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Great Challenges



We first got to know TEDMED, a partner of TED (known for its entertaining talks on important ideas), in November 2011, when Jay Walker, its ebullient curator and chairman, visited The Hastings Center to discuss our common interests. What took place was an energizing conversation with Hastings Center staff and several members of the center's board of directors about some of the most intractable health care problems. Jay sketched his vision of marshaling creative and motivated leaders from business, public policy, and medicine to address them. He imagined these people drawing on their areas of expertise to make unforeseen connections—perhaps some insight from business would spark a new idea for combatting childhood obesity or eliminating medical errors. They would use their influence to put the best ideas into practice. Soon after, Walker's colleagues were back in touch with a plan for launching his movement: The Great Challenges of Health and Medicine program.