April 13, 2013

A World House Community: TEDMED #SoMe 2013

“So much of modern life can be summarized in that suggestive phrase of Thoreau:  ‘Improved means to an unimproved end’...This does not mean we must turn back the clock of scientific progress. No one can overlook the wonders that science (and the advancement of medicine) has wrought for our lives.”  

—Martin Luther King, Jr., from “The World House” in Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community

During the next week I will stream and also join TEDMED in person in Washington, D.C.  to consider great challenges for a better future in health and medicine through a social media (SoMe) lens.  As a plan and prepare for next week, here are some of my reflections for your consideration.

“At its core, TEDMED is a celebration of human achievement and the power of connecting the unconnected in creative ways to change our world in health and medicine.”       TEDMED

TED (as in TED Talks) means technology, entertainment and design and offers a conceptual framework for the TEDMED community experience. While MED is about health care, health and medicine, I say there’s also an (ED) as education is a thread in TEDM(ED) where there are unique opportunities to learn, share and for connection.

Innovators and leaders also known as delegates along with a growing simulcast crowd (follow #TEDMEDLive) of institutions and organizations from around the world will take hold of live presentations from a themed schedule of speakers starting on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in Session 1: Seeing with a Broader Lens speakers include Kishi Bashi (E), John Maeda (D), Danny Hillis (T), America Bracho(M), Harvey Fineberg (M), Rafael Yuste, Afro Blue(E).  TEDMED speakers will also reach beyond obvious themes for new connections.

The Hive is a novel simultaneous physical platform space to see, touch, hear, sniff and talk about startup and entrepreneurial innovation available in Washington, D.C. so that you can wonder and wander while at TEDMED. There’s lots of excitement about The SmartPhone Physical, which opens up new medical diagnostic tools in medicine using technology.  The Hive is also set to have mobile health (#mhealth) tools available to help with physical activity, nutrition and managing chronic diseases like high blood pressure and obesity.  FitBit is testing TEDMED delegates to walk collectively around the world.

On Friday, The Great Challenges Day will use the power of storytelling to enable dialogue to consider intersectorial interdiscplinary innovative solutions within and beyond the realm of health care. The aim is to connect more ideas to the complicated and complex problems in medicine and health care for a healthier nation through provocation.

It’s noteworthy that power of diversity holds many forms at TEDMED. It’s another layer, yet often missed opportunity in problem solving and decision making.

“We are powerful as individuals, but ultimately what we can see, do, and impact on our own is limited relative to what we can accomplish through collaboration, especially with people of common values but different experiences.  Our participation serves to stretch our minds, create new possibilities, stir our imaginations and prepare us for our own personal moments of genius.”       TEDMED

When we use scientific progress to advance medicine there a big questions that involve costs, bioethical questions and often public skepticism.  We must examine our vulnerabilities and the most vulnerable for a healthier world community.

We have inherited a large house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together...a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace...all inhabitants of the globe are now neighbors.” 

                                                     —Martin Luther King, Jr., from “The World House” in         
                                                        Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community 

I looking forward to seeing great ideas to move our nation and the world to a healthier place in the future.  Social media opens another lens to shape and experience TEDMED.

You can follow me @katellington and @WorldHouseMD. 

Follow the hashtag #TEDMED and #TEDMEDLive to listen and chat during and beyond the experience next week.  

Look for more posts here next week. 

Katherine Ellington

World House Medicine 
TEDMED #SoMe 2013

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