Archive for April, 2012

The TEDMED Effect

April 13th, 2012

Since TEDMED, which ended  a little more than 3 hours ago, was a fantastic mix of the silly and the sublime, it would not be inappropriate to start with a song lyric quote from Milli Vanilli “Girl ( and Guy) you know it’s true”.  TEDMED is everything you’ve heard and more.  The event (conference is too limiting a term) brought a blast of California cool to the shores of the Potomac here in Washington, DC.
Presentations ranged from acrobats to violin-playing neurobiologists, from talks on cutting-edge biosensors and genetic manipulation to the common sense concept that food is medicine, but the true magic in TEDMED was the carefully “curated” group of attendee/participants.  100% of the people I met were electrically smart, engaging, generous and innovative.  Although the participants (attendees is truly too passive a term) ranged from CEOs of large health systems to celebrity surfers, everyone demonstrated an attitude of genuine interest in discovering what the next person was doing or thinking.
With such a purposefully eclectic set of intellectual and emotional stimuli, I needed to stop and ask myself what I would take away and apply to my life and business.  What would be the long-lasting TEDMED effect on my life and perhaps more importantly what would my TEDMED Effect be? How would I be more innovative, imaginative, and inspiring (the TEDMED principles) after having participated?
1.    I will continue to persevere despite the challenges inherent with transforming something as complex as healthcare, thinking back to tennis and feminist icon, Billie Jean King’s statement that “pressure is a privilege”.
2.    I will collaborate with others to brainstorm how to connect high-level advances in technology to traditionally medically underserved communities so that no one misses out on the promise and potential of health innovation.  As Leslie Saxon, a cardiologist at the USC Center for Body Computing, said, “access to your health data is the new civil rights issue”.
3.     I will strive to live more in harmony with myself, my microbiome, and the earth as “health is a form of non-violence against yourself” to quote Mark Hyman from the Institute for Functional Medicine. Such a transformational thought for patients like myself with autoimmune conditions.

4. I will never again underestimate the power of design to foster and energize flow, communication, and collaboration.  The Social Hub as exhibit hall reimagined and brought to life was a game changer for all of us who ever dared entertain the question, ” how do you make problem-solving fun?”, or as the Surgeon General Regina Benjamin observed, thought that  “healthcare can be joyful”.
Whether you attended in person, watched via the 2000 simulcast sites, or are now excited to attend next year, I’d love to know, “What is your TEDMED effect?”.  Please comment below and let me know.