Aspen Health Strategies Group Big Ideas


What is the Aspen Health Strategy Group?

The Aspen Health Strategy Group is part of the Health, Medicine and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. Co-chaired by former US Health and Human Services Secretaries and Governors, Kathleen Sebelius and Tommy Thompson, our 24 members are senior leaders across influential sectors: health, business, media, technology and more.

We Need Your Big Ideas on Chronic Disease Prevention

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. The prevalence of chronic disease has continued to increase for a number of reasons related to behavioral, environmental and social contexts: an aging population, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, inadequate primary prevention and tobacco use, among others. This prevalence places an increasing burden on the health system. The health system is working to improve care for people with these conditions and communities are working to address the issue, but more needs to be done. To make a real difference we must work to prevent them. Changing dietary guidelines and encouraging physical activity aren’t moving the needle enough. We need creative approaches and big ideas.

Why Do We Need Your Big Ideas?

America needs new ideas to address our most complex and controversial health challenges. In 2016, we spent $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of our GDP, on health even as our people suffered from unnecessarily illness, health disparities, and unaffordable costs. As the health care system goes through unprecedented transformation and biomedical innovation accelerates, the politics of health care has become extraordinarily polarized. Chronic conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent and costly. The Aspen Health Strategy Group is seeking to promote innovations in health care that break through existing political and institutional barriers.

What’s a Big Idea?

A useful big idea will be specific about what should happen and who should do it. It will provide a rationale for the action and describe what would happen if it were implemented. Source documents, background research and cost estimates are optional, but they will help make your case.

They should be “big” – as in meaningful and bold – and “ideas” as in reflecting thought and not just an exhortation that someone do something they should be doing already. Ideas will be judged on creativity, feasibility and the completeness of details around rationale and potential consequences. You can view samples of big ideas here.

How Will the Ideas Be Used?

Our broad, public call for ideas will last until Friday, June 8. The AHSG staff and members will select up to five that will be described in a paper that will be prepared later in the year. Due to the expected volume of submissions, the likelihood we will receive multiple submissions that present variations on a single theme, and the possibility that the AHSG members will wish to modify or combine submissions into a single idea, we will give credit to the authors of the selected ideas whenever and wherever they are presented, but we are unable to offer any other form of recognition. We hope that this unique opportunity to promote and advance your big idea is sufficient reward.

Submit your Big Idea here.