On day 2 something remarkable happened…

It’s only been a month since MPOP (Milestone Open Platform Days) 2017 Australia ended but the event still stands clear to me. More so, the realisation of how the community really has the potential to shape our industry as we know it.

One can argue that the security industry in which we operate tends to take a silo approach to innovation, and any cooperation often seems to be a result of an immediate need, rather than a strategic and collaborative approach to create innovation. However, I’m proud to say that at MPOP 2017, Milestone and our community truly walked the talk and for the first time on this scale we demonstrated what can be achieved through collaboration.

On day 1, I witnessed firsthand how vendors engaged with other vendors, end users worked with industry experts and solution partners solved problems with integrators. We showcased what can be achieved through collaboration, how a community that includes long-standing players, as well as upcoming and innovative start-ups, can mesh together. We showed how – together – they created relevance, solved old problems in new ways and discovered new opportunities where the benefits of accelerated innovation extend beyond our industry.

Giving Back and Making the World See

This continued into day 2, where something even more remarkable happened.

Some time ago, the team at Milestone Australia decided to support the Fred Hollows Foundation, as we truly believe that businesses should give back to society in any way they can. Just as in Milestone’s stated purpose, the Fred Hollows Foundation is committed to ‘make the world see’ by giving people, no matter where they live, or how poor they are, access to inexpensive and high-quality eye care.

During MPOP we wanted to give our community a chance to support this great initiative, and we set a target of collecting $2,000. I stood on stage to present the initiative, and as I finished playing the promotional video of the work the foundation does, I watched the faces in the 130+ crowd: They were mesmerised at what they had just seen, maybe at the fact that a “trade event” would be promoting the well-being of the community straight after the keynote speech.

The music stopped playing, and I presented what I believed would be a tough sales job to ‘Make the World See’ what we at Milestone already could. It was only moments after that the first donation was made for $1,000, and at the next tea break we had nearly $4,000 donated!  This set the scene for what was to come.  We had purchased 1,000 tickets for the fundraising dinner that sold out in less than 5 minute,s and we resorted to handwriting another 200 for the line of people standing with cash in their hands to help the cause. This collective belief amounted to around $10,000 for the Fred Hollows Foundation to support eye health.

The Very Essence of Community

For that one moment in time, peering at the excitement to contribute, to join us on this quest to make the world see, will remain as a defining moment in my life. What the team and I believe in, the company I represent, and that the community of our partners attending were all aligned perfectly; that we are all decent people who want to interact with other good, decent people. This is the very foundation of what I now define as our “community”.

by Angelo Salvatore, Country Manager SPAC, Milestone Systems

Globally 32.4 million people are blind or visually impaired, however 4 out of 5 people don’t need to be. Their blindness is either treatable or preventable. In some countries, it can cost as little as $25 to restore a person’s sight. The gift of sight can bring dignity, independence and freedom. The benefits are far-reaching for individuals, families and entire communities.

Millions of people around the world have received the gift of sight because of The Fred Hollows Foundation. Whether it is removing cataracts, treating trachoma and diabetic retinopathy, or prescribing a new pair of glasses, our mission is to make sure that every person, no matter where they live, or how poor they are, has access to inexpensive and high quality eye care.

In 2016, The Foundation’s results were record-breaking. Some of the highlights include:

  • One million eye operations and treatments performed for the first time in a single year, including 147,822 cataract operations and 49,817 surgeries to treat trachoma 
  • 18 million people treated with antibiotics for trachoma 
  • 3.9 million people screened for eye disease 
  • 56,160 pairs of glasses distributed

The Foundation has now restored sight to well over two million people in 25 countries around the world.