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Don Francis and the Quest for an AIDS Vaccine

Cas 9 40 2013 019
Langues : 
  • Anglais
Mots clés: 
  • Complexity,
  • Issues,
  • Institutional entrepreneurship,
  • Management,
  • Social entrepreneurship,
  • Social innovation
Année de production : 
Date de dépôt : 
Notes pédagogiques incluses : 

This case charts the course of Don Francis, a pioneer and, for more than 20 years, an activist in the promotion of an AIDS vaccine. It focuses on two issues: (1) the personal and professional trajectory of Don Francis as a social/institutional entrepreneur in the public, private, and non-profit sectors; and (2) the challenges of crossing boundaries between the public, business, not-for-profit, scientific, political and economic arenas.

Don Francis is widely recognized as one of the most significant figures in keeping the hope for finding an AIDS vaccine alive in spite of numerous challenges. These challenges are rooted in the scientific/technical aspect of AIDS vaccine research, the social value placed on curative rather than preventive measures, lack of a coordinated scientific strategy, competition rather than collaboration among research groups, low interest by industry and governments of rich countries in investing in vaccine research and generally inadequate funding for the enormous task at hand. In addition to his continuing passion for finding an AIDS vaccine, his other legacies include the development of the standard components of an AIDS Control Program that are currently applied around the world: (a) voluntary and counselling testing (VCT) centres for AIDS; (b) blood screening by blood banks; and (c) sex education.

The purpose of this case is two-fold. First, it undertakes to follow the trajectory of Don Francis, a social entrepreneur in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Second, it aims to expose students to the complexities and controversy involved in the quest for an AIDS vaccine.

Discipline principal : 
Management  - Leadership
Discipline secondaire : 
Non disponible
Secteurs d'activité : 
  • Santé
Provenance : 
HEC Montréal
Type : 
Cas traditionnel (Cas descriptif)
Type de données pour la production du cas : 
Données réelles, publiques, libres de toute matière litigieuse
Lieu de l'événement : 
United States
Année de début de l'événement : 
Année de fin de l'événement : 
Taille de l'entreprise : 
Sans objet
Principaux thèmes couverts

Public health;

Vaccine Development;






Objectifs pédagogiques

After using this case, participants will have:

- Learned from the experience of a relentless entrepreneur who works on a controversial but deadly disease in the public, private and non-profit sector;

- Understood the challenges and potential of working across different arenas such as the scientific, political, economic, and academic communities; different stakeholders with different powers affect the dynamics of each of these arenas.

Concepts et théories en lien avec le cas

Social entrepreneurship; instituttional entrepreneurship