Mark has gathered a small full-time team of solution seekers, a panel of thought partners and a network of hundreds who are prepared to disregard the impossible with him.
Paula Cunniffe – CEO of Mark Pollock Trust & Run in the Dark
Everything Paula does is about harnessing the collective power of teams so that we achieve more together that we ever could on our own. As CEO of Strive Management, Paula manages the global operations for Mark Pollock’s speaking business, as well as Run in the Dark, a global running series with 25,000 participants in 50 cities worldwide, and plays a key role in supporting the formation of a global network to cure paralysis in our lifetime.
Paula is also a non-executive director on the Boards of Hockey Ireland, and Social Finance Foundation.
Prior to joining Strive Management, Paula spent 4 years as a strategic communications specialist working on national and international projects in Department of the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister). She started her career producing TV and radio documentaries broadcast in Ireland and USA.
She holds a BA in Journalism and from TU Dublin, formerly DIT. In 2010, she received a full scholarship to complete a Master’s in Broadcast at the University of Florida where she lectured on ethics in journalism and won the Outstanding International Student Award. She is currently completing her second Master’s, an MSc in Business Management at Smurfit Graduate Business School, UCD.
Simone George – Human Rights Lawyer, Activist & Corporate Litigator
Driven by a belief in fairness, Simone is a human rights lawyer, activist and commercial litigator. After Mark broke his back a month before their wedding in 2010 Simone’s research, which began by his hospital bed, became the start of their work and personal mission to create collaborations between scientists and robotics engineers working to cure paralysis.
She is a TED2018 speaker and, alongside Mark, the subject of an award-winning feature documentary film, Unbreakable. In addition, Simone is a director on the board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (USA).
Dr Reggie Edgerton
Dr. Edgerton received his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University, Masters from University of Iowa and BS from East Carolina University. At UCLA, he is the Director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and a Distinguished Professor of the Departments of Integrative Biology and Physiology, Neurobiology and Neurosurgery. He has been teaching and conducting research at UCLA for over 40 years. His research is focused on how the neural networks in the lumbar spinal cord of mammals, including humans, regain control of standing, stepping and voluntary control of fine movements after paralysis, and how can these motor functions be modified by chronically imposing activity-dependent interventions after spinal cord injury.
Dr Dimitry Sayenko
Dr. Dimitry Sayenko has been working in the area of regulation of motor control for over 20 years. He investigated the effects of space flight on motor control, together with various space agencies, including the Russian Space Agency and NASA. During his postdoc in Japan at the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, he demonstrated the effects of balance training after incomplete SCI. During his work at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, he developed a training system integrating electrical neuromuscular stimulation and visual feedback as a means of regaining strength of paralyzed muscles. Further, he investigated the mechanisms of epidural spinal stimulation after SCI at Frazier Rehab in Louisville, KY. At UCLA, he contributed to pioneering the clinical use of neuromodulatory techniques. Currently he continues his work at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
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.