Since I left WIRED in January, everybody’s been asking me: What’s next? Today, finally, I can start answering that question.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining two amazing organizations. As of today, I am 1) starting a post as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and 2) joining the Atlantic as a Correspondent, blogging on big ideas in technology and healthcare.
First, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: It’s a remarkable organization, with an unrivaled reach, authority, and impact. If you listen to NPR, you’ve heard the mandate: To improve the health and healthcare of all Americans. For 40 years the Foundation has ably met that standard, and with a $9 billion endowment (the fourth biggest in the U.S., after Gates, Ford, and Getty) and $400 million in annual giving, RWJF is uniquely situated to influence the future of healthcare. Not content to just fund academic research, the Foundation has also driven big changes in society, policy, and technology. I’m honored and a bit awestruck to join the effort to expand that influence.
Here in Silicon Valley, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are typically affiliated with venture capital firms, working to evaluate portfolio investments and hatch new companies. At best, they’re interim positions that end up producing something exceptional. My role with the RWJF is modeled on those posts, with a few differences befitting a non-profit foundation rather than a VC firm.
Over the last several years, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with the folks from RWJF’s superb Pioneer program, including Brian Quinn, Paul Tarini, and Steve Downs (most notably as partners at the Living By Numbers/WIRED Health Conference last October). I’ve long admired their knack for spotting innovative ideas and nurturing them into promising projects and real results.
As EiR, I’ll work closely with Pioneer team director Brian and his group. But this post isn’t specific to the Pioneer program; I’m excited to have the chance to work with the Foundation’s leaders and other programs, which are blazing trails in Public Health, Healthcare Quality and Equality, Childhood Obesity, and other areas. My sincere gratitude to James Marks, John Lumpkin, and RWJF CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey for bringing me on.
At the Atlantic, I’ll be joining the outstanding posse at TheAtlantic.com, offering irregular thoughts about technology, healthcare, and whatnot. My hope is to proffer the sort of mind grenades that made the cover of WIRED during my tenure there. My first post is up there now, about the Diabetic’s Paradox, an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while now that puts the vogue for self-tracking and self-quantification in some perspective.
I’m tremendously grateful to Bob Cohn for opening the door to theAtlantic.com — he’s built what may be the web’s best source of reporting, analysis, and synthesis. I’m proud to be able to join, in some small way, the august team at The Atlantic, which I consider the best media property around, print/digital/tablet/events, whatever.
The next few months are going to be busy and fun and full of opportunity. And there’ll be more — much more — to come. Or as we say in journalism, TK.