Health advocacy organization PHA wants public input to fight childhood obesity epidemic
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is on a mission to combat childhood obesity, and it is asking for your help. On October 17, PHA launched the End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge. PHA is aware that good ideas can be found all over—from moms and dads, to kids, to start-up companies in garages, to nonprofits, to major corporations. Thus PHA is inviting anyone with a great idea for how to end childhood obesity to enter the End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge. The winning idea will receive $10,000 to kick-start their idea, and expert advice to turn that idea into a reality.
The End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge will solicit ideas from people across the nation, score them, and then let America vote on Facebook to decide the three finalists. The finalists will win a trip to Washington, DC, where they will present their idea before a panel of judges and all attendees at the PHA’s Building a Healthier Future Summit, March 6-8, 2013. In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winning idea will receive $10,000 along with the financial, business and marketing advice on ways to turn it into a reality. They will also have an opportunity to pitch their idea for potential coverage on the pages of Fortune magazine. Expert advice will be provided by senior leaders at StartUp Health, a national academy for health and wellness entrepreneurship, dedicated to helping healthcare startups succeed; Edelman, a global marketing and communications company; and McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.
“Childhood obesity is a societal problem, a health problem, an economic problem – even a national security problem. Our work with the private sector is critical, but we know that great ideas can come from anywhere,” noted Larry Soler, President and CEO of PHA. He added, “We are all in this fight together, working to end the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. This Challenge seeks to get ideas, not business plans, from as many people as possible and focus the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and ingenuity of Americans on building a healthier future for our kids.”
To apply, one only has to create a video that details their idea in 2 minutes and 30 seconds or less, explaining why their solution is the best solution for America to implement in combatting childhood obesity, and to be available March 6-8 to come to Washington, DC, if their idea is one of three finalists. The deadline for applications is noon (Eastern) on Friday, November 16, 2012. A review committee will narrow down the field to up to 10 submissions. These top videos will be featured on the official End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge website where the public will vote for their favorite. In January 2013, three finalists will be named and invited to present their entrepreneurial ideas at the 2013 Building a Healthier Future Summit to a panel of judges and more than 1,000 thought leaders from multiple sectors.
I spoke with PHA Chief Marketing Officer Drew Nannis regarding his organization and the End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge. I expressed concern that Facebook contests can easily transition into a networking concert where the one with the most connections wins. He assured me that that is not the case. Although social networking can promote a contestant, the review process by professionals both within and outside of PHA. These individuals will pick the top seven to 10 ideas and post them on Facebook. The top three will then be reviewed by the experts who will choose the winner.
Nannis explained the function of PHA. He noted that his organization is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. It is currently working with 50 corporations. One project involves PHA’s partnership with hospitals and schools to insure that healthy food choices are provided to children. Most importantly, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making to show everyone what can be achieved when we all work together.
For more information on the End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge, click on this link.
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