High healthcare costs, inequitable health outcomes, a changing climate, and new technologies are among the many factors that inspired The Rippel Foundation to take a fresh approach to envisioning the future of health. The Rippel Foundation convened a nationwide collaborative of 17 philanthropies to equitably envision a new future for health and well-being in the United States. Called the FORESIGHT initiative, the partners sought to radically rethink health in ways that go beyond just health care to include all of the factors that contribute to people’s and communities’ well-being. The FORESIGHT initiative’s work included various forms of community listening, including focus groups, community conversations hosted by Marnita’s Table, online ideation hosted on the Spryng platform, and a nationally representative survey fielded by NORC.
In support of the project, Public Agenda partnered with FORESIGHT to analyze data from these qualitative and quantitative listening methodologies and develop insights into how Americans envision a more equitable future for health and well-being. In analyzing and synthesizing findings from this broad range of rich data sources, Public Agenda and the FORESIGHT team identified five key themes:
- Economic well-being
- Inclusive, just communities
- Holistic, innovative, culturally rooted health care
- Regenerative practices for people and planet
- Equitable access to basic needs and supports
Insights related to these five themes are summarized in FORESIGHT’s new national report:
- The visions for the future that participants articulated are ambitious, even if not new. Participants tended to concentrate on very familiar themes: economic security, community and belonging, a health care system that serves them, a healthy planet, and access to the things that make it possible for people to thrive, including humane housing, quality food, and lifelong learning.
- A commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion must be at the heart of efforts to transform health and well-being. Growing inequality and tension between haves and have-nots was among the top concerns that worried people who participated in the research. Efforts to build toward this future vision must center the voices and solutions of those most proximate to the inequities that Americans face. Working toward a more equitable system requires centering the voices of those who have been historically marginalized in visioning and strategies.
- Americans understand the complex interrelationships between the many factors that impact our health and well-being and hope for greater collaboration between sectors. The visions they described and the potential solutions they identified sit at the intersection of many issues that are often addressed separately: economic security, health care, technology, the environment, food security and sustainability, housing, safety, education, community connection, and civic life.
- People do not believe that technology will be a salve for all of the challenges that face us. Participants identified areas of life where they thought technology could improve and even save lives. But they also expressed deep concern about the potential for accelerating technologies to replace personal connection, exacerbate inequities, and increase surveillance.
- Participants expressed a readiness to begin building the futures they have envisioned, and the pathways toward those futures are likely to be held in communities. This process revealed people’s enthusiasm and readiness to lead into the future.
With these insights and ideas about building the future of health, The Rippel Foundation is turning its attention to how to make this vision for health and well-being a reality. Public Agenda is grateful for the opportunity to work with the FORESIGHT initiative in their efforts to listen to Americans and generate insights about the future of health and well-being.