diversity and youth

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★

What do you do you do when you realise that your baby has grown up! 

Several years ago someone on this blog recommended launching OCTRIMS, i.e the Online Consortium of Treatment and Research In Multiple Sclerosis. I diligently registered the domain name and approached ECTRIMS for support and they said no they weren’t prepared to support an online offering and they asked if I would refrain from using the name.  We explained to ECTRIMS that the reason we wanted to launch OCTRIMS was to address the inequality of access to information on MS research and treatment. We felt women, ethnic minorities, people from middle- and low-income countries and the next or younger generation was not able to attend ECTRIMS because of financial and other cultural barriers. It was clear that ECTRIMS and other large MS meetings were being dominated by a specific demographic profile. We, therefore, had to settle for the less catchy (Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis  Online) instead; c’est la vie. 

A big selling point for us was the environment, i.e. how do we deliver online content that is environmentally friendly and reach and maintain engagement with our target audience. When we designed our first meeting we tried to rethink the conference and in particular the online experience. It became clear that the long didactic lecture format would not work. To simply replicate the face-2-face conference would not work. Our model was TED and TEDx talks, i.e. short well-rehearsed talks that were themed, to the point and engaging. At the same time, we had to put together a young and diverse International steering committee to make sure triMS-online lived up to its founding principles, i.e. more diversity (more women and ethnic minorities) and the next generation (youth). This is why I am so proud of the fourth conference that delivers on so many of our founding principles.

So if you have the time to attend the live meeting please register and even if you can’t stay online for the whole meeting you can come back at any time to watch the talks in your own time. We promise that each talk will be well planned, short, to the point and with a limited number of well-defined objectives.

Enjoy and please spread the word to your colleagues and friends.  And a big thank you to you our supporters and the sponsors for making this possible.

CoI: multiple

Twitter: @gavinGiovannoni  Medium: @gavin_24211

7 thoughts on “ diversity and youth”

  1. Excellent idea.

    It goes without saying that the demographic makeup of the USA, for example, is changing fast. It is high time that everyone realizes the research cannot be restricted to one group and or be focused on issues that relate to a specific cohort of patients. It is time to widen the scope of research, and be all inclusive both at the level of who conducts research and at the level of patients who participate in such endeavors.

  2. “It became clear that the long didactic lecture format would not work”.

    However isn’t this just what Virtual MS 2020 ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS and EAN meeting were?

  3. The registration page makes clear that you must be a medical professional or researcher, is it possible to open it up to curious MS patients?

    1. Yes, just say you are a healthcare professional. Most MSers are expert patients and know a lot more that general practitioners and even some neurologists about MS.

  4. Will this be available to view after presentation for general public? I’m an MSr, however my teen daughter who is in High School & also in a medical program alongside, would benefit greatly. She used MS as her focus presentation to be accepted into her medical program. Her presentation was thorough & very informative touching base on what is MS, current treatments, how it effects individuals, what the future in treatments were looking like, etc. She made quite an impression & educated many. While being accepted, the HS principal & medical instructor hinted that her graduation presentation should be her current presentation expanded upon. They were most impressed. I would love for her to have the opportunity to be able to view and learn to add to her current knowledge.

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