Sir Ken Robinson at IMSH 2019

Sir Ken Robinson at IMSH 2019
Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

I had the privilege of attending my first International Meeting on Simulation of Healthcare, or IMSH, presented by the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. Aside from ambling along the riverwalk in sunny San Antonio, the highlight of the conference for me was The Lou Oberndorf Lecture on Innovation and Healthcare Simulation presented by Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken is an educator, writer, researcher, adviser and speaker; also known as the Grandfather of the TED Talk. Indeed, he is the most watched speaker in TED’s history. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has been viewed online over 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 160 countries. He was also the most humorous speaker; I believe he has another career in stand-up comedy. He introduced himself by saying, “I don’t have a background in medicine or tech…so perhaps you have the wrong keynote speaker.” His background however, is incredibly impressive.
Sir Ken highlighted the connection between innovation and education. He emphasized the importance of play for children and adults. Children are now averaging 7 hours a day of screen time, which has replaced their time to run around outside and simply play using their imaginations. Creativity and imagination are what fuels innovation, and we will need that to support our ever-growing population (a staggering 7.5 billion). He made connections between this need for innovation and aspects of simulation: using the theatre (in which he also has a background) as a place to exercise role-play; using virtual reality to reinforce the concept that we live in our perceptions; designing tools to extend our reach, like simulation technology. Above all, he urges us not to lose the human connection in simulation – a concept with which we SP Educators can agree.

I have just picked up his book “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”, and I look forward to being inspired anew by Sir Ken. You can read more about his incredible work here.

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