health | May 12, 2013

Design-Inspired Health Care: John Maeda at TEDMED 2013 [VIDEO]

"Becoming a leader isn't about going up the mountain—it's about jumping off the mountain and asking the question, will you survive?" says John Maeda in his keynote at this year's TEDMED conference. Actually, as he later clarifies, leadership is not only asking if you'll survive jumping off the mountain—but whether you'll thrive doing so. This varies from many traditional theories about how to be an innovative leader. It's this kind of out of the box thinking and creativity that will help the medical professionals of tomorrow (and leaders in any industry) overcome the challenges associated with a rapidly changing industry.

"Creativity" probably isn't the first characteristic most people would associate with a doctor. After all, who wants their surgeon telling them that they'll be using "imaginative" thinking during a routine operation? However, there is room for creative thinking in the industry in other respects. As the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, Maeda sees art and design everywhere around him. Approaching common health care problems from an arts-based way of thinking, he believes, will play an instrumental role in fixing the flaws in the industry.

In his talk, Maeda combined personal anecdotes with sweeping explorations of the meaning and applications of design. Design is everywhere and can be found in everything, he says. That's why it is so critical that we apply that kind of thinking to every industry. Maeda has even advocated for implementing this kind of thinking at the educational level by incorporating the arts into traditional STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, math). Both accessible and applicable, Maeda shows audiences why art and design matter—and how they can be an invaluable asset for the leaders of tomorrow.

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social change | May 09, 2013