Our Value Proposition.
Below, we take a deep dive into where and how IDEAS xLab creates VALUE in each of our three core sectors: Health, Community Development and Cultural.
Framing the Opportunity:
America leads the world in medical research and medical care, and for all we spend on health care, we should be the healthiest people on Earth. Yet for some of the most important indicators, like how long we live, we’re not even in the top 50.
It’s time for America to lead in health, and that means taking three steps.
- The first is to ensure that everyone can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick.
- The second is to make preventive care, like screening for cancer, available to people who otherwise won’t or can’t go in for it.
- The third is to stop thinking of health as something we get at the doctor’s office but instead as something that is rooted in the culture of our families, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
The more health is seen this way, the more opportunities are available to improve it. Still, our solutions will only be as good as our ability to listen each other, to understand each other, to work together, to value the insights that different people can bring to the table, and to see our future as connected.
In Washington, our government is polarized and the political process is gridlocked. Therefore, it increasingly falls upon local communities to develop their own best solutions for improving health and wellbeing.
However, a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center showed that:
- Only 15% of Americans have participated in a service or civic organization in the past year;
- Only 25% have contacted or visited a public government official in the last year;
- Only 33% have participated in a school group or community organization; and,
- Only 46% have worked with people in the neighborhood to fix a problem.
Even in divided times, there is cause for hope: the number of people involved in social change initiatives, the increasing amounts of money being invested in those initiatives, the steadily declining costs of technology and the attention being given to social innovation and creating inclusive, resilient economies.
To America's growing social innovation movement, IDEAS xLab introduces culture as the key driver for learning, action and evaluation by communities seeking to increase social cohesion and civic engagement toward greater participation in policy making and improved wellbeing.
As we have seen with the “curb cut effect" - the idea that laws and policies created to help vulnerable groups ultimately benefit all members of society – investing in Project HEAL's arts and culture model may create advantages that can ripple far and wide (Blackwell, 2017).