Spinal cord injury strikes at the very heart of what it means to be human. An evolutionary amputation completed in a moment, it turns people from their upright, walking, running, jumping forms into seated compromises of themselves. This is the reality for 2.5 million people globally suffering from spinal cord injury.
But Mark believes we can cure paralysis in our lifetime. To do it, he is exploring the intersection where humans and technology collide and catalysing collaborations that have never been done before.
Since 2011 Mark and his team have co-created projects valued at over €2.5 million involving: rehabilitation; robotics; exercise physiology; neuro modulation; neuroscience; bioengineering; and pharmacology.
And, Mark now knows that many of the world’s greatest scientists and technologists have discovered breakthroughs that have the potential to impact paralysed people’s lives in the next 5 years. Yet, the interventions are held hostage in the minds and labs of these spectacular researchers due to systemic failures in translating research from the lab to the clinic.
Mark measures his progress through: the breadth of engagement he and his team generate publicly; the quality of connections they create within the research community; and the improvement in efficiency they deliver with their partners.
Mark’s talk still resonates with our European Sales Team. He started a conversation about challenging conventional wisdom that is ongoing at Google. And with over 20 nationalities in the room he reached them all.
I was honored to meet with Mark Pollock in Ireland this year, where we engaged with teachers and students at St. Patrick’s College to discuss the ways technology is changing how students learn. Mark is an extreme adventurer and athlete who has raced to the South Pole — and even more incredibly, he was the first blind man to ever do so.
Mark is a brilliant example of the fact that we can always achieve more than what we think is possible.