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 pioneerblog@rwjf.org.

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.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.