Posts Tagged ‘Move the World’

Move the World

By Christian Remon & Julie Lievens

“Move the World”, an expedition travelling around the world in 100 days to raise awareness about AIDS, arrived in Belgium two weeks ago. Porter Novelli Brussels was asked to organize a press conference and a round table. A very interesting project which of course we grabbed with both hands.

“Move the World” is an organisation that wants to move the world to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. For the last ten years, they have been taking yearly initiatives that link adventure to education and awareness. This year, the team is undertaking an international expedition that will lead them through 50 countries and across 5 continents in just 100 days! Impressive! In each country they organize a press conference to talk about the HIV/AIDS issues they encountered in other countries, as well as their own adventurous experiences during the expedition. But the most important part of their visit is a round table that gathers HIV experts – scientists, doctors, politicians, economists, awareness organizations and personally affected people – that bring a holistic view on national issues. The national results will be bundled in a worlwide manifest that will be handed over to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Pretty amazing if you ask us.

In Brussels, we gathered at the Automuseum, a magnificent location in the centre of Brussels. Joachim Franz, expedition leader, talked about their adventures of the last couple of weeks. They started in Vancouver (Canada), travelled through the US and Latin America, all the way to Argentina, stopping in every possible country, where they were confronted with a lot a HIV issues. They had some tough times, and not everything went according to plan, but they hung in there and did a magnificent job.

We had also invited Dr. Callens from the Aids Reference Centre in Ghent, to explain the national issues more in detail. He did an excellent job discussing the various aspects. What exactly is the medical problem? How can we best tackle this? How is the Belgian political situation affecting the institutional support to fight it? And how is it possible that the number of people diagnosed with HIV in Belgium is still growing? Perhaps a quote by dr. Callens explains it best: ‘The lifesaving treatment with HIV inhibitors is only one aspect. People who live with HIV are still physically, emotionally and socially challenged every single day. A united approach by doctors, nurses and social assistants is becoming more and more important to safeguard the physical and spiritual health on the long term.” The national press was impressed by both the expedition stories as well as Dr. Callens’ insights and shocking eye-openers.

After the press conference we invited 7 people to join the round table, lead by an HIV expert from the “Move the World” team. Next to Dr. Callens, we gathered influential people from various disciplines: Jan Roegiers & Sophie Maes from the political world, Piet Wigerinck from the healthcare industry, and Maureen Louhenapessy, Thierry Martin and Patrick Reyntiens from aids awareness organizations. The round table was an absolute success, leading to new insights for all the people involved. It brought up the thought patterns of people they often don’t interact with.

We at Porter Novelli Brussels are proud of the work that we’ve done for the Expedition, and wish them all the best. They are currently travelling through Africa and will then be heading to Asia and Australia! Follow their expedition here.

Check out a few pictures about the Brussels pit stop on our Facebook page!