What I Learned at ILN15 – Advice, Party Highlights and Austin in 2016

By Claudia Perez, New Business Development Manager, Ascension Seton Innovation & Technology Commercialization Team

From October 27-29, 2015 I was honored to be among members of the Innovation Learning Network (ILN) who met in Toronto for the annual in-person conference. This is the third and final part in a series of posts on my takeaways from the event. (Read Part 1 and Part 2)

Innovation and the Return on Coffee

I was inspired by the amazing work of Lucien Engelen, the Director of Innovation at the REshape Center at the Radboud University Medical Centre in The Netherlands.

He boasts having the best coffee machine at the university and attests to the ROC (Return on Coffee) principle. Mr. Engelen teaches that coffee is Innovation’s best friend. Want an ROI on innovation? Buy innovators coffee.  You’ve heard of water cooler discussions; now consider the insights ripe for discovery around the coffee machine.

Hire a Chief Listening Officer

Engelen created a new position at the hospital, the Chief Listening Officer. The CLI is responsible for listening to all patients because after all, you must listen so you can understand.

Dynamic Med School Curriculum & BYOP

Ready for this Dell Medical School? Mr. Engelen suggests changing medical school curriculum every six months. “We use a curriculum from 45 years ago!” he pointed out. One idea he suggested was for a BYOP (Bring Your Own Patient) program wherein first year medical students bring a family member or friend with chronic disease to school with them and follow them around for the entire year. This will drive a shift from innovating for patients to innovating WITH patients, a true patient (consumer) engagement model.

#ILN15 Weird Pairings Tweets

The Toronto conference, themed weird pairings, was covered live by ILN members on Twitter who tagged posts with #ILN15.


Twitter Party

We had a Twitter Party! This was new to me even though I attend many (many) events each year and actively tweet my experiences. A Twitter Party is a live chat through Twitter where members find each other by searching the given hashtags (#). In this case, the party was moderated by @HCLDR (Healthcare Leaders), who posted topics: T1, T2, T3 and T4. Partiers would find the topics by searching #ILN15 #hcldr and reply directly to each one. It was a fun and unique way for participants to engage, to actively connect to the conversation stream.


I’ve shared my key takeaways from the event, but if you want to know more you’re in luck. Every ILN in-person meeting has a Safari Synopsis, a detailed summary of the event’s journey. Here is the ILN synopsis for CONVERGENCE 2015.

ILN Is Coming to Austin – Get Involved!

Ascension Seton will host the October 2016 ILN in-person event. Bringing a swarm of brilliant health care innovators to Austin is exciting on its own, but this upcoming in-person meeting is especially important because we’ll be celebrating the ILN’s 10 year anniversary! Meetings have begun already with Seton’s leaders of innovation and ILN organizers, but there’s still much to do. I hope you can come and celebrate with us! Email me if you’d like to know more about our plans for next October.

Any Ascension associate can be a member of the ILN! I am not only an active ILN member, I’m also a “Network Weaver” for Ascension, which means I’m  “a person who takes responsibility for making networks healthier; doing so by connecting people, coordinating self-organized projects, facilitating networks, and being a network guardian.”