheim US' 9/11 Day of Service Project of Virtual Volunteering. and through the Changemakers.com online platform. By joining one of two one-hour Virtual Hang-outs, talented employees from across many disciplines made connections, started conversations and planned future work to help innovators from around the world. Sixteen Boehringer Ingelheim employees joined Ashoka Fellows Krystian Fikert and Rosanne Hagerty as well as health innovators Nikos Papachristou and Hayden Williams to learn about their work. These introductions led to brainstorming and recommendations based on professional experience from BI employees on topics including marketing, business plan development, pricing and other hurdles innovators were facing while scaling their organizations.
“Our Making More Health Fellows and health innovators were thrilled to receive insight and support from BI employees through the Virtual Hangouts,” said Smita Satiani, Project Manager of Ashoka Changemakers. “These innovators were grateful for the high-quality BI employees that participated in the hangouts that day, and were so generous with their time and expertise in helping them develop their strategies. We are looking forward to continued engagement and collaboration with BI employees through virtual volunteering.”
In the future, BI people can contribute even more. “We are looking forward to future Virtual Hang-outs. Our innovators will benefit from advice on establishing non-profit 501(3)(c) status, legal questions and other practical issues. For example, a maternal health nonprofit working in Uganda, Safe Mothers, Safe Babies, has already gotten valuable help with the design of marketing collateral for donors and a logo redesign,” Satiani said.
The successful 9/11 events have already led other Boehringer Ingelheim country offices to get involved. BI Netherlands has started and BI Australia is moving forward with virtual volunteering, all based on the success of the U.S. Virtual Hang-out experiences and outcomes.
The range of projects that the Ashoka innovators are executing and that BI employees learned about on 9/11 cover many health concerns. Making More Health Fellow Krystian Fikert founded MyMind, a public mental health service in Ireland that brings much-needed help to the community while eliminating the costs and long waits experienced with traditional service mechanisms. Innovator Nikos Papachristou founded Breathe Easy, a firm that makes treatment of pediatric asthma more effective with its line of kid-friendly inhaler and other devices. Finally, innovator Hayden Williams, founder of Haydrick Healthcare, is working to bring portable radiology and medical records access technology to areas where service has traditionally not been available. Natural disasters that leave victims with broken bones and other injuries create the venue where this solution is life-saving and life-changing.
As the relationships with these changemakers continue, more BI employees will be able to get involved. Future Virtual Hang-outs will bring together Ashoka Fellows Rosanne Hagerty (US Fellow) and Thorkil Sonne (Denmark Fellow) with BI talent to jointly make more health. An hour in front of a webcam can lead to the beginning of relationships that will save lives and create real change around the world. Look for your opportunity to participate soon.