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Disruptive Innovation: Conversation with Nancy Barrand and Dr. Sanjeev Arora

Jun 25, 2013, 3:43 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Nancy Barrand Nancy Barrand
Dr. Sanjeev Arora Dr. Sanjeev Arora

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio partnered with Changemakers to launch a competition in 2007 that sought out disruptive innovations in health and health care. Influenced by the thinking of Clay Christensen, the competition asked applicants to submit sustainable ideas that have the potential to systemically transform health and health care, and change the world.

In this post, which originally appeared on Ashoka Changemakers, Nancy Barrand, a senior adviser for program development at RWJF, and Dr. Sanjeev Arora, a competition winner and the visionary behind Project ECHO, talk about how — because of the Changemakers competition — Project ECHO captured RWJF’s attention as a disruptive innovation and an example of the type of ideas that Barrand and her colleagues on the Pioneer Portfolio continue to seek today.

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What’s Next Health: Whom Do We Trust?

May 28, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

danah boyd danah boyd, senior researcher at Microsoft Research

Each month, What’s Next Health talks with leading thinkers with big ideas about the future of health and healthcare. Recently, we talked with danah boyd, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, to explore contradictions and conundrums of living in a networked society.

By Danah Boyd

We live in a society that is more networked than our grandparents could ever have imagined. More people have information at their fingertips than ever before. It's easy to see all of this potential and celebrate the awe-some power of the internet. But as we think about the intersection of technology and society, there are so many open questions and challenging conundrums without clear answers. One of the most pressing issues has to do with trust, particularly as people turn to the internet and social media as a source of health information. We are watching shifts in how people acquire information. But who do they trust? And is trust shifting?

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Introducing What’s Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers

May 15, 2013, 2:15 PM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

One of the best things about our jobs at Pioneer is that we get to have conversations with interesting people doing interesting things. As we network with these visionary thinkers, we want to share some of the great stuff we’re learning and hearing with you—to bring value to the work you’re doing. That’s why I’m pleased to introduce What's Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers, a new series here at RWJF that explores the future of health and health care, asks the big questions, and looks to the cutting-edge for solutions.

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Calling for Problems: What Did We Hear? What’s Next?

Jan 24, 2013, 11:30 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

In December, we asked our readers to tell us about the health care problems they felt were most in need of innovation—the tough problems, the crucial ones, maybe even those they’d seen firsthand. The number of comments we received was encouraging. It has also challenged our thinking, and generated a great deal of discussion on our team.

One thing is certain: The conversation that ensued from that post confirmed that our team needs to do more listening—listening to patients, caregivers, health care professionals, innovators, thought leaders—the list goes on and on.

We saw some common themes in the problems you shared. A few of them are reflected in areas in which the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is already working. Clearly there are problems that, despite the intensive efforts of many really smart people, resist conventional solutions. Other themes showed us how important it is to always be examining what we’re doing from perspectives other than our own. 

So where do we go from here?  

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Calling for Problems

Dec 14, 2012, 9:15 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn Brian Quinn

In the Pioneer Portfolio, we’re all about ideas—big ones and little ones—the ones that will help solve some of the toughest problems in health and health care. We have clearly articulated our strategy for investing in innovations and innovators who have the potential to transform areas such as the health care delivery system, the patient-provider relationship, and the education of health care professionals. That strategy has yielded some significant breakthroughs, and the hope for much more to come. 

But we’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle. Why? Because right now, we only hear from the folks who have solutions to offer. That approach, by its very nature, limits the number of problems we know about. Those of us who work on the Pioneer team only see health care from the proverbial 30,000-foot vantage point. We are not on the front lines, so we don’t see firsthand the issues health care providers, patients, and families struggle with every single day.

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