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TEDMED 2013 Moments

Apr 23, 2013, 4:37 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team


"TEDMED is the Burning Man for health aficionados," said Robin Hogen, RWJF's vice president for communications, one of several RWJF team members who attended the event in Washington, D.C., last week. The event brings together "public health advocates, clinicians, biomedical researchers, break-the-mold thinkers, prodigies, grateful patients and artists," Hogen said. TEDMED offers a unique opportunity to interact with a brilliant array of people who have one thing in common: finding new approaches to improving health and health care -- an objective that's near and dear to Pioneer's mission. It's not surprising, then, that a number of Pioneer grantees spoke at this year's event.

Here are a few moments from TEDMED 2013 that stood out for RWJF staff:

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We Want to Know Your Thoughts About the TEDMED Great Challenges

Apr 10, 2012, 6:34 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn / RWJF Brian Quinn, RWJF assistant vice president

At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), our mission is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Good health and health care are fundamental measures of our success as a nation. That’s why we are pleased to support this year’s TEDMED conference (April 10-13), which brings together leaders from a wide array of medical and non-medical disciplines to explore the future of health and medicine.

In our 40 years, RWJF has learned several lessons that led us to support this year’s TEDMED conference. We’ve learned the importance of working with partners and building on the efforts of others; facilitating collaboration among unlikely allies; resisting the illusion of complete understanding; and being persistent.

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Exploring What We Don't Know at TEDMED 2011

Oct 24, 2011, 3:00 AM

Pioneer is proud to once again sponsor TEDMED, which brings together innovative thinkers and leaders across the fields of medicine, science, business and technology. Traditionally, when people attend TEDMED, they come looking for ideas and inspiration. This year from October 25-28, the Pioneer team will be looking at things from a different perspective: What don't we know about some of the greatest challenges facing health and health care.

TEDMED has identified a tentative set of Twenty Great Challenges of Health and Medicine—deeply rooted problems with multiple, interconnected causes and ripple effects—which they plan to include as part of their 2012 conference. We’ve offered to help TEDMED examine these issues and we believe a good first step is to take a step back and ask: What don’t we know about these problems? What relationships aren’t we seeing?

To do this, we’ll be engaging all 600 conference attendees to get their thoughts on “what don’t we know” about these 20 challenges. Looking closely at what we don't know will help create a big-picture understanding of these challenges—a crucial step to developing truly effective solutions.

We invite you to join us in this exploration. Take a look at TEDMED’s Twenty Great Challenges of Health and Medicine. Then, answer the question, "What don’t we know?" about any of these challenges by tweeting #TEDMEDchallenges, posting a comment below, or e-mailing us at

Afterwards, we’ll be compiling what we heard at the conference and what you’ve told us to help TEDMED shape their new Great Challenges Program. Your input is valuable and will directly inform what is done at the TEDMED 2012 conference. We’ll share what we’ve learned in future posts.

How can you share your ideas?

Be sure to check back throughout the week and next for updates from our guests and team members.