Buy the book

“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Spouses and partners in the collective that eradicated smallpox

Larry and Girija Brilliant


Larry Brilliant, a physician, and his wife Girija went to India looking for enlightenment and found themselves at the centre of the effort to eradicate smallpox. They went on to cofound the Seva Foundation, dedicated to ending preventable blindness in developing countries.

“It was also because we were doing what our teacher had told us to do, and there’s nothing easier than that, being told clearly what it is you should be doing. And it was fun, for someone who loved India as we both did. It was not a hardship. It was really a blessing.”

Girija Brilliant

“I think if you have that certainty that you’re going to succeed, that when you see little children dying of a disease, you can change your point of view from their pain and their parents’ loss and the hopelessness of dealing with an individual who can’t be cured. The only thing that could ever improve their situation is to eradicate the disease. It wasn’t like there was a treatment that could make it better. There was none. So, I think that we were, as they say, all-in on the mission.”

Larry Brilliant

“The ten of us and our families, our wives and our extended families, we formed a partnership where we deeply respected each other, hid nothing. I can’t remember a single time that anybody lied, ever, not once. As different people would get instructions from their governments, or whatever, but it was the primacy of what we called the central committee or the central team. And it was magical, and it still is.”

Larry Brilliant

We would love for you to join us in building relationships that matter.

Get Involved