Weird Pairings – A Collaboration with #ILN15

Stick with Me Kid - Karah Levely-RinaldiBlog post by Colin Hung

On Tuesday October 27th the Innovation Learning Network (ILN) is hosting a Twitter Party at their event (#ILN15) being held in in Toronto, Ontario. This party will feature a special #hcldr chat, hosted by yours truly, and will be an online extension of the #ILN15 theme: Weird Pairings and Engineered Random Collisions. The fun starts at 5:00pm ET.

ILN is “an organizational-based membership network” that focuses on “making healthcare better through good design”. Over 35 leading healthcare institutions are members including: Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and UCLA. The Director of ILN is Chris McCarthy.

I had the chance to work with Chris during the launch of USA Change Day earlier this year. His passion for changing healthcare was inspiring. Chris was a guest on #hcldr back in March, along with several others who were the “instigators” of in USA Change Day. Check out the blog and the Storify for more information.

From October 27-29 members of ILN will be meeting in Toronto. This meeting is being hosted by Saint Elizabeth and MaRS Discovery District. The theme of this meeting is “The Art & Science of Weird Pairings & Engineered Random Collisions”. The ideas that will be discussed during those 3 days are all centered around how we can/should take ideas from disparate realms and bring them together within the context of healthcare in order to drive innovation. You can follow live tweets from the conference by searching for #ILN15

A great example of a “weird pairing” is music + healing, a concept we have explored a few times on #hcldr (see prior blogs here, here and here). Another, more classic example is Disney + healthcare – something that many people have written about, including myself in a recent post on

Last year on #hcldr we explored the idea of what healthcare could learn from other industries (see blog) – which is another component of the ILN15 theme. Those of us inside healthcare can sometime become myopic and believe that our industry is so unique that all solutions must be home-grown. That is, of course, a very limiting point of view. Different people with non-clinical and non-HealthIT backgrounds have plenty to teach healthcare. You don’t have to look any further than members of the #hcldr community like @pfanderson (librarian), @ReginaHolliday (artist) and @twirlandswirl (photographer).

To help prepare for the upcoming ILN meeting, McCarthy created a post with a pre-meeting reading list that’s all about weird pairing. He has curated some truly fascinating and eye-opening articles. I highly encourage you to check them out.

AT 5:00pm on Tuesday October 27th ILN and #hcldr will be teaming up for a tweetchat/tweet party where we will be discussing the following four topics:

  • T1 Why is “out-of-the-box” thinking/innovation in healthcare so difficult?
  • T2 What are some healthcare breakthroughs/innovation you have seen that have come from disciplines outside of healthcare.? Pls share results/impact if possible
  • T3 How might we encourage “random” collisions / weird pairings (with healthcare outsiders) to drive innovation?
  • T4 What areas in healthcare would you most like to see tackled with an outside-in approach?

…for this chat, please use BOTH the #hcldr and #ILN15 hashtags

Following this collaboration with ILN, we will be having our regularly scheduled #hcldr chat with an incredible doctor from Medecins Sans Frontieres as a guest. For more information, check the blog.

Join the party!


“The Weirdness is Coming”, Chris McCarthy, ILN,, accessed October 23 2015

“The Innovation Learning Network Wants to Cure What Ails The Health Industry”, Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company, October 7 2011,, accessed October 23 2015

“5 Ways to Innovate By Cross-Pollinating Ideas”, Tina Seelig, Fast Company, May 10 2013,, accessed October 23 2015
Image Credit

Stick with Me, Kid – Kara Levely-Rinaldi



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