Brainstorming Health Innovations at an "Unconference"

Leaders attending a health Foo (Friends of O'Reilly) camp designed the agenda and let their ideas fly

Date of Project: 2011

Field of Work: Pioneering ideas to transform health and health care

Problem Synopsis: Progress toward solving tough health and health care problems often has been too slow or limited in scope. Through its Pioneer Portfolio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invests in trends and ideas with the potential for exponential change.

Synopsis of the Work: The invitation-only meeting, called Health Foo (Friends of O'Reilly) Camp, took place July 15–17, 2011 in Cambridge, Mass. O'Reilly Media brought together leaders in health care and technology from different disciplines to dialogue and create new concepts and connections. Participants developed the agenda.

O'Reilly Media is a technology publisher and conference organizer focused on leading-edge development and trends, including the emerging ways technology is impacting different fields, including health.

Key Results: 129 leaders in health care and technology, including researchers, funders, health care executives, software developers, policy experts, and entrepreneurs, participated in Health Foo Camp, which had about 90 sessions.

Health Foo Camp advanced understanding of the issues in health and health care and how technology can be used to create change, expanded the thinking of participants, and enabled them to find new partners for collaboration. The meeting gave participants new ideas and helped them think about new ways to solve problems.