Stay Curious is at TEDMED this week

In my role as Executive Director of ScienceOnline, I’m attending the TEDMED conference in Washington DC this week.

What do ScienceOnline and TEDMED have in common? Well, for starters, there are quite a few TEDMED delegates who are members of the ScienceOnline community (including Bora, Anton, and Karyn). There are also several TEDMED speakers from our community, including Ivan Oransky, Diane Kelly, and Jonathan Eisen.

The next four days will be filled with inspiring talks, engaging conversations, and discussions about which of the 50 Great Challenges of health and medicine should be selected for the top 20 Challenges to focus on.

Back to what ScienceOnline and TEDMED have in common. Both are looking for new ideas and creative ways for communities to work together on problems. In order to do this, both need to cultivate an atmosphere of creativity and imagination. Innovation can only happen when imagination is fully engaged. To solve the Great Challenges that will be discussed at TEDMED, we need to think differently, think boldly, and take risks. We aren’t always used to doing that. Just as I encourage people to “stay curious” about the world around them, I will encourage people to cultivate their imagination.

So, my question for delegates will be “How do you exercise your imagination?”

I’ve got some imagination/creativity jumpstarters in my bag that I will share with folks to encourage folks to exercise their imagination with play and puzzles.

I’ll be live-tweeting with the #TEDMED hashtag and I’ll blog and post a photo-journal a little later. Follow me on Twitter @ktraphagen to be a virtual part of the action!