Ghana’s Bright Simons, president of mPedigree, is one of the five fellows from across the Aspen Global Leadership Network who will be joining the Braddock Scholars Program this year.
Other fellows include Matthew Alexander, founder and board member of one world health; Cody Friesen, founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, Jessica Sager, CEO of All Our Kin Inc and Derwin Sisnett, founder and partner of Maslow Development.
These fellows have a big vision to make a transformational impact on society by bringing their venture to significant scale.
Commenting on his appointment, Bright said, “As you know, the Aspen Institute, through the Braddock Scholarship, brings together innovators working on emerging concepts with potential for massive scale and established global leaders who can help innovators navigate the risks of such breakthrough innovation. I am very pleased about the Fellowship for precisely this reason.”
The Braddock Scholars Program is built on the belief that entrepreneurs are great at starting businesses, but the skills needed to effectively scale these innovations are very different.
The program serves to bridge the “scaling gap” by channeling the expertise of mentors, all of whom are Aspen Institute Trustees, toward the specific challenge or opportunity the Scholars face.
Elsewhere, the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), a leading pan-African research institution that is headquartered in Kenya has appointed Mr. Simons and 2 others to its Board. APHRC conducts high quality policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization and related development issues across Africa and actively engages policymakers and other key stakeholders to achieve measurable policy impacts and ensure decision making across the continent is informed by rigorous evidence-based research.
Bright said on the appointment “I have always viewed the work that the Africa Population Health Research Center does as pushing the very frontier of how rigorous research can be directly applied to the work of practical innovation in the healthcare domain. Mere imagination and enthusiasm are not enough when breaking new ground, quality, solid, research and data are just as important. That’s why, as practicing innovator, I am so delighted at the opportunity to serve on the Board of the APHRC.”
Speaking on some of his functions in his new role, he added “my role here is to become the voice of practitioners, and a bridge between the amazing, world-class, scientists at the Center and the grassroots change agents working all over the continent in pursuit of clear goals in health improvement. We need to bring power and prestige closer to passion and action. I think that’s why I was invited, and I am delighted to serve.”
The other two appointees are Bunmi Makinwa, CEO of AUNIQUEI who has had previous directorship roles at the UNFPA and UNAIDS and Ole Petter Ottersen, a renowned Norwegian physician and neuroscientist.
The three appointees began their APHRC Board terms on January 1, 2019. “We welcome our new board members with open arms and open minds, and look forward to their contributions in steering the dynamic and innovative team at APHRC to greater heights,” said Dr. Tamara Fox, the Chair of the APHRC Board.
Bright said over the last decade parts of mPedigree’s solution have greatly matured, but their biggest impact is yet to come.
“That impact would be driven by cutting-edge work in machine learning and organo-sensors we are doing right now, and we need all the support we can get to navigate the complexity of global deployment,” he added.
mPedigree’s latest work on smart sensors and its application to health cold chain problems has also received immense support and endorsement from Harvard Innovation Labs, the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem of Harvard University, the private Ivy League research university in Massachusetts, USA.