This is my public declaration of priorities.
Put another way, it’s my answer to “What are you doing now?”
For the past year I’ve been working with Vicky Rideout on a national survey of teens and young adults (14-22 year-olds), sponsored by Hopelab and the Well Being Trust. Read the full report or skim the key findings in this post.
And I have to give a shout-out to my niece Meghan Fox who took this and other photos I’m using to promote this report:
My next big project will include a measure of the digital health landscape among U.S. adults, both picking up where I left off at the Pew Research Center and expanding the scope to include new questions. I’d love to hear from people who have ideas about collaborations and sponsorships for this work.
Two recent speaking engagements (one at the National Cancer Institute, the other at TechTown Detroit) have me studying up on clinical trials, social media, health entrepreneurship, and cross-sector collaboration.
One of the most important activities I’ve participated in recently was a peer mentor retreat with Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, and Roni Zeiger, MD. We carried a giant white board outside on a beautiful Saturday and took turns writing, drawing, dreaming, and critiquing. One recurring theme: The power of a sabbatical (I drew it as an escape hatch) when you are in need of a refresh or infusion of inspiration in your career. (Here’s a great post on how to assemble your own advisory board, by Andre Blackman.)
Current work-related reading list:
- Flashpoints in Polling, by Claudia Deane, Courtney Kennedy, Scott Keeter and Kyley McGeeney of the Pew Research Center. Diving back into survey research after a hiatus means I need to brush up on my methods (and yes, you can still trust polls).
- Doug Lindsay’s newsletter, “The Weekly One” is one of the few emails that I look forward to receiving. And I would have said that even before his breathtaking keynote at WTFix 2018. Sign up on his site.
Personal reading list:
- A Time for Everything, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I was introduced to Knausgaard’s work through an excerpt of his autobiographical novel, “My Struggle,” that had me in tears from laughter and relief that such a keen observer existed on this Earth during my lifetime. This 500-page treatise on angels is, essentially, Biblical fanfic and I am here for it. It was deeply satisfying to sit on the beach, listening to crashing waves and shivering as I read about the rising waters around Noah and his ark.
- Men Explain Things to Me, by Rebecca Solnit. Boarding a plane with my family recently, I noticed that the overhead bins were filling up. I told my younger son to put his bag up in the first available spot near our seats, when a man broke in: “What if someone else needs that space?” I couldn’t believe it. He was seated. His bag was stowed. But he felt empowered to tell me what to do. There was a beat of silence. “Thank you for your counsel,” I replied with enough ice in my voice to elicit a smile from another man seated nearby. This was a tiny skirmish, but Captain Mansplain had struck again, this time in front of my son. I shoved that bag into place, right where I wanted it, and later explained to my boys why I was furious. They will both be reading Solnit’s essays.
Featured image: Peer Mentor Retreat, by Wendy Sue Swanson, MD.