Movember CEO Owen Sharp delivers inspirational masterclass on men's health

01 June 2017

Movember CEO Owen Sharp delivers inspirational masterclass on men

Owen Sharp

Owen Sharp, Global CEO of the Movember Foundation, has an ambitious target of reducing the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

The Movember Foundation charity is addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. 

In a unique Masterclass at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) entitled ‘Save the male: Tales of leading the global fight to stop men dying too young’ this week (May 31), Owen described the organisation’s vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.

Owen highlighted the importance of encouraging young men to talk about their problems, and to get early support. The most common cause of premature death in young men is suicide.

He said: “I don’t think health services are particularly well set up for dealing with men’s health, and particularly for young men.”

He said the aim for Movember Foundation was to “cease to exist” as this would mean that the issues it tackles had been solved. “Charities and research institutions should be working towards solving the problem, not constantly chasing the funding. The first important thing I learnt is that charities need to think differently. There are very few global charities. We cannot let borders slow us down. I have been shocked by the levels of competition in fundraising and charitable activity.”

Owen said Movember’s success in raising over $750m for men’s health had been attributable to the charity’s values of “being disruptive”; by placing importance on its brand as cool and fun to encourage young men to engage with the charity; and by continually emphasising “important and life-changing messages”.

An inspirational graduate of GCU, Owen has dedicated his career to men’s health charities, as CEO of Victim Support, Prostate Cancer UK and now Movember. Owen started his career as a nurse in Glasgow and has worked in a number of leadership roles all hospitals in the UK, keeping active in the fight to improve men’s health.        

The Movember Foundation encourages men to grow a moustache – or ‘mo’ - to raise money throughout the month of November and has built on this success with fundraising activities such as the Move challenge, which encourages people to carry out a physical activity to raise funds for or awareness of men’s health issues.

From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over five million ‘Mo Bros and Mo Sistas’ around the world.