Elaine Lissner, founder of the Parsemus Foundation, recently participated in an ideation workshop in San Francisco for the Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI). The goal of the workshop, which was moderated by IDEO, was to gather key stakeholders and use design thinking to explore the biggest challenges and opportunities facing male contraceptive development. Seventy-two individuals representing diverse interests (funders, contraceptive researchers, product designers and others) shared their experiences and knowledge.
The result was a plan that MCI will use to move the field forward in a transparent and cooperative way. Focusing on the needs of scientists and entrepreneurs/investors, key priorities were identified, including the development of support systems for scientists and ways to overcome cultural stigma. Specific plans include:
- Connect scientists and investors
- Facilitate “Team Science”
- Create and share a strategic vision for moving forward
- Give male contraceptive advocates the evidence they need to get it prioritized among funders
“It’s time to get focused,” said Lissner, who was an early advocate for new male contraceptives and a leader of efforts to develop Vasalgel. “We need some serious funding and also some serious coordination in terms of help with the last stages to get things to market.”