PARIS, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ashoka and Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that they will launch a three-year global initiative to improve health in communities around the world. The "Making More Health" initiative will promote healthy individuals, families and communities by identifying and supporting the most promising solutions to challenging health problems.
The partnership includes support for a series of programs aimed at identifying innovative health solutions, including the election of 50 leading social entrepreneurs (elected as Ashoka Fellows) whose ideas are driving cutting-edge systemic solutions in the field of health, as well as two web-based Changemakers Competitions which will open source an invitation to the public to submit new ideas for improving health in underserved communities. "Making More Health" will also focus on the next generation of changemakers through a Youth Venture program to engage young people in designing health solutions for their communities.
Boehringer Ingelheim will support Making More Health by engaging its 42,000 employees worldwide in various capacities to help spread an understanding and appreciation of social entrepreneurship and health innovation within their own communities.
"Making More Health brings together two organizations committed to finding innovative people and ideas to help shape the future of the health sector," said Prof. Dr. Andreas Barner, chairman of the board of managing directors for Boehringer Ingelheim. "Through this partnership we will bring forth meaningful and sustainable solutions that can achieve individual and family well-being in communities around the globe."
Ashoka's Chair, Bill Drayton, commented: "Some parts of how the world deals with health are highly creative, most especially the development of new pharmaceuticals, an area where Boehringer Ingelheim has made contribution after contribution for 125 years. Much of the rest of the system, however, has fallen way behind the need. The Making More Health partnership creates a global and business/social alliance led by top entrepreneurs and open to all that we believe will bring big changes to the entire system."
To date, "Making More Health" has supported four leading ASHOKA social entrepreneurs in the health sector, including Rebecca Onie, founder of Health Leads in the United States; Frank Hoffmann founder of Discovering Hands in Germany; Guillaume Bapst, founder of ANDES in France; and Luh Ketut Suryani, founder of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health in Indonesia.
About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act socially responsible. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavors.
Ashoka is the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world's most urgent social problems. Since 1981, Ashoka has helped launch over nearly 3000 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in 70 countries. Ashoka is known around the world for launching the field of social entrepreneurship and its current work in creating an "Everyone a Changemaker" world encouraging innovation and problem-solving from all.
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