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5 Tidbits from Transform, Mayo Clinic’s Health Innovation Conference

Rob Rankin and I attended our first Transform conference last week. Hosted by Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, the 2016 conference theme was “Make Change Possible.”

The conference was highly relevant to the Conscious Consumer and behavior change work we do. Along with social change and environmental issues, health and wellness is the third pillar of Conscious Consumer concerns – but the first priority for most. From self-health to the health of loved ones, both mental and physical, from stress to nutrition to physical activity, Conscious Consumers dedicate time to improving health and wellness.

The Transform conference addressed all areas of health and wellness, and only occasionally slipped into a more clinical vein than would normally be relevant to our work. The conference was designed to allow attendees to hear lots of stories from a varied cast of speakers, including a “PechaKucha” session where presentations consisted of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds.

Here are 5 tidbits from the Transform conference that demonstrate marketing challenges of the Conscious Consumer movement:

  1. Environmental change agent Will Steger defined that Conscious Consumer concerns of health, environment and social change are not mutually exclusive. Will showed how global change impacts weather patterns, water shifts and the food supply, with enormous potential population health consequences.
  2. Coca-Cola’s objective at one point was to always have a Coke available “within an arm’s reach of desire.” Karen Watson, a strategic consultant who works to increase demand for better health and nutrition, made the point that what we should really have within an arm’s reach of desire are superfoods like spinach.
  3. Processed food companies are suffering at the hands of Conscious Consumers. According to Fortune, the top 25 U.S. food and beverage companies have lost $18 billion in market share since 2009.
  4. Your ZIP code is a better predictor of your health than your genetic code.
  5. night night everyone” is a piece of web code that can be programmed into a website to cause the site to shut down when a user would be better served by sleeping. Interruptive techniques can push for behavior change.

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If you work in the arena of health and behavior change, the Transform conference should be on your must-attend list. In addition to learning the tidbits above, we heard from national speakers like Stephen Dubner from Freakonomics, Dave Isay from StoryCorps and even received a semi-private concert from Dessa. If you’re curious about the conference or what we learned, either Rob or I would be happy to talk to you about it.

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