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Designing the Future for Health

Awe-inspiring disruptors are all around us, changing the face of society at an extraordinary pace. Shifting demographics, evolving trends in technology, unprecedented access to information, groundbreaking biomedical research, changing institutional and personal values, new business models, and bold new competitors are already redefining our reality—including health and well-being and our approaches to care. This disruption is just getting started. Experts predict we will see more change in the next 10 years than we have in the previous 50.

Looking backward, we see a clear progression in our endeavors to address illness and ensure health—from bloodletting to public sanitation to biomedical science. Yet costs continue to soar, huge health disparities abound, and Americans’ overall health status often falls below that of residents in other developed countries. The big questions before us are: What’s the next big leap for health? And how do we make it happen?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit we don’t yet have the answers. Since the 1980’s, we’ve invested untold billions of dollars in new policies, proposals, and pilot programs only to see very incremental progress. Experiments by government, foundations, corporations, and other key stakeholders dabble at the edges of transformation with often important but only marginal change. Perhaps it is unreasonable to think that these efforts could have achieved more by now. We’ve been working without a collective idea or a well-conceived path forward; without a thorough and balanced understanding of our current realities and the emerging future. Achieving a shared, actionable vision—a true North Star—under these circumstances would be next to impossible.

That’s why Blue Shield of California Foundation, Nemours Foundation, and The Rippel Foundation have finalized the design for a three-year project called FORESIGHT. We believe it is time for philanthropy to join with other sectors to embrace the realities of our time, imagine the opportunities and complexities disruption might bring, and to shape innovative strategies to usher in a new era of health in the United States. It’s going to take a serious commitment to get this job done well, and we’re ready to put in the hard work, led by The Rippel Foundation’s FORESIGHT team.

We know that there is no single solution and that success will depend on involving diverse perspectives, regional partnerships, industry and sector leaders, and expert futurists and thought leaders. With a process carefully designed to do that, FORESIGHT will create the insights and pathways necessary for national, regional, and sector leaders to successfully navigate the future.

For more information about the FORESIGHT project please contact info@rippelfoundation.org.

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