Last night I attended Stanford’s d.school pitch night. I was there because I’m one of three people teaching a new course called “d.compress” so Neema and I had 60 seconds to pitch to the design students.  Approximately 30 other professors were also pitching in the form of skits, improv, videos, and one (the founder of Klutz) even taught us all how to bark like a dog.

I’m still in awe of the awesome design talent that was in that room, but even more inspiring was how many people are dedicating their skills to healthcare.

I am working on another interesting project that involves pitching design….with Aetna. Aetna (yes, one of the big healthcare giants) is taking a giant step to engage the design community in a new way.  In collaboration with digital health incubator Rock Health, Aetna will be hosting a live 3-day challenge event to engage the best designers and firms to improve the lives of seniors and their caregivers.

This event – RFP Live Design – is an effort to create a space where designers and big healthcare can work effectively.  Aetna is committed to optimizing their consumer-driven products and services, and they recognize to get there, they need good design.  By teaming up with kick-ass incubator Rock Health, and recruiting rock-star design experts like BJ Fogg, Ryan Panchadsaram and Maria Ly to serve as event judges, Aetna is spearheading this much needed, cutting-edge collaboration.

Dr. Kyra Bobinet and Brian Garcia (CTO) are the Aetna trailblazers leading the charge. They are hosting this event because they care about making it better. End users (the people Aetna want to serve) will be there in attendance as judges and resources to the designers who are working. Comfortable space, free food, big RFP cash awards for winners, and of course, opportunities to work with Aetna in the near future are available for the teams who show up to create & pitch their best design solutions.

This challenge is about health care user experience.  It’s happening the first few days of December in San Francisco. The event website with further details will launch this week. Stay tuned.

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