The 2013 Annual Meeting of the New Champions kicked off today in Dalian, China and Paul Matthew, North Star Alliance Director for Southern Africa, is present to speak about the importance of social innovation, and about North Star’s work across Africa delivering health care to traditionally hard-to-reach people. In addition to representing North Star, Paul is presenting in his role as the 2012 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Africa, which was awarded by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa, held in Addis Ababa.
Taking place from September 11th to 13th, this seventh Annual Meeting of the New Champions has been designed to foster interaction between leaders from the private sector, government, media, academia, and civil society. Under the umbrella theme of Meeting the Innovation Imperative, over 1,500 participants from 90 countries will discuss a range of topics including economic, industrial, and technological developments that affect business models, changing consumer behavior, global and regional economic growth patterns, and development.
Paul, alongside a co-Social Entrepreneur of the Year Africa recipient, Andrew Muir, Founder and Executive Director of the Wilderness Foundation, will be addressing the forum to discuss developments in healthcare provision in Africa, and the role that social innovation can play in supporting regional health and development objectives.
Paul is uniquely positioned to discuss these themes. After starting his own business, The Learning Clinic, Paul joined the South African road freight industry in 1993 to work on education and training. Together with employer and employee groups, he established the Trucking Against AIDS programme to help address the alarming impact of HIV and AIDS on mobile workers. The programme was taken up by the road freight industry and became a model of health service delivery for truck drivers in South Africa. It also led to the development of North Star Alliance in 2006 when the World Food Programme and global express company, TNT, took notice of Paul’s work.
Now in its seventh year, North Star Alliance has built partnerships with more than 70 public, private, and humanitarian partners to reach some of Africa’s most hard-to-reach populations with high-quality health services. We’re accomplishing this by establishing and operating a network of clinics, or “Roadside Wellness Centres” along key transport corridors across Africa in converted shipping containers. This “containerized-approach” allows us to rapidly produce and roll-out semi-mobile structures with a standard and continuously expand our reach. As a result, we’ve grown from one clinic in 2006, to a network today that reaching over 200,000 people.
You can also follow Paul live on Twitter, @AfricanSA:
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Photo courtest of Flickr, World Economic Forum/Qilai Shen via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0