Brace yourself for the good news: you’re a cancer survivor.

>> Monday, May 24, 2010

For the past few years so much of my work has centered on creating oncology sites for promising new treatments. While they don’t necessarily mean a cure, they can translate to something else: survivorship.

Chances are, you probably know at least one cancer survivor.

Because it turns out over 11 million people in the U.S. are living with, through and beyond cancer. That’s something like 1 in 30 Americans. In fact, 66% of patients diagnosed with cancer today will live at least another five years.

I spoke with my friend Becky about the lingering impact of moving beyond her breast cancer. She says the word anniversary takes on a new meaning. Being cancer-free doesn’t mean that it ever leaves the back of her mind. Yet she’s grateful for the new perspective it gave her on life.

It turns out beating cancer doesn’t always become an endpoint. Instead it may be the beginning of a new phase of living. One of the heartening aspects of survivorship is that there are so many resources online to deal with it. Currently, is running a series of profiles on life after cancer. Another site, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship has been a trusted resource for over 20 years.

Survivorship brings a whole new set of challenges to cancer. And it gives wellness a compelling sense of urgency.

With millions of survivors out there, it’s a path you don’t have to take by yourself.

Kim Olson


Bodies at rest, bodies in motion

>> Thursday, May 20, 2010

You never know when those old high school physics classes will come in handy. I've never actually taken a physics class, in high school or otherwise, but my friend Richard did, and this is the story he told me this morning.

Mr Clark, my friend's high school physics teacher, taught that there are two kinds of energy: potential and kinetic. Richard illustrated this point by holding up a stopwatch dangling from a cord. At rest, the watch was pure potential. Once it moved -- whether by its internal works, or an outside force -- it started actively affecting the world around it. That's kinetic energy - the energy of motion.

It occurred to me that if you look at the world this way, an object -- or a person -- is never stuck. On the contrary, it is full of potential. It will move -- because (another lesson from physics) nothing in the universe is static. The only question is what will set it in motion.

And that's where it gets really interesting. What sets you in motion? Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally? How are you creating your own kinetic energy ... and what would help you create more? Because kinetic energy is what fuels creation, whether it's building a healthier body, a more beautiful environment, even a more sustainable business.

But if your kinetic energy is feeling low right now, that's OK too. Because as your high-school physics teacher would tell you, you are full of potential, ready to be put in motion.

Hope this finds you well!



The Death of News?

>> Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I recently attended a discussion with Michael Wolff, contributor to Vanity Fair. His discussion revolved around the death of the newspaper as we know it. According to Michael, the news vehicles of the future are Twitter, Facebook, and aggregated news sites, all of which act as filters and forward news from original sources.

This highlights the consumers’ change in behavior when it comes to searching for content and news. The breadth and currency of content from the new sources has triumphed over the depth newspapers offer. Younger consumers find added value in live feeds over in-depth analyses and biases from the traditional media providers. They are in an environment that values speed and efficiency of information above all else.

The new wave of consumers finds added value based on the filter through which the content is being accessed, rather than the original source. They access the site that best addresses their needs in filtering which news is relevant and reliable, regardless of the reputation of the original source. They rely on opinions from other users as much as they do from the original editor. The internet outlets allow the consumer to itself become a filter and forward its opinions of the news on to its peers. This two-way exchange of information is empowering to consumers and increases their engagement with the sites.

Michael explained that although there is still question regarding how the future of news media will shake out, newspapers will undoubtedly die fast. I agree that until traditional news media companies acknowledge the needs and values of the new consumer, they don’t have a standing chance. They must accept that their reputation alone will not sell their content, but rather need to add value through a new method of distribution and consumer engagement.

Ashish Dilawri
Sr. Client Financial Analyst


Can Design Improve the World?

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

I recently went to the National Design Triennial exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt—WHY DESIGN NOW? As it turns out, that is a very poignant question. From what I saw the more compelling designs answer that question in incredibly varied ways, but with one common denominator: simplicity.

Here’s the exhibition’s website, or see what other people had to say @triennial.

Many of the ideas I saw were inspirational, innovative or just plain smart, but I will highlight two that stood out for me.



In the UK alone, more than three million people over the age of sixty-five do not see a friend, neighbor, or family member in any given week. That is statistically and emotionally shocking. The World Health Organization rates isolation as greater health risk than smoking. It impacts people’s ability to stay engaged mentally as well as their social and physical activity.

UK-based public-service design firm Particle came up with a brilliant solution.

Knowing what we know about how engaging digital social networks are, they applied that insight but utilized a relevant technology: the good old telephone.

Users can participate in the network by creating a profile that lists their interests. This file is then distributed to other participants enabling like-minded people to contact each other. Get-Together hosted calls and ran phone groups, as well as organizing transportation to visit galleries, museums and gardens. Not only facilitating telephone social networks but face-to-face contact.

What I found most refreshing was how new technology—and the behavior of those who adapt it—can inspire solutions for people that have no connection to it.

watch the video

patciple’s website


DISCLOSURE: I’m slightly obsessed with maps and I was born in the third world.

Most maps are representations of land-mass. Which, as you can imagine, is a very limited visual way to communicate the complexities of the different regions on the globe. In other words, Texas and China appear important, but Rhode Island and Uruguay, not so much.

Yet, we’ve been looking at the map of the world all of our lives.

So why not use that very familiar image to depict social and economic activities, such as cell-phone use, public health spending, average family income, etc.

Worldmapper does just that.

Called a cartogram, each map is like a global pie chart. The shapes and sizes of countries vary in relationship to their dominance in certain categories.

You kind of have to see it to experience it.


Sergio Flores