08 October 2013

Crowdfunding Creativity

For as involved as I am in the national (and, at times, international) healthcare social media community, I find myself in a local void. The mountains I call home are not the epicenter of anything to do with healthcare or social media much less the two together. I've been chipping away, trying to carve out a foothold such that the wealth of education and opportunity found in healthcare and social media can enrich the lives of those I routinely connect with in real life as it has my own. It's slow going. Every fear, every socio-economic force that pushes back against the #hcsm tide can be found here. But today... today made a new friend.

As like minds are prone to do, @SociallyMD and I connected first via Twitter. Lo and behold — we live a mere 20 minutes apart. Prior to departing for Stanford's Medicine X conference, I suggested that since we were the only two Tweeps occupying the local #hcsm space, @SociallyMD and I should meet. And meet we did, instantly connecting professionally and personally and taking up much longer than the allotted lunch hour. I was, in a word, joyous to have found a compatriot.

However, my new found friend issued an unexpected challenge. As we talked about my MedStartr project to crowdfund studying at Columbia University's Narrative Medicine program in November, @SociallyMD shared with me about his own creative endeavors — healthcare was not his first love — and how personal changes forced him to find new ways to be creative. My curiosity was piqued. How does one go about finding new ways to access his or her creative sweet spot? His response shook my confidence the way one shakes the dust from a rug, "If you think you're so creative, why don't you find a new way to be creative?"

His statement rolled around in my head for most of the afternoon and evening before I realized a link to my experience at the design and innovation consulting firm, IDEO, in Palo Alto in 2012. Founder and ingenious devisor extraordinaire Dennis Boyle led a tour through the company's offices, explaining the IDEO philosophy and from where designers look for inspiration. Boyle said that it's the "have nots" who bring the most ingenuity to the world — those who need to accomplish a task without having the resources they need. In the grand scheme of things, I consider myself to be among the privileged in the world. I have shoes. I have running water. I have a microwave. I have a roof and a bed and an education. I also have friends — friends some of whom I've never met but who believe in me and my desire to go, to do, to learn, to change.

All these things I have are what will enable me to find a new way to be creative. With your help I am honing the tools of my trade from within.

Project Columbia - 25 days and $1,395 to go!

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"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." — Buddha

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