I have this afternoon come out of a truly inspiring session at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference in Washington. I had the great privilege to meet Marco Greenberg who spoke about the work he has done on publicising the story of Ian Burkhart. Ian is using ground breaking technology, called NeuroLife, to bypass a spinal injury that left him with quadriplegia and he is regaining the use of his arms - amazing, uplifting and insightful story.
Marco gave us a brief and fascinating look into exciting world of bionic technology, exploring the cutting edge ways in which humans are integrating computers into their bodies. Ian Burkhart, his client is one of world's foremost pioneers in this realm. Although paralyzed from the chest down, when he is hooked up to the computer, and the computer is connected to a special sleeve wrapped around his forearm, he can use his hands to pick up and put things down. The technology reanimates his arm and allows him to control it with his mind, similar to the way he moved before his accident.
For me this was by far the best session of the conference and it was such a shame that it wasn't a key note address because I believe everyone would have got so much out of hearing Marco's insights.
Getting 8 billion impressions on a story is impressive, especially when you think that there are only 7.5 billion people on the planet.
If one of my students presented me that as an objective, I would have told them to make the objective SMART, (namely ...achievable and realistic!) I stand corrected - it is possible to get this amount of coverage with the right story and the right approach. Well done Marco and Ian.
If you'd like to learn about Ian's story you can check out his website www.ianburkhart.com