Obviously, there are many good reasons to join us at that years TEDxAmRing. But one of them has to be William “Bill“ Roedy, former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International who helped build the company from the ground up. Retired but not tired of fighting for change, he is currently serving as a Board Member for amfAR and Ambassador for UNAIDS and is involved in many projects concerning global health. Being both a philantrope and a pioneer of the music industry, we couldn’t be more proud and thankful to witness his very first TED-Talk!
“Doing good is good for business”
Bill Roedy may not meet the cliché of a successful businessman as his mantra “Doing good is good for Business” signifies. “We have many issues at MTV, but the one thing that united us was fighting the issue of the global HIV and AIDS epidemic” he says.
Through MTV International’s Staying Alive Campaign the issue is tackled both locally and globally. The organization aims at changing and reducing the stigma attached to the disease and has produced several award-winning HIV/AIDS related documentaries, advertisements and concerts. The Staying Alive Campaign also has funded 272 small entities in 60 countries, to reach people at the ground level, raising awareness and saving lives through peer education. Local projects are as ingenious as creative, like the Dove Foundation in Varanasi, India, shows:
“The project targets rickshaw pullers who are trained as peer educators on HIV prevention and condom use. Behaviour change campaigns are executed in several districts with the educational materials created by the rickshaw pullers themselves.”
For more projects and information, click here!
Since leaving MTV Networks International in 2011, Roedy has dedicated the vast majority of his time to continuing the work he began at MTV on global health, by using his knowledge and prominence. Although he has expanded his repertoire by working on initiatives battling other diseases, he has become a world authority on HIV and AIDS. In 2005, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan appointed him founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative Leadership Committee.
An idea bigger than the Kilimanjaro
Bill Roedy reached the top of Africa’s highest mountain on 12 April 2014 to demonstrate his solidarity with UNAIDS and global partners working in the AIDS response.
“Everybody experienced some form of altitude sickness. We battled through vomiting, tears, windburn, knee pain, freezing cold hands and feet and complete exhaustion at the end, but somehow, we managed to reach Uhuru Peak”, said Mr Roedy. “Having all of your support made all the difference.”
Are you as excited as we are? Luckily you don’t have to climb a mountain to meet Bill in person as you could get the chance on the 30th of May at TEDxAmRing!
Header image credits: royalty free