Starting the Transformation Conversation with a BIF Membership

“ I want to be realistic about innovation within a large institution. I don’t want innovation to die on the vine. Start-ups can be disruptive because they are not encumbered by existing systems and business models. They can create the space to start from scratch and re-imagine what is.”

It is the start of 2018, and BIF’s Patient Experience Lab Manager and I are easing into a conversation with an innovation leader within a large health care system.

This conversation is familiar; it starts in similar territory as many others. “Tell me about your innovation agenda,” I ask. “What is the mix of incremental and transformational?”

Invariably the response, like the one above, skews incremental, and it is not without good reason. Incremental feels safer and more realistic; more manageable and more practical. It skews towards easy wins with stories of success that will light up leaders’ appetites for more. It favors solutions to known problems that can demonstrate an ROI that is consistent and valuable to the existing model. It leans into concepts that can scale using existing infrastructure; change management need not apply. It will often call for diluting the innovation imperative by building a culture of innovation.

Despite this approach being the “norm,” most executives are dissatisfied with their innovation portfolios. Few generate “breakthrough” innovations that are commercialized. Few prevent disruption from smaller and faster start-ups and may lead to organizational friction. The average tenure of an innovation leader is less than 24 months. One of BIF’s members once told me that the commonly used acronym for Chief Innovation Officers (CIO) could just as easily translate to Career Is Over.

The problem? Institutions need an innovation strategy that can both improve the way the model currently works, while exploring and testing new business models, but most institutional leaders are ill-prepared to envision, structure, and roll-out this type of portfolio, in part, because they don’t have visibility into the possibility of the “both/and.” Instead, they are lured into the safety and rationale of incremental change.

Which is why BIF’s work begins by dismantling the myths that ground incremental innovation as the only safe and practical approach:

Innovation Doesn’t Die BECAUSE It is Transformational

Innovation doesn’t die because it is transformational. Transformational innovation dies because it lacks support and resourcing from leadership. Leadership is the number one condition for enabling business model innovation. In our experience working with clients across health care, education, and public service, leaders intent on transformation will break down silos, challenge institutional norms, and mobilize the unusual (and necessary internal) stakeholders required for transformational work.

A Start UP Is Not the Only Space to Explore New Business Models

Start-ups are often lauded for their innovation capacity because they are encumbered by incumbent models (or the straight jacket of an existing business model). But a start-up is not the only space for the exploration of new business models. Start-ups are not the only space to be lean and agile in service of new models. The answer lies in creating an adjacent space, well resourced, and visible. This is significantly more than the IKEA furniture, whiteboards, and sticky notes of innovation theatre. This is more than “running fast, low, and dark” — the operating model of many “skunk works” innovation teams.

The adjacent space needs to be able to access the capabilities of the institution — such that it can access the raw ingredients that can be baked into new conceptual designs. The secret sauce here is gaining permission to “borrow” capabilities — without disrupting the flow and efficiency of existing operations, while simultaneously being able to free capabilities and deploy them into small-scale innovation experiments.

The adjacent space needs to be visible, with permeable walls such that the learnings can be in service of the new and the old models. It needs to have a clear agenda and mandate with the resources required to do the work.

Think BIG. Start Small. Scale Fast.

This is an often quoted philosophy here at BIF and for good reason. We need to think big. Patients, citizens, and students are all screaming for better models while existing models are collapsing under their own weight, as well as pressure from disrupters. Transformation is the imperative. We know that Rome wasn’t created in a day, and neither was transformational practices. This is how a generative approach to testing, refining, and testing again leads us safely into the future. Our labs focus on what the user needs, translates this into a future-facing customer experience, and defines the next practice that will underscore this customer experience with opportunities for both improving the way the models work today and bridging into the business model of the future.

This approach enables us to identify what the “it” is before we focus on how it will scale. Only once new models have been proven to work for a small N (the size of the N relative to the size of the test group), do we figure out how we would engineer it to serve the N of an alpha group, then the N of a beta group — so on and so forth.

I think often that the goal of early conversations with innovation leaders is simply to dismantle these myths, to widen the aperture of what is considered safe and practical when it comes to an innovation portfolio. A mix of incremental and transformational is important and within reach of most leaders, if they have the will and know-how.

Sometimes leaders are ready to jump into the exploration of transformational next practices and new business models, but more often than not, they need to see the path, understand the investment, and bring stakeholders (especially their Boards) along for the ride. At BIF, we created Membership as an easy way to help leaders do this and leaders have used in a variety of ways:

  • To work with leadership teams to frame the innovation mandate and agenda within an institution
  • To build meaningful demand amongst key stakeholders (most often Board of Directors) for transformational innovation
  • To troubleshoot key strategy and organizational challenges while implementing innovation portfolios

Our methodology is a framework for creating Next Practice Labs and for running demonstration projects that will result in scaleable new business models. Applying this framework through sponsored projects within institutions and engaging in membership are not mutually exclusive, and my favorite partnerships are those that use the cross-ruff from membership to project to membership to ensure that leaders are able to maximize returns and benefits of their innovation portfolios and projects.

This is the big work; but like I said, first we need to start small. And a Membership provides the first small step towards shifting the conversation about what is safe, practical, and possible.

Think big, but start small. Join us in a Membership conversation today.


Co-Creating an Advocacy and Innovation Platform with the Kauffman Foundation

Our Citizen Experience Lab is pleased to announce that it will once again be partnering with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, to work with a group of stakeholders to co-create a shared platform for advocacy around innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

Together with the Kauffman Foundation, BioSTL, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and MOSourceLink, will form a statewide community of advocates who seek to enhance the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship across Missouri as well as elevate state support for these activities.

The goal of the of which is to build a sustainable advocacy platform that Missouri’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem will want to rally around so that innovators and entrepreneurs in all parts of the state, from rural to urban contexts, receive the support they need to bring their ideas to life. Like many states across the country, Missouri has dedicated time and resources to spearhead efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship, yet has faced key challenges in the process that BIF and the Kauffman Foundation partners are seeking to solve.

As the first step in this process, BIF’s Citizen’s Experience Lab will facilitate a one-day design studio slated to take place in late October in Kansas City, MO,  to create defined mechanisms and outcomes that enhance the community’s collective capacity to effectively advocate about the value of innovation and entrepreneurship in Missouri, during which participants identify key metrics that define the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship in the state, design persuasive messages for use in advocacy, and set both short and long-term goals for advocacy achievements.

Mr. Kauffman, founder of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life. In preserving his legacy, the Kauffman Foundation focuses on empowering entrepreneurs and breaking down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses.

BIF has partnered with the Kauffman Foundation in the past to contribute to their efforts to build entrepreneurial ecosystems, including facilitating the design process for creating a strategic roadmap for Kauffman’s Startup Champion Network, as well as a new education platform for its 1 Million Cups initiative.

BIF’s Citizen Experience Lab is honored to support this initiative and facilitate its design process.

BIF Announces With GoLocal Live: #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series

The Business Innovation Factory (BIF), in collaboration with GoLocal, announces a media partnership for #BIF2017, BIF’s Annual Collaborative Innovation Summit held in Providence, RI this September 13-14 at Trinity Repertory Company, including a six week #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series on GoLocal Live featuring interviews with inspiring #BIF2017 storytellers leading up to GoLocal broadcasting live, for the first time ever, from #BIF2017 at Trinity Rep Theatre on September 13-14, 2017.  

BIF and GoLocalLive will debut the six-week #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series starting this Friday, August 4, 2017, leading off with the co-founder of Fast Company, Alan Webber. Now in its’ 13th year, #BIF2017, like previous summits before it, has attracted high-profile storytellers from across the country, including this year Walt Mossberg, veteran tech journalist from the Wall Street Journal; Carmen Medina, former Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA , and Richard Saul Wurman, design icon and creator of the TED Conference.

“We’re thrilled to have GoLocal as a #BIF2017 Media Partner and to debut the #BIF2017 Summit Storyteller Series on GoLocal Live this week” Saul Kaplan,  Founder and Chief Catalyst of BIF explains. “The BIF Summit enables 500+ innovation junkies from around the world, and many more connected online, to learn from inspiring storytellers who share genuine stories about their personal transformation journey. #BIF2017 enables participants to engage in stories of transformation, connecting with each other to accelerate our own transformation journeys and to make a difference in the world.  At BIF, we believe that in order to transform our most vital community systems in education, healthcare, and government, we need to make our self-organized networks more purposeful .”


At #BIF2017 on September 13-14 GoLocal will simultaneously live stream the entire Summit, all 32 stories over 2 days, as well as featuring GoLocal Live interviews during the summit intermissions and breaks. “We’ve been broadcasting with Saul for a series we’ve dubbed Mr. Innovation, airing every Monday afternoon, so the partnership with BIF seemed like a natural fit. We’re excited to try something new and bring the greater stories of transformation to our incredible viewers,” Josh Fenton, CEO and co-founder of GoLocal explains.

Why attend? #BIF2017 experience is designed for inspired learning. It takes place in a theater, not a hotel or conference center. There’s only one track, so everyone shares a common experience. Attendees expand their networks with both storytellers and attendees during our long breaks, meals, and reception with over 80 percent of attendees being thought leaders, CEOs, Presidents, or Senior Leaders in their field. Tickets for #BIF2017 are on sale now.  Register today and be ready to leave feeling inspired.

Our Health Imperative: A Methodology to Get From ‘Now’ to ‘Next’

Our health system has the ability to accelerate society’s path to what’s ‘next’ — a next that holds the promise of focusing on health rather than health care or, better yet, sick care.

What’s getting in the way?

The system is locked in its ‘mental valley’ of the now chasing incremental change in hopes that it will ‘fix’ what has been broken for decades.

Transformation itself needs to be embraced and practiced as a core leadership skill because we are all frustrated in the now, and transformation is the constant that will move institutions and organizations to the ‘next’.

Which is why I am excited to share BIF’s methodology for making the transformation journey safer and easier for health leaders.

We know it’s a natural tendency for institutions and organizations in the health space to focus on existing practices and models that have had past success rather than investing in responding to changes in the market with new capabilities. That’s understandable because it feels safe and manageable; the truth is, that yields only small ‘tweaks’ of change.

But a growing number of health leaders have told us that their current approach to change isn’t working; incremental inertia and mindset are keeping them stuck on a ‘healthcare-hamster wheel’.

This is why it is our priority in the BIF Patient Experience Lab (PXL) to provide a methodology that makes transformational work less risky, more manageable, and, well, safer.

BIF’s PXL is a platform where health leaders define and test vital next practices and new business that offer different health models to our population that extend beyond clinical walls to where we live, work, play and all of the virtual spaces in between.

Our BIF methodology offers a clear path for how an organization can make transformational change by starting with the essential first step of shifting its lens to reframe opportunities through the experience of individuals and families.


BIF's Design Methodology

Seeing Beyond the Boundaries of “What Is” to “What Could Be”

The process begins by helping leaders shift their current lens to understand the gaps that their customers currently face, or, in other words, the job that they need to be done. By engaging patients, families and organizational leaders in thoughtful and provocative conversations, an empathetic reframe of the customer experience happens and new opportunities for adding value emerge.

Some new value propositions we have been exploring with leaders in our PXL include ‘how might we’…

…get back to extraordinary basics of health and wellness.Download Your Copy Now!

…recognize that most of what impacts our health happens outside clinical walls.

…extend health beyond clinical walls to where we live, work, play, and all virtual spaces in between.

…acknowledge the medical model as only one piece of the health journey

…respond to the effects of social, economic and environmental factors on health

…take advantage of intersections across medical, social and economic aspects of a person’s health so, new solutions emerge by thinking about them together instead of each in their own “lane”.

…act as a health ecosystem.

…secure real capital– financial, political, and social to be invested in ways that explore and nurture new ways of working; it’s bigger than funded programs, pilots, or studies.

…invest time and money to establish and foster authentic relationships across health driven sectors

…establish mutually accountable partnerships in and out of healthcare industry that goes ‘beyond handshakes’

…implement new ways to understand, measure and communicate the value of ‘health’ beyond biological measures

…include evidence for agency; how it can underpin health and why it matters of its own accord.

…show that organizations with transformation as a key driver of their strategy will succeed and lead.

…stop ‘thinking and talking’ and start ‘designing and trying’ next practices and new models

Once new value propositions are defined, we work with leaders to combine, recombine or reimagine new capabilities to prototype and test. Prototyping capabilities enable organizations to learn quickly if they have added value for individuals, families and key stakeholders and creates the conditions to capture both successes and failures or make real-time adjustments in the moment.

When a minimally viable set of new capabilities has been prototyped and tested for value, with real people in their real world, we help organizations create a path to commercialize them.

At its core, BIF’s methodology embeds ongoing risk mitigation to decrease time spent on undesirable and ineffective new capabilities and increase time spent on developing sustainable new organizational capabilities to serve as next practices for new business models; getting us on a path to what’s ‘next’ for health.

What Next Looks Like

Creating the ‘next’ in health has never been easy, in fact, it has only gotten harder over time.

With highly regulated environments, increasing system and operational complexity, disruptive competing stakeholders, and a hefty responsibility to do no harm, transforming next practices and new business models that can cure, heal or help is hard.

But it’s happening- with institutional leaders in our Patient Experience Lab and across the globe.

Notable points of lights are emerging from the United States, Netherlands and Canada, moving from the now to the next by enlisting a full gamut of cross-sector, cross-industry ‘unusual suspects’ to change the game.

Above all, it is dynamic and what is ‘next’ today will change in one, three and five years from now.

‘Next’ will continue to evolve and be undefined, yet ready to be shaped by institutional and organizational leaders who know how vital it is to stay nimble with heightened awareness aware of what ‘next’ will be.

The goal is to ensure that transformation is a skill and muscle flexed regularly by leaders — in order to stay relevant to our changing health needs.

What ‘Next’ Now?

Because the low hanging fruit is gone we have incrementally changed or are in the process of incrementally changing all of existing technical problems in our health system — leaving us with complex, human-centered challenges that require new mindsets and capabilities beyond the status quo.

These challenges are rooted in the need to meet our population at the complex intersections of their medical, economic and social needs — which as a direct result, render most of the existing practices and models no longer viable, valuable, or sustainable for institutions, consumers or the bottom line, no matter how much we keep ‘tweaking’ them.

We’ve run out of band-aids and the Frankenstein monster we built is on the loose and scaring society.

It’s time to help get institutional leaders off of the whiteboard and into the real world, to move from ‘thinking and talking’ to ‘trying and learning’ our way to the ‘next.’

Our Health Imperative: Leading the Transformational Change

The conditions are ripe for transformational change that is intentional, safe and repeatable, adding new value for the health of our population.

It’s going to take cross-sector, cross-industry superpowers coming together to truly transform health and wellness models for our population because the ‘next’ is still out there undefined.

We share our BIF Methodology today to describe how we help institutional leaders explore and test what’s ‘next’. We also share it because, at BIF, we believe that social system transformation becomes possible when we all open source our approaches, platforms, and experience.

That’s how we get better and faster together.

This is not only our internal process for how we work but also what we believe will make the titanic shifts needed to move the entire health industry forward into next practices and new business models that transform society’s future health and wellness models.

We know we are still early in our journey, so at BIF, we will continue to partner with health leaders to move from the now to the next, leading transformational change together as an ecosystem of health, not a silo of healthcare.

BIF's Design Methodology

Whether you have just started your journey to transform the path to health and wellness or have been on it for a while, we want to learn with you:

·       What are you trying as your ‘next’?

·       What advice do you have for others wanting to go from chasing incremental change to leading transformational change?

I’ll pause there and look to you all to fuel this urgent conversation.


The BIF Summit ‘Unlocks The Doors Of Possibility’ – Dara Goldberg

Guest post by Dara Goldberg

During September 14-16 — in just two weeks  more than 500 people from all sectors, countless industries, and myriad locales worldwide will descend upon the beautiful Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, to experience the Business Innovation Factory’s BIF2016 Summit. You should be there too — and here’s why.

The BIF Summit is your physical and mental door into the unknown and the unexpected. The BIF Summit is a place where we can discuss and consider wildly exciting notions — that anything is possible when it comes to rethinking and rebuilding business models, that we can build and rebuild social systems that will serve everyone, everywhere, the whole world over — in a profoundly better way.

The BIF Summit is a safe, welcoming space where ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ are forbidden, where egos, titles, fame and fortune, hierarchy and competition are checked at the door, and where ‘not knowing’ is a welcomed frame of mind.

The BIF Summit is your ticket to a braintrust of individuals who are not afraid to think out loud, to question, to challenge, to share, to agree and disagree, to care about one another, and to interact with everyone on an entirely level playing field.

Enter the BIF Summit, and you enter a world filled with ideas, practices, and manners of thinking — about your work, yourself, your community, and the world — that you would never have considered or even thought possible.

The BIF Summit is the key that unlocks the doors of possibility,  unleashing that wondrous, daring, creative part of your own brain. You know, that part of your brain that rarely gets its due, and is not confined by boxes, expectations, and rules. That sacred place in your brain that knows no self-doubt, fear of judgment, preconceived notions, or outmoded assumptions.  The part where curiosity, wonder, a ‘we’ mentality, flexibility, and optimism naturally occur, where questions are more valued than answers, where ambiguity, perplexity, and non-linear thinking are celebrated.

Over the course of those two days, your brain — and your heart and soul — will be nourished, re-energized, challenged, and moved, perhaps even to tears, by stories. The BIF Summit’s storytellers are ready and willing to be vulnerable with you. They’ll share their bold, edgy ideas and experiences, their successes and failures, and their sometimes grand, sometimes more modest perspectives on how we can think, act, work, and live in different and markedly more meaningful and impactful ways.

The BIF Summit storytellers will push you to the edge of your thinking and help you find comfort there. But equally provocative and fulfilling are the stories you share with the people you meet throughout the two days. In the interactions BIF refers to as ‘Random Collisions of Unusual Suspects’, you’ll find yourself conceiving, sharing,  and learning about new ideas and ways of thinking. You’ll collectively bring new ways of thinking to life.

Toward the end of the two days, as people start to realize that their incredible Summit experience is coming to a close, the energy in the room is, surprisingly, far from somber and low. Rather, the atmosphere continues to build in a powerfully positive way, as everyone gets even more excited and emboldened to take all that they have gained from and contributed to the BIF Summit home with them, and help spur the change they now know is possible.

I truly hope to see you there.

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018

Wanda McClure on the BIF Summit: Thinking Beyond The School Silos

The BIF Summit is designed to allow attendees to break free from their silos. There are storytellers and stories, not speakers and presentations. There are no pre-set theme s or topics. Within this environment, attendees can boundlessly explore new ways to make themselves, their businesses, and our world a better place.

No matter your title, no matter your line of business, everyone who attends the BIF Summit benefits. Take Wanda McClure, for example. A longtime educator, Wanda is a School Designer and Professional Development Specialist for EL Education, formerly Expeditionary Learning, in the Atlantic region. She’s been to the BIF Summit for a few years running.

I asked Wanda to tell us, through the lens of an educator, why go to the BIF Summit?

Wanda’s answer: Educational leadership can become stagnant. The BIF Summit inspires me to think differently and ask questions like, How does innovation and strategy play into K-12? What do students need to be successful? How can we engage school leaders to participate in innovation? What part does strategy and innovation play in transformative, disruptive change?

In my experience, most schools and school districts make incremental changes, rather than disruptive or transformative change. The BIF Summit expands my thinking and inspires me as I work with leaders in education to help them understand how change happens, how we must move from incremental to more disruptive and progressive changes. The BIF Summit reminds me that we need to be intentional disruptive as we work toward change in education in order to allow teachers and students to truly become changemakers who create a better world.

Every storyteller comes to the BIF Summit with a unique story. So does everyone who attends. Yet in those diverse, random collisions of people and stories, we all share a commonality of humanity.

I love being a part of the RCUS team where those collisions of thought happen. Participating in that commonality reminds me how we are humans ‘being’ on a journey through life. I’m prompted to reflect on the big questions: How am I using my voice as a force for good? How can I apply the collective wisdom of these innovators to my task as a human being?

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018

Matt Murrie on The BIF Summit: The Element of Surprise

The BIF Summit is designed to allow attendees to break free from their silos. There are storytellers and stories, not speakers and presentations. There is no pre-set theme or topics. Within this environment, attendees can boundlessly explore new ways to make themselves, their businesses, and our world a better place.

As Co-Founder and Chief Curiosity Curator of What If…? Matt Murrie is a guy who asks a lot of questions.

Matt has been to the BIF Summit before, and he’ll be at #BIF2016, September 14-15. I spoke with Matt to ask the question ‘Why go to the BIF Summit?’

Matt’s short answer: People. To go a little deeper, the unique collections of people in one place. The BIF Summit gives me access to those people. At the Summit, I have time to spend with this unique collection of people, sharing stories and ideas. Everyone is at the BIF Summit for a reason and everyone has a purpose. But there’s also an incredible element of surprise over the course of those two days.

I am mind-blown each year when I look at the attendee list before heading off to the BIF Summit. I always like to be the dumbest person in the room — I learn more that way. The BIF Summit gives me that opportunity.

BIF Summit Scholarships Are Now Available!

Every year BIF awards a limited number of both complimentary tickets and discounted tickets to our summit to students and community members who are unable to pay our full registration. To be considered for one of these tickets we ask that you fill out the application form and tell us why you belong at BIF2016!

We’re excited to announce Cale Birk as this years first Community Scholarship recipient! We asked Cale why he’s excited to attend BIF2016 and his response was nothing short of inspirational.

Cale writes: As a high school Principal, I had been trying to develop a model for a ‘demonstration school’ where teachers would be encouraged to take pedagogical ‘risks’: working together to design and implement new approaches in their classrooms that were potentially very different than traditional methods.  

However, I wasn’t getting a great deal of traction on my idea. It was at that point that I happened across Saul Kaplan’s book, The Business Model Innovation Factory. I read the book in a weekend, and the idea of ‘the adjacent possible’ made so much sense, especially considering the model that I had been playing with. And after doing a little digging, I discovered that the Business Innovation Factory put on an annual summit, and that was it, I needed to go to BIF! I knew that I had to try to find some way to get to BIF 2016.  

Cale will be making his way to the Summit all the way from British Columbia, Canada and says he’s looking forward to seeing everyone at BIF2016!

 Applications are reviewed on a first come first serve basis. Tickets are limited. Click on the link below for more details.



Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018

PXL Shares Family Well-Being Experimentation Stories

Patient Experience Lab partnered with Children’s Health and Dallas families and communities to prototype, test, and iterate on two new approaches to improving family well-being.

These experiments were intended to help us learn: how can we begin to understand the conditions that encourage positive behavior change, and improve well-being for the whole family?

We are excited to present video stories that highlight families’ experiences with each, as well as key elements of the family-centered designs:

1. What’s Cookin’ Dallas

A healthy cooking and eating experience in the Lake Highlands community, co-created and run by families. Multiple iterations of the model allowed families to continually address their community’s needs: transportation to increase access to healthy foods, tangible, affordable, and relevant nutrition information, and cooking experiences created and facilitated by trusted community members.

2. Your Best You

A three-week youth leadership program to facilitate creative expression and reflection, enable self-awareness, and harness change-making power. A curricular fusion of design thinking and Roberto Rivera’s Fullfill the Dream, a creative pathway to self-discovery, provided teens with tools to identify and apply their personal skills and superpowers to address challenges – both those they face as individuals, and those their communities confront.

One of the many important insights gleaned from experimenting alongside Children’s Health and local families is that enabling agency (putting families in charge of well-being initiatives and catalyzing purposeful networks among them) is crucial to ensuring that families can continually strive to live healthy and well lives. To move from a model that provides sick care to a model that keeps populations healthy, we need to reframe the roles that families and institutions play.

Partner, don’t prescribe.

By engaging families in the design and delivery of models, we’ve learned that families know the challenges they face in striving to be well and what the needs of their communities are. Giving families access to the institutional resources to address those needs creates the conditions in which hope can grow: specifically, the hope that self-directed changes will pave the road to healthier futures.

New call-to-action

Four Healthcare Storytellers to Watch at the #BIF2015 Summit

Basit Chaudhry, MD

As a medical student, Dr. Basit Chaudhry became certain that before a better, more humane healthcare system could be built, a technological problem needed to be solved: a way for healthcare providers to discover and deal with all the information required to provide optimal care. Dr. Chaudhry went on to get his Ph.D. in health services research and informatics and later became a medical technologist at IBM. Most recently, Dr. Chaudhry founded Tuple Health, which offers technology and services to medical providers, payers, and purchasers. Tuple is a step toward solving the problem of organizing what we know about medicine and making it freely available to those people who need it. Technology alone can’t solve the problems in healthcare, but Dr. Chaudhry believes that technological innovation can help us develop a system focused more on wellness than treating illness.

Sophie Houser

The summer before their senior year of high school, Sophie Houser and Andy Gonzales created the video game Tampon Run as their final project for a coding summer intensive with Girls Who Code, an organization trying to close the gender gap in technology and encourage girls to discover the creativity and power of coding. Tampon Run, a simple game that uses humor and satire to combat the societal taboo around menstruation, went viral when Houser shared it with friends on a simple website in September 2014. Houser and Gonzales have been written up all over the world, given a TEDx talk, won a Webby People’s Voice award, and a Tribeca Disruptive Innovators Award. Sophie, a native New Yorker, graduated from Bard High School Early College last spring and has just started her freshman year at Brown University. 

Stephen Keating

Steven Keating is a doctoral candidate at the MIT Media Lab who is developing novel platforms for 3D printing, synthetic biological fabrication, and designed growth of the next generation of products. Curiosity drives his research and also saved his life through the accidental discovery of a baseball-sized, cancerous brain tumor found in a voluntary academic scan. In recent months, Keating has become a vocal advocate for an open-access health system that gives patients the right to see and share their own medical information with providers, supporters, and researchers. “It’s the power of knowing what’s happening to you,” he says.“ We have Google Maps to help us get to the grocery store, but for cancer, there’s no direction. We follow whatever our doctors tell us.”

Michael Samuelson

Michael Samuelson is an author and an expert on leadership, health and wellness, patient experience, health policy, and disease prevention. Practicing what he preaches, he is an avid world trekker who has logged high-altitude mountain adventures in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and the US — all after the age of 50, and after being diagnosed with cancer. Health is not an end in itself, he says, but merely a vehicle for what brings meaning to our lives. Similarly, staying healthy can never be about metrics for weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol. Such abstract indicators fail to provide the answer to a simple question: How are we doing in life, really?

Connect. Inspire. Transform. Register #BIF2018