FORESIGHT: Designing the Future for Health

Blue Shield of California Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Nemours Foundation, and The Rippel Foundation are partnering with corporate and philanthropic leaders from across the country to shape an emerging collaborative initiative, FORESIGHT: Designing the Future for Health. FORESIGHT aims to answer one question: How can we better identify, embrace, and cultivate a leadership role in shaping the future of health, as opposed to simply fixing the broken and obsolete system of the past?

Awe-inspiring disruptors are at work all around us, changing the face of our society—including well-being, health, and care—at an unprecedented pace. Experts predict we will see more change in the next ten years than we have in the previous fifty. Shifting demographics and evolving trends in technology, access to information, demographics, bio-medical research, institutional and personal values, work structures, and business models are already redefining our reality. And record-level investments by venture capitalists in emerging fields, such as miniaturization, precision medicine, 3D bio-printing, personal behavior and monitoring, and artificial intelligence are beginning to offer us exciting glimpses into the future of health.

Looking to our history, we can see a clear progression in our endeavors to address illness and ensure health—from bloodletting to biomedical science. But over the past 50 years we have invested untold billions of dollars in new policies, proposals, and pilot programs, and we still have not developed a realistic solution or strategy to address the complex challenges we now face. Costs continue to soar, huge disparities abound, and Americans’ health status pales in comparison to that of healthier residents of other developed countries.

Despite incremental progress, we remain fundamentally hampered by the 100-year-old system in which our interventions and innovation must take root…and in which we feel most comfortable. Experiments by government, foundations, corporations, and other key stakeholders are working at the edges of transformation. However, most of these efforts, while sincere, have been isolated, unfocused, and uncoordinated. In addition, most have failed to embrace the profound and hugely disruptive new realities and challenges before us.

Now, it is up to us to make the next stride—to foster a new approach to how we pursue health. It is clear that we will continue to fail if we allow a new generation to rehash old policies and discarded pilot programs. This moment calls for a bold and transformative effort—operating from a well-conceived influence and investment strategy, and grounded in current realities and informed projections about the future—not continuing to invest billions of dollars in the ways of the past.

FORESIGHT will engage leaders in the philanthropic and corporate sectors with a group of top thinkers, futurists, and innovators primarily from outside of health to chart the best course forward in this era of rapid change. The outcome of the two-year project will be a bold, pragmatic action agenda supported by a thoughtful communication and influence strategy to grow awareness and create demand for its realization.

Together, we will explore alternative scenarios for the future and use what we learn to develop a compelling and relevant action agenda for advancing health; improving quality of care; lowering healthcare costs; and increasing equity, engagement, and productivity. We will also uncover and model new ways of partnering with each other, as well as with leaders in our regions, corporations, and government. Most importantly, we will explore what must be the next big transformative effort and how we can make it happen.

Our key project objectives are to:

  1. Create an environment in which we can openly, objectively, and courageously explore critical topics that are not discussed elsewhere.
  2. Assess the significant trends, recent innovations, policy discussions, and change efforts now underway in various sectors across the U.S. and around the globe, creating case studies of provocative models and forces for transformation.
  3. Engage in a series of convenings that use proven tools such as dynamic modeling, scenario planning, and other provocative approaches to shift mindsets; challenge existing assumptions; and create a compelling, tangible, achievable design for the future, as well as see what success—and failure—looks like.
  4. Work together, and with experts, to map and share a realistic and achievable action agenda informed by the realities of today and of tomorrow.

FORESIGHT is a rare opportunity to deliberately challenge our assumptions, thinking, and actions. It is time that we confront the status quo and call our own mental models into question, knowing that the future started yesterday.

To learn more about this groundbreaking effort, contact us at info@rippelfoundation.org.