#hxd2013scholars Response for HxD 2013

This post is in response to Mad*Pow‘s sponsored conference pass giveaway to this year’s Healthcare Experience Design Conference at the end of March. Those interested in participating were given a list of six questions and were asked to answer one and write an amazingly articulate two paragraph response. Below is the question I chose and my idea/response. Thanks Mad*Pow!

Question #3:
If you were given $1 million and one year to improve the health outcomes in your community, what would you do?

I’d create a traveling social good incubator & internship program.
Located just outside of our nations capitol, my community (Reston, Virginia) is both incredibly dense (56K people within 17.4 square miles) and culturally very diverse. It would be short sighted for me to sit at my desk by myself and decide what type of healthy programs or initiatives my community needs to succeed, so with that I would use a million dollars to begin a traveling incubator staffed by 5 recent graduates (either from local universities or originally from the area) and mentored by myself and 2 other advisers. I would solicit applications from students interested in a year-long internship to lead the charge. It’s important to keep the incubator as diverse as our community so it would be required that no two students have the same degree. Each student would have graduated with a four-year degree from one of the following: political science / medical science / design / software development / business & communications.  Advisers would have a minimum of 20 years of business experience in one of the aforementioned fields. Having both a mix of backgrounds and age groups will provide the incubator with a diverse strategy for thinking and solving problems. This will be our core team.

Our goal would be to use the first three months of the year to understand our community. We will literally drive through town (in our RV) to watch, listen and learn from our community. We will need to set up interviews across age groups and cultures to find out what’s existing and missing. By the end of the third month we will have determined the most pressing need and can define our program. We’ll use March and April to solicit local volunteers and schools to participate in the execution of our goal, with final program deliverables determined by the core team. While our interns are working I will develop a plan with our advisers to begin to establish partnerships with local businesses. Being a diverse and dense area also means that there are a lot of local businesses that could become potential partners (both for communication and fundraising strategies). From there we’ll use April through June to develop all aspects of the program, be it events to mobile applications. In July we’ll soft launch our initiative and work out any kinks, allowing us to officially launch in August. By September we should be able to calculate some results which we will use to raise revenue and more partners for the incubator’s second year. Ideally this isn’t a once and done traveling incubator. Hopefully it’s something that lives on and changes with the needs of our community for many many years to come.

Money breakdown (estimated):
Students would be paid $40K, advisers would offer their time gratis = ($200K)
RV costs + gas & maintenance = ($200K)
Supplies / Equipment (computers, etc) = ($50K)
The determined Initiative = ($400K)
Remaining for overages & reinvestment the following year = ($150K)

Needed a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’

I know, I know. It’s been a while since I last posted. I have no excuse beyond being busy, which nobody really accepts anymore anyway, so I digress.

The Urban Cowboy, New York City’s finest designer around – Mark Guthridge – sent me this video today. I just love it and wanted to use it to inspire me to start blogging again. A little inspiration goes a long way, huh?


Letterpress Poster Printing from Joshua Gerken on Vimeo.

Quote of the Week

Upon revealing that the Governor of Nevada, Jim Gibbons, and his wife of nearly 23 years, Nevada first lady Dawn Gibbons, were filing for divorce, (citing “incompatibility” as the reason) Gov. Gibbons said this about his wife:

“Living with the first lady was like being locked in a phone booth with a enraged ferret.”

I’ll file this under bone-head of the week. Freaking idiot.

A Chuckle for your Monday

John McCain and Barack Obama somehow ended up at the same barbershop. As they sat there, each being worked on by a different barber, not a word was spoken.

The barbers were even afraid to start a conversation, for fear it would turn to politics. As the barbers finished their shaves, the one who had Obama in his chair reached for the after shave.

Obama was quick to stop him saying, ‘No thanks, my wife Michelle will smell that and think I’ve been in a whorehouse,’

The second barber turned to McCain and said, ‘How about you?’

McCain replied, ‘Go ahead… my wife doesn’t know what the inside of a whorehouse smells like.’

Gosh that John McCain is sharp! This joke is complements of Shaun’s mom!!

A New Era.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not all “googly ga-ga” over Barack Obama like everyone else, but today’s historical Inauguration of our 44th Prez put me back into my patriotic place. Today’s events on our National Mall helped me to begin to embrace the change that took place. As George W heads back to Texas, and as Barack and his fam settle into their new digs, I’m reminded that change is necessary from time to time. It’s good to embrace change. After all, it was Senator John McCain who said in his concession speech: “We must look forward with great interest for the sake of our country and not regret what might have been.”

You got it, John.

So with my new-found patriotic spirit at my side, I ventured out on this historic and brisk January morning to purchase (at Wegmans, no less) every single newspaper I could get my hands on (two copies of the Washington Times – come on! Just for my conservative spirit!). Below are the covers of each one. This is my little tribute to today’s Inauguration. Enjoy!

1/20/2009 New York Post Cover
1/20/2009 New York Post Cover


1/20/2009 New York Times Cover
1/20/2009 New York Times Cover


1/20/2009 USA Today Cover
1/20/2009 USA Today Cover


1/20/2009 Washington Post Cover
1/20/2009 Washington Post Cover


1/20/2009 Washington Times Cover
1/20/2009 Washington Times Cover

6 Tips to flatter belly

Honest to God, I was going to write a post today about why a guy should never date a girl who’s boo is in jail. Then I realized that was rather shallow and semi-gangsta so I reverted back to my usual ways. Luckily for you, my tips and tricks to a flat belly are achievable without having to do 60 billion sit-ups daily! That means NO EXCUSES!

Without further ado, and in no order, below are a few things that can help you to a flat belly in 2009:

1. Lay off the booze.
If you have one of these stock it with water!
If I really even have to explain why one should lay off the booze then you shouldn’t even consider the rest of my tips. Drinking calories is probably the easiest way to round out your mid section. Substitute that frosty brew with a water from time to time. Trust me you’ll feel just as cool (and look cool too!).

2. Eat bright colored fruits and veggies loaded with fiber.
bright and delicious!
Think about it, what colors are the foods you’re eating? If they’re all a shade of brown you need to brighten things up. Raspberries, blueberries, and bright leafy greens are the perfect trio and are loaded with fiber, but why is fiber good for a flat belly? Well, in addition to being a natural colon cleanser (mmmm MMMM!) fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. When you eat foods high in fiber the sugar in those foods is absorbed slower, which keeps your blood glucose levels from rising too fast. This is good for you because spikes in glucose fall rapidly, which can cause you to be hungry soon after eating and lead to overeating. The other totally great thing about fiber is that it keeps you regular (and I really don’t feel the need to elaborate here).

3. Drink more water.
straight out of the tap is FINE
Experts say to drink 6 to 8 glasses every day. Water helps in digestion and also helps you to feel full. This can lead to controlling your weight gain.

4. Do a cardio workout of at least 30 minutes 3 times a week.
look how much fun she\'s having!
This will increase your metabolism which speeds up fat burning. Trust me, it’s good to sweat from time to time.

5. Eat more SMALLER meals daily.
Obviously never eat fast food, but this image cracked me up
Your body’s metabolism runs when you eat. The more you eat the faster it runs, so if you keep fueling it with many smaller portions it will naturally keep running. When you eat 2-3 large meals it has to work really really hard 2 or 3 times a day then stops. Think of it like your average MPG on your car. The road trips on a highway give you a better bang for your buck. Your metabolism the same way.

6. Surround yourself with inspiration.
no comment
I tried this once and it really worked. Find a horribly disgusting picture of yourself showing your tire of a waistline. Print it out (8×10) and put it up on your fridge or pantry. Every time you try to sneak a snack you’ll be confronted with yourself and I bet you’ll put the cookie back.

These tips will help if you try them for longer than a week. Give it your best shot and a flatter tummy will be in your future.

Just don’t even bother on Inauguration Day

Most smart people that live in the Washington, DC Metro area should be preparing for January 20, 2009 – AKA Inauguration Day (or also the day I move to Australia — JK — I’m doing my best to move on). OK, so… if you are not prepared for the mass chaos that will be that Tuesday (or really the whole week) allow me to present it to you in a formal list:

1. 1 Million people using public transit (and honestly I think this is a low estimate)

2. Due to security concerns, Metro is CLOSING public bathrooms inside the metro but they are providing port-a-potties (henceforth PAP) at specified locations outside.

3. The ratio of public PAPs during the inauguration is about 1PAP to over 6,000 metro riders (which is a lot of CRAP).

4. Bars & Night clubs in DC will be able to serve alcohol until 5 A.M. (3 hours later than usual – which is totally unnecessary. We don’t need more drunks running around using up any PAPs that might be available) and serve food round-the-clock from January 17 until the morning of the 20th.

5. Internet will be slow – tourists will be checking their email and probably sending photos to friends who aren’t able to make it to town for this historic event.

6. Some VRE / MARC trains are only allowing customers with “special” tickets to even board the trains that day and does NOT include daily riders.

So the moral of my story is this: barricade yourself in your house that day if you live here and think you might get somewhere on time. Work from home (although be advised that your internet may be slow or may not work at all). If you plan on going to the inauguration GO WITH PATIENCE. The crowds will be ridiculous and frustrating. Know this up front! Don’t get pissy with the person next to you who’s dealing with the same thing you are. Have fun, enjoy the history, and be patient. It will take you much longer than expected to get anywhere and much longer to do anything (including a bathroom break).

And if you haven’t noticed… I’m really trying to embrace the “hopeful changes” that are set to happen in 40 days from now. Complements are welcome!