Thanks to an online course beginning today, it’s now possible to learn just what it takes to change the world – for free! From climate change to global health and gender equality, the Coursera class, titled “How to Change the World” will give ordinary people the stats, knowledge and facts to become change-makers and advocates for a better world.
At Global Network, we’re especially excited that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and our END7 campaign are featured in this week’s class – and the 20,000 people from around the world who are already enrolled in will be exposed to some of the most common yet easily treated diseases in the developing world.
The course, which attracted 60,000 online students during its initial run in February 2014, is led by Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University. This week’s topic, “Disease and Global Health Care,” introduces course enrollees to key global health challenges and innovative approaches to care. A lecture on “Care, Organization, and Making a Difference” includes a presentation given by Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network; David Harris, executive creative director of Draftfcb in London; and Peter Koechley, co-founder of UpWorthy at the 2013 Social Good Summit in New York City. In the presentation, “Is Shock Value an Effective Way to Spur Social Good?,” Dr. Mistry explained the END7 campaign’s goal to create a movement around the NTD control and elimination effort:
“We have a wonderful public-private partnership with the pharmaceutical industry who are donating all the drugs, and we have great technical experts that actually help to ensure that these drugs get to the people that require them. So now we need to create the movement to ensure that it’s seeded in the public consciousness, and that enables us to influence policy and get more money for the cause for essentially a voiceless community.”
Footage from END7’s “How to Shock a Celebrity” video is also included in another lecture this week on “Major Health Challenges and Responses,” introducing course enrollees to the physical effects of NTDs.
Given the wide-ranging impact of NTDs – including reduced economic productivity and educational attainment, malnutrition and increased susceptibility to illness, and stunted physical and cognitive development – it is encouraging to see NTD treatment highlighted as a key global health intervention. We are excited to see END7 featured in this innovative public forum as a platform for “How to Change the World,” and excited to invite new supporters to join our campaign!