Author Archives: Tracy Orleans

What's Next Health: A New World for Changing Health Behavior

Jul 8, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Tracy Orleans

tracy_orleans_ Senior Scientist Tracy Orleans

Each month, What’s Next Health talks with leading thinkers about the future of health and health care. Recently, we talked with Jake Porway, founder of DataKind about Big Data in service of humanity. In this post, RWJF's Senior Scientist Tracy Orleans reflects on Jake's visit to the Foundation.

How is it that Edna St. Vincent Millay was able to describe so eloquently the magic and potential of big data in 1939? This favorite poem has been hanging above my desk for years:

”Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts . . . they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric.”

As I listened to Jake Porway, founder of DataKind, talk passionately during his recent visit about the many ways big data could be harnessed for social good, I was inspired and energized. It was an “aha” moment.

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