Social Media and Health: Leaders(hip) and Followers(hip)

Systems thinking, design thinking, developmental evaluation, creativity, networks and innovation: these are the keywords for health in the coming years. They are as author Eric Topol calls the dawning of the creative destruction of medicine. The public is already using social media for health and now the time has come for health (care, promotion and protection) systems to get on board and make the changes necessary to join them.

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Systems Thinking and the Design of Empathy

A developmental design approach means shifting and changing over time and designing things in a manner that adjust to the complexities associated with dynamic systems. It brings together complexity, systems, design and the detailed feedback mechanism that comes through developmental evaluation. Leadbeater’s grid helps add to this concept by giving a focus to the development, from one level of empathy to another and one systemic scale to another.

Through thinking in systems and acting through design, perhaps then we can create the kinds of services and organizations that respond to the challenges we face.

And designing for empathy will help us know when we’ve achieved it.

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Innovation and Academic Science

Universities haven’t survived hundreds of years by being risky, they have because they were safe (in spite of the occasional radical shift here and there). With complex social problems and the challenges posed by things like cancer, something risky is needed. Academics just aren’t positioned to embrace this risk unless the system changes — with them helping drive that change — to support innovation and not just talk about it.

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