From: Beth Toner
To: Brian Quinn, Susan Promislo and Kristin Schubert
Date: October 19th, 2012
Well, I’m on the Portland to Philadelphia flight—headed home after four great days at PopTech. I’m bummed to be missing the last day of the festivities, but still feel confident that I packed a lot into my time in Camden.
The many perspectives on “resilience” I heard have me thinking about how we all can apply this to the work we do. Resilience—both on a micro and macro level—clearly plays an integral role in our overall well-being. If we can improve resilience, certainly, we can improve health and quality of life. There’s more to learn, but it struck me—as we’ve learned is this case with most truly innovative ideas—that the solutions might ultimately be rather simple.
I am also thinking about how a number of the speakers we heard talked about the need for compassion at all levels—personal, community, corporate, societal. Brian, the Hancock Bank video you mentioned made me cry. Didn’t those in-the-moments acts of kindness contribute to Gulfport’s resilience? A big question I am left with is, “How do we find and harness the science that helps us figure out how to encourage compassion?” Susan and Kristin, from what I understand, that’s something that the Vulnerable Populations team is thinking about right now.
What struck me, too, is that so often, innovation comes from individuals or small groups of people truly seeing their fellow human beings and their needs—and then finding a way to help them. As Amy Cuddy made so clear when she talked about her “YouTube haters,” we often hide behind the anonymity of electronic media. Yet, we really need to get out on the proverbial front lines and see the need.
My gut is that Asenath Andrews does that every day, providing not just a place for pregnant and parenting teens in Detroit, but motivation to study, go to college, stretch themselves, and find a life for them and their children. I keep thinking about Asenath’s students—wouldn’t they be a great source of innovative ideas? Many of them have surely experienced firsthand the problems with our health care delivery system. Why not ask them what their ideas are?
Well, that’s a lot to think about. I hope that folks who attended PopTech will reach out to us and share their thoughts.
By the way, Brian, thanks for the recommendation on Red’s. Susan and I found it on our way back to Portland, and it delivered all you promised: a perfect end to a perfect week.