In 2003, 30 men were given 30 days to grow the best moustache they could in the name of a good laugh. The organisers were amazed at the conversations ‘the mo’ inspired and the frivolity gave way to serious discussions about men’s health – and so, the Movember Foundation was born with Adam Garone playing the part of ‘Chief Mo Bro’.
The movement grew steadily, in 2004 the Movember team brought together 450 men and raised $54,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
What had started as a bit of fun began making a difference, by 2005 almost 10,000 ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’ had raised more than $1.2 million, and funded six men’s health projects.
Now, according to the latest reports, there have been more than 5 million Bros and Sistas, who have raised almost $700 million and funded 1,000 men’s health projects. Owning the month of November, they’ve also been able to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, as well as male mental health and suicide issues.
The idea, which Adam says was inspired by the women working on breast cancer campaigns, has grown to become an organisation with 150 employees in seven offices around the world.
Through Movember funding, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center made a significant research breakthrough identifying that there are 25+ different kinds of prostate cancer. In 2011, the world’s first Prostate Cancer Genome Mapping Project was completed.
From this success, the plaudits have rolled in for the brand and its chief. Adam was awarded the Ernst & Young Australian entrepreneur of the year in 2008, then in 2009, he earned the Melbourne Business School Outstanding Alumnus Award and in 2013 he was awarded the GQ Australian Man of the Year. The Movember Foundation was awarded the Cult Brand of the Year in 2016 and since 2011 it has consistently ranked in the top 100 NGOs in the world, to put that in context there are an estimated 5 million NGOs around the world.
Before growing a moustache became an annual event, Adam served in the Australian Army for 11 years, where he completed a graduate diploma in communications and informations systems at UNSW. But, it was his time in the special forces, where he acquired the leadership and operation management skills that would prove useful in his current role.
Then, while completing his Masters in Marketing at the University of Melbourne, Adam jumped into several marketing roles. The first was as Product Manager with Panduit where he managed the data communications portfolio.
From there he moved to Pracom, where for four years he worked with Vodafone and Macquarie telecom to implement and market a web based management portal. With 5 years marketing experience under his belt he scored a job with Run Property, which was Australia’s Largest property management company. A year later the Movember Foundation began making waves and became a full-time job.
His passion for grassroots social movements has never subsided and in 2013, Adam became the chairman of the Classy.org board. Where he is able to help the next generation of social enterprises.
Adam continues to ‘change the face of men’s health’ with Movember as it innovates sustainably and strives to make a positive impact on lives.
This profile is part of our series of spotlights on the keynote speakers that will be coming to Melbourne for the World Marketing and Sales Forum 2016. The event will put the spotlight on new ideas and inspiration to leave attendees with the tools they need to succeed and achieve their personal and brands goals.