Guest post by Steelcase 100 Mind contributor and Institute of Design professor, Vijay Kumar.
I enjoyed the opportunity to serve as the facilitator of Nurture’s TEDMED 2012 simulcast last week in Chicago. Between the inspiring presentations and interesting conversations that afternoon, it occurred to me that there are a number of strong similarities – I would call them “overlaps and opportunities” between TEDMED and Steelcase’s 100th Anniversary project .
The first — both are built on the concepts of “convergence and connecting.” TEDMED does that well and that is what the “100 Years” is all about – selecting people from different fields (designers, scientists, artists) and making connections between their viewpoints about the next 100 years. There is lots of overlap in that formula – quite similar to what TEDMED is trying to do.
The second overlap is in the area of “dreams.” Steelcase offers dreams of “100 Years” from “100 Minds” – TEMED presentations are the visions, dreams, of what may be possible and what can be done in the areas of health and medicine. TEDMED is all about sharing ideas for the future – very similar and great amount of overlap.
Finally, both are “curated” experiences. The Steelcase 100th Anniversary project is collecting dreams of different people / children and curating them as an experience via a number of mediums to share with each of us. TEDMED is also a curated experience – working to link together the visions of many people doing interesting work and having interesting ideas and then capturing them and presenting them in a way that we can all learn and grow from.
During Nurture’s Chicago simulcast I came away with a very strong sense of the real value of the continuum on which ideas are being shared by both TEDMED and the Steelcase 100th anniversary project.
Some of them are very personal and emotional experiences (such as the mother’s story of her daughter’s ongoing battle with autism). On the other end of the continuum – amazing anatomical visualization database and computer software – is much more analytical and scientific. Exposure to the full continuum gave me a sense of connection beyond what any one of those components could provide. It gave me an appreciation of the interconnectedness of emotions, science, art, technology – and that is the real value.
It’s not just about science, not just about art, and not just about technology either – TEDMED and the Steelcase 100 Years project help us clearly get a sense of the interconnectedness of the world and how important every component is to our whole life.