#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)

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