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Patients are changing seats : the Future of Health

A BIG thank you from founder & Curator Lucien Engelen of “the Future of Health” / TEDxMaastricht.

April 4th, Maastricht was the place “The Future of Health” took place in the form of a TEDx conference organized by the Radboud REshape & Innovation Center, part of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre.

On April 4th i had a one of the most special moments in my life.  Together with almost 900 others in the Theatre in Maastricht we experienced : The Future of Health at  TEDxMaastricht.

It was not all about technical stuff, nor about guidlines, protocols. Also checklists, signing forms haven’t been put central, nor money.
It was about the most underutilised resource of all : Patients.

Up until now, patients haven’t entered the stage as they did at The Future of Health, in Maastricht telling their story, acting like CEO’s : Chief Eye Openers.
Making people laugh with their Rap, making people cry with their story. And people in the audience listened, people on different places in the world listened like in Darwin, or Stockholm. Sometimes for the first time; they really listened to what patients had to say, and learned from them.

That was the goal we wanted to achieve little more then a year ago by setting up this TEDx event. Showing that besides technical innovations, pharma improvements, safety-protocols and the enormous finance-challenges for instance we face there is a great and growing bunch of people that want to help.
And they can, and they will. “let patients help, let patients help; chanted e-patient Dave in his superb TEDxMaastricht talk.
ease do it with passion, and give us the chance to; asked Salmaan Sana presenting the Compassion for Care Charter. Please let me be the captain of my own ship asked Ragna. And every now and then let us take a (cancer) holiday was the call from Sophie, to give people that are ill, a break certainly since they are still around and not dead yet.

I could take every one of these and the other talks now and emphasize on it, but i won’t. Putting in one line what they gave us in their carefully prepared minutes would be like trying to explain hippocrates’ work in 1 minute.

See for it yourself in the video’s as they come online and share the thoughts, feelings, actions and the video’s. Please know that all of them came to help us, without getting paid, without any hesitation, to support our important mission.

I have been involved in many conferences, not only our own REshape-conferences, but others as well over the world on healthcare. This one was completly different. Like the way it grew from an idea to reality. Over time it changed from a dream into an idea then into a mission, than to reallity. it’s more like a milestone, since it is one of the pebbles we are trowing in the pond REshaping health.

It wasn’t about “ME” it was about “US”, in an unbelieveable organic way that this event has been set up by the coreteam and operated by many, many people, partners, sponsors and voulenteers. Friendships came out of it, deep respect grew within it, and most of all it showed all of us what can be achieved by “US”-thinking.
Imagine what this could mean for healthcare when we trade in the “ME”-thinking for “US”-thinking, and let patients help. migrate from an EGO into a ECO-system.

This event was not about the vibe that could be sensed everywhere that day, that even starting “the night before”, or about the dancing during the breakers and the dancing doctors when the roof almost got off during te flashmob or about the crying, laughing, singing and even rapping done during and after the great talks. 
The most significant thing that happend is the awerness is growing that we have to embrace patients into THE (not our) Healthcare team.
For that the many, many standing ovations (sometimes even minutes long) made clear that we are pushing the wave towards the tipping point.
Patients are changing seats, from backrow, to the co-driver-seat; and that is exactly what they should be, no more, no less.

So, I would urge all of you to do tree things :

1.     Watch the video’s of “The future of Health; TEDxMaastricht” as they come online and share them in your network, use them in your presentations. And all of you please  create at least one ambassador for this vision on “The future of Health”.
Sign the Compassion for Care Charter and call for others to do so as well,  and start acting on it in your own work. No matter how small, it matters. It might be a hand on someones schoulder or a glass of water for somebody that has a difficult moment. It matters !! Through that you also can embrace patients into the team and let them help.
3.     Be prepared; since once up on a day YOU will become a patient. Right now start working with the
Golden Rule in mind : treat others like you would like to be treated, to make a better world.

On behalf of the TEDx team on “The Future of Health” this year in Maastricht, but even more on behalf of all the patients in the world, i would like to thank everybody involved, in the preparations, the effort on the day it self, and in the magic that is starting to happen, it is a dream comming true.

See you next year !

Lucien Engelen (@zorg20)
Founder and Curator of  “The Future of Health; TEDxMaastricht”


Lucien Engelen

3 replies

  1. Thank you Lucien. Congratulations! – it was a fantastic day, one of the best, very glad to have made the trip. There was a real feeling of genuine commitment and shared vision.

  2. Tnx for the nice comment John. Glad to hear that is was worthwhile the travel. Let us beside sharing the experiences on the day also share the action coming from it.;-)

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