This is a guest post as part of a series by Evan YatesTEDMED Frontline Scholarship Winner.

Autonomy, the hive, startups

Day 2 led off with something that I was particularly excited about- the Hive. The Hive is a gathering of select startups focusing on advancing health, medicine, or biotechnology. Does this seem incredibly vague and encompassing a wide variety of topics? Yep, and it’s not an accident either. Being able to walk from one table to another, seamlessly picking the brains of Harvard trained physicians turned executives, then getting advice from Silicon Valley angel investors provided me with a unique opportunity to experience interdisciplinary collaboration in real time.

Chairman of the TEDMED Foundation, Jay Walker, stole the show with select objects from his personal library. When you start a talk with, “oh, and this is the first book ever to be written in English” or “let’s see where’s my Guttenberg Bible”, you’re setting yourself up for some attention. Mr. Walker has distinguished himself as a curator of knowledge, culminating in the creation of his personal home sanctuary, The Library of the History of Human Imagination. I can talk about this forever, but I’ll just leave this link here- http://www.walkerdigital.com/the-walker-library_welcome.html

TEDMED2016 exceeded all of my extremely high expectations. It honestly blew me away. What was perhaps most remarkable, was the lack of breakthrough discoveries, or most advanced and novel publication being talked about. Presenters opened up about personal experiences that changed the way they see the world.

The theme of the conference was ‘What if…”.  Attendants were required to submit their own question- your own personal open ended, life-changing scenario. What if. A phrase commonly used to reinvent past experiences, hoping for different more favorable outcomes, was now given to us as an opportunity to tackle what we felt was most important. What if open source collaboration was not only encouraged, but also rewarded? What if we took the egos out of innovation, humanized everyone, rolled up our sleeves and got to work? TEDMED is a place where we did just that.