This week I am attending the TED 2013 conference in Long Beach, Calif. If you have seen any of the talks posted by TED over the years, you can see why I love this event — a week of meeting fascinating people, creative presentations and mind-expanding conversations with a very diverse set of participants.
And even though I am in love with TED, TED Global and TEDX, I have always felt that TED has a huge opportunity to move from inspiring people to stimulating real action. The TED organizers recognized this too and this year introduced the TED Challenges — breakout meetings within the event itself where a small group of attendees rally around a chosen topic and work all week to come up with ideas and, most important, real actions we can take to solve the problem.
I am honored to have been selected to join one of the inaugural TED Challenges led by Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. We are tackling the issue of tracking and tracing vaccines with the goal of reducing waste and getting more vaccines into the hands of those who need them around the world.
Here’s a synopsis of the issue:
Of course, we will look at technical solutions to better monitor, tweak and improve the supply chain. But that is only part of the solution. After all, it is one thing to get a vaccine where it is needed but quite another to actually get someone to use it.
This is where communications will play a critical role — to create real, lasting change, we need to engage communities and ignite cultural change to increase adoption of vaccines. This will be my primary focus while working on the TED Challenge.
What ideas do you have?