Learning Beats Evolution! How We Managed to Make Progress in Wellville by Adapting Rather Than Evolving
Life Sciences C Room 202
Jan 10 2019 - 12:00pm
Esther Dyson has made a huge commitment to make it possible for Wellville to do whatever can be done to improve the health of whole communities. She and her group selected five communities from many applicants.
They are deeply engaged with those communities, asking what their health priorities are, and custom crafting sophisticated programs to improve health. How are they doing? What obstacles have they encountered? What have they learned?
The answer should be of interest to anyone working to prevent disease and improve health. And it seems likely that many of the problems they are trying to relieve are products of evolved human inclinations mismatched to modern environments. Does evolutionary understanding have anything to add? Could the Wellville projects be sites for research inspired by evolutionary medicine?
Esther Dyson is the executive founder of Wellville, a national nonprofit project created to demonstrate the value of investing in health instead of spending on treatment. It generates real-world evidence by supporting multi-sector teams in five U.S. communities over 10 years, and shares what it learns to inspire other communities and promote national change. Wellville supports its communities the way a business accelerator helps startups. Each Wellville community receives a dedicated advisor to help them develop strong leadership teams and implement approaches that are responsive to changing conditions. Wellville helps communities demonstrate value to attract the kind of collaboration and investment needed to scale, spread and sustain impact over time. This talk is a progress report at the halfway point.