EXTRACT JIM KIM TRANSCRIPT FROM FIRST MILLION PERSON CHANGE THE WORLD MOOC
JimKim 2nd year at world bank 2013
One of the great privileges I have had is the chance to actually participate in social movements -probably the most notable one was the movement to increase access to treatment for people living with hiv/aids- the best part of that movement is that we started in an almost impossible situation . (Now there was an experience we had before that treating patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. That never really turned into a movement - it was more the advocacy of a small group of people. )
But HIV treatment turned into a social movement and I really got to see what it felt like and looks like. And there are some things I would want all the students in your class to know.
Know that social movements that have a huge impact are often led by small groups of people. Example ACT UP the social movement that led to the availability of aids treatment was never more than 20 or 30 people. People think it was thousands of people but it never was- thankfully many of them are still alive today and they will tell you it was always about 20 or 30 people.
This echoes that old Margaret Mead Quote: never doubt the ability of a small group of people to change the world, in fact it the only thing that ever has. I think that is so true. So first all of the students should never doubt the ability of themselves to change the world it can happen.
So the small group of people did was to look at the value chain (that was not the word they used but its the terminology that eg Michael Porter uses) . What you do is look at every thing you need to do to get to where you want to be. Most companies don't do that; they look at one piece and wonder why they are not changing value as a whole.
So what the aids activists did: they said lets look at every single step.
STEP 1 there needs to be more basic science research - so a bunch of them like 5! - went and took on basic science research. In USA, they started going after the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease , they went into the National Institute of Health and threw blood on people - you know these scientists - the nerdy scientists never had anything like that happen to them and they didn't like it, they didn't like it at all. And over time , in fact fairly quickly, and we should take our hat off to President Reagan for doing this they started moving money to NIH and so the research started.
STEP 2 If there is a promising molecule you have to get it into the industry because public sector institutions are not going to take this to a drug, there has to be a profit motive. So they made it easier for molecules to go to the founder into the private sector.
STEP 3 : they had to test those drugs so they put their own bodies on the line to test the drugs.
STEP 4 then they had to get into the last stage of clinical trials and into the market. So one guy , Mark Harrington, became an expert on the Food and Drug Administration. I mean this is a guy who has an undergraduate degree from Harvard - smart guy. He became an expert on FDA and shrunk the time it takes to get a molecule from discovery to approval and on the market - shrunk the time dramatically. So you'd think at that point when they had a real treatment in 1996 they would stop. But that's not where they stopped. They took the next step -
STEP 5 They said: damned if we are going to let something that has come from so much work will only be available for those who can afford to pay for it. So the next thing was work with us to try and make sure that everyone in the world would be able to access it. So for them the social movement was not about a feel good rally. They did that too, but mostly it wasn't feel good- they latched themselves to the white house, they threw blood on people and got arrested, they did things that would make anyone else feel really uncomfortable but they knew that is what they needed to do to get through the value chain.
So what I would say is being part of a social movement is going to be the most exhilarating memorable thing you are ever going to do. But understand how hard it is , and understand how serious you are going to need to be about everything it is going to take to get to the change you want, and then take it on as there is nothing better you can do
We need to start a movement to end poverty , and it looks like folks are doing it there is a global poverty project that has begun doing it they are holding big concerts - they are serious about ending poverty. Pope Francis is serious about ending poverty, I had a great opportunity to sit with him and after years of struggling with my Spanish in Peru, it was good enough to speak to him in Spanish . I asked him I said I need your help, I need your help , we need to start a social movement. and he just said Conta Comigo "count on me".
This (End Poverty) has to be the next movement. If you look at all the steps is going to take to end poverty its a pretty broad mix. And that's the great news- we need everybody. We need writers who can write about this, we need engineers, doctors, lawyers, artists , everyone who can capture the imagination of the world to end poverty. There's a role but take a step back and say what is it going to take, what part of it can I take on, and how can we really make it happen.