Blind Irish adventurer and advocate Mark Pollock and his wife, human rights lawyer Simone George launch TED talk on how to resolve the tension between acceptance and hope.

Explorer, Mark Pollock and human rights lawyer, Simone George, released their joint TED talk, recorded at the TED Conference in Vancouver in April.

Pollock and George’s TED Talk centers on how to resolve the tension between acceptance and hope, something they had to try and figure out in the aftermath of Mark’s catastrophic spinal cord injury. They talk about why climbing into the raging river of grief when tragedy strikes can be the way to get to the next place; and how they are now catalyzing collaborations to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, whose TED talk about power posing earned her worldwide recognition and has over 47 million views, described Simone and Mark’s talk as “the most powerful, moving talk I have ever seen at TED” while TED curator Helen Walters described their talk as a “love letter to science”.

Recognized as a thought leader in resilience, innovation, and collaboration, Mark has spoken at conferences such as Davos, EG, the World Economic Forum, Wired, and F.ounders, as well as TED. In addition, he is the co-founder of the global running movement, Run in the Dark, which will take place in 50 cities across the globe this November, raising money to fund the Mark Pollock Trust’s work.

Speaking about the launch of the TED talk, Mark said:

“It all began when Chris Andersen, TED’s curator was in the audience at one of my talks in Switzerland. That night we met and he spoke with Simone and I over dinner. A few weeks later he invited us to speak about our shared resilience at TED2018. TED can make the quest to cure paralysis truly global and so it was an amazing opportunity to share a stage with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell; Founder and CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings; CEO of Sinovation, Kai Fu Lee; and all of the other speakers.”

Simone George is a human rights lawyer and activist, a consultant commercial litigator and a paralysis cure hunter. As a human rights lawyer, she represents women who are experiencing abuse and has contributed through research and advocacy to a new landscape of justice in Ireland. When Mark broke his back, Simone’s research became the start of their next adventure – to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

Simone added: “When Mark broke his back I fell back on the personal toolkit I had at the time – go all the way in, research, learn as much as you can in a short period of time, and fiercely love every person around you that is trying to help, and even more fiercely love those who might get in the way. This is why I say in our TED talk – science is love. Science is an act of creation fueled by the desire for human progress and care. There is no insurmountable reason why people should remain paralyzed after spinal cord injury.”

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