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Explosion of ideas and insights at TEDxMidwest
TEDxMidwest–May 2-3, 2013
What do comedy, gardening and architecture have to do with healthcare marketing? Or, oceanography, music and a book about happiness?
A four-person team from closerlook discovered that all these things—and many others not obviously connected with healthcare marketing—can offer important insights into working smarter and with greater purpose and satisfaction in any enterprise.
The closerlook attendees (Ryan Mason, Vice President of Strategy and Creative; Alan Cohen, Vice President of Client Services; Amy Bordoni, Senior Writing Director; and Alina Babenko, Account Supervisor) were among 600 who participated in the TEDxMidwest conference on May 2 and 3 at Chicago's Harris Theater in Millennium Park.
TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an ongoing series of programs created to inspire "ideas worth spreading" in any discipline. The Midwest conference, which closerlook supported as a silver sponsor, featured 35 speakers, including a college professor who grows human organs in a lab, a leading computer security expert, a top National Geographic photographer, an SNL alumna, an undersea explorer, the director of the famed MIT Media Lab, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and a guerrilla gardener from South Central Los Angeles.
"Seeing and hearing about innovative ways people outside of our industry are addressing challenges triggers a new way of looking at things. This allows us to bring a fresh perspective to the work we do," said Mason.
Cohen was particularly inspired by speaker Jeanne Gang, an architect of many notable Chicago buildings, including the Aqua Tower, discussed three insights Cohen found immediately relatable to his work at closerlook:
Conservation – "Gang advocates the use of existing and donated materials to build great structures within a limited budget. This made me think of client concerns about relationship marketing. Many clients think they have to redo all their tactics for effective RM, but many times we just need to adjust the tactics a little to make them enabled for RM, and this isn't nearly as costly as starting from scratch."
Community – "Gang designs high-rises in ways that foster community. The healthcare industry has a role to play in the development of communities—by being aware that they exist and to foster and support the communities. In playing a supporting role, pharma and the industry as a whole will help build paths to better health.”
Conviction – "Gang stresses the need to keep your vision while building to codes, dealing with investors and coping with other challenges that can lead to watered-down, ineffective projects. This one is obvious to anyone who works with multiple audiences within a tightly regulated industry, but it's a reminder worth heeding: Keep your eye on the objective no matter what."
Babenko found two sessions particularly interesting. "I really enjoyed the "'Delivering Happiness' workshop by Jenn Lim, who used her experiences with Zappos, the online shoe and apparel shop, to illustrate how happy employees create profitable companies. Our company culture focuses on treating employees well and providing great client service, so Lim's speech really hit home."
Babenko also found a powerful message in a presentation by Ron Finley, who began growing fruits and vegetables in his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood to provide fresh produce for a community surrounded by fast-food chains. "Basically, his message was to plant something. Less talk and more action. Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time."
Summarizing her impressions of the conference, Bordoni captured the sense of inspiration and renewed commitment that all closerlook attendees brought back from TEDxMidwest.
“Whether the topic was the precarious state of our oceans, the number of Americans who have no access to fresh food, or the heartbreak of undiagnosable childhood diseases, the solutions to these seemingly insurmountable problems all point to the need for the free and open exchange of information and experiences. Being in the presence of people who are working tirelessly to turn the tide in their own corners of the world was both inspiring and contagious."
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