If you don’t know who I am, you are in the same entity (and therefore mailinglist) as I am, or was. If you do know who I am: Hi! Me again, here to update you about our fight against ALS, the killer disease that is starting to get sorry it took me in his jaws. It’s been nearly three months since I wrote to you all (I tried writing an Accenture blog; it’s too 2014 for me) so there is lots to update.
First of all, congratulations to Joerie Nijhuis for winning the Corporate Citizenship Award 2014! In no way whatsoever do I feel envious of him (my ears burn as I type this), second place is a good achievement too, ahem. But corporate citizenship is about giving, and it feels like I have mainly been asking and receiving over the past nine months. I don’t intend to make every single update about gratitude, so let’s skip to a few updates about the initiatives:
- Cure. Treeway is well underway to get their first ALS medicine ready for testing. IF it works, it may have a delaying effect on the disease, buying us more time. I’ve become an official partner in this company (with permission from Accenture of course) that was founded by Bernard Muller and Robbert-Jan Stuit. If you speak Dutch, you can see them talking about how it started: LINK TO PAUW & WITTEMAN
- Cause. Project MinE is well underway; it is internationalizing fast (is that a word?) with Belgium, France, Portugal, the UK all in talks to join up. Yusuke Nirahara from Accenture Japan is working with a group of colleagues to bring the project to Japan; Rune Indrevoll from Norway is building the bridge to the Nordics. Michael Teichmann is working with the core team here in the Netherlands to define the functional requirements and technical architecture to analyze the DNA information of 22,500 people, and we are talking to the Welcome Trust about partnering up.
- Care. Project Xavier is a collaboration between an electronics giant and Accenture labs, led by Bob Koppes and Ray Pijpers. The goal is to create a device that enables ALS patients to control their home with their minds. Science Fiction made reality. High Performance delivered. Every single Accenture slogan is applicable to this project! The prototype right now can control lights and TV, is connected to a Google Glass, a Tablet app is being developed.
- Connect. Ronald Krabben and team have delivered the technology platform for TRICALS, an institution led by Prof. Van den Berg, aimed at connecting patients, treatment centers and drug development companies, with the goal to reduce the time it takes to test new medicine for ALS. The website is due to go live next month!
- Capital. The biggest bang is yet to come. On May 19, we are launching the ALS investment fund (we will also unveil the new name on that day). Check out the PRESS RELEASE and the WEBSITE. If you know any interested investors, please feel free to send the attached email. We really have world class names and world class infrastructure behind this; it’s Impact Investing at its best! Or, as another friend put it eloquently, put your money where your meaning is! Don’t hesitate to contact me or Ralph Staal if you have any questions about the Fund.
A SPOTLIGHT ARTICLE was published right after my previous update; it led to a tsunami of responses. It is so overwhelming and humbling to see how engaged our global community is! Many people offered their support; if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, please mail me again. We will be very happy to enlist you ϑ. For those of you that have been put to work: sorry for taking up all your free time, your efforts are so diverse and so encompassing that I cannot even describe half of them here in this email. Special thanks to Amalchi from my favorite city New York. He rallied a big team and an impressive fund raiser to participate in the “ Walk to defeat ALS”. They are starting today; wish them well by shooting Amalchi Castillo an email. Later this year, I will be asking the same for our colleagues who joined the Amsterdam City Swim…
Then a bit about how I am doing. You noticed that I talk a lot about these projects because right now it is truly my dream and my passion to work like this. I won’t be able to do so for that much longer… That is partially because my hands have come to the point where I type only a few emails per day (Bas Tax is typing this for me, as I am shouting at him “NO YOU MORON, AMALCHI IS SPELLED WITH AN I, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT”), and one of these days I will get so clumsy that I represent an office safety hazard of sorts. Mostly it is because I am getting ready to be a father. I already communicate with our baby; I tickle Iris’ belly and she kicks in return. I’ll try to scale down as of July so I can enjoy an early retirement with family in our new house (whoever approved our new mortgage… oh, wonders of the financial world!). Don’t count on being rid of me completely; as long as I have a muscle to move, I will stay in touch.
Have a nice weekend everyone, thanks for reading this far!