September 2008

“Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun,
And I say it’s alright.”
– The Beatles

Eli Lilly Sets Example

Eli Lilly Sets Example

Kudos to Eli Lilly and Company for its decision today to create a registry to disclose its payments to physicians.  The company said its move was intended to help the industry as a whole improve its “tarnished reputation” (as Aaron Barr writes in Media Post) among consumers (and healthcare professionals, one would expect).  Lilly President & CEO John Lechleiter announced the move saying that his company has “learned that letting people see for themselves what we’re doing is the best way to build trust.”

Talk about a blinding glimpse of the obvious (as well as a terrific illustration of a sustainable public relations program).

What’s also heartening and darned commendable is that Lilly is not just launching this registry on a microsite somewhere out in the Web’s hinterlands.  Rather, the company is planning a media and consumer awareness campaign.  As company spokesperson Edward Sagebeil said, “It’s not use putting it out there if consumers can’t get to the information they need.  I can’t imagine that we will not do everything possible to promote the site.”

Here’s hoping that other executives from Wall Street (yes, those guys) to Main Street recognize the power of Lilly’s example and choose to err on the side of transparency and integrity in a business world sorely lacking both.

P.S.  Lilly’s PR folks deserve a hefty raise for this one.

“Come together,
Right now,
Over me”
– The Beatles

Superstruct from The Institute for the Future

Superstruct from The Institute for the Future

Perhaps I’m the only one who missed the memo here, but I just ran across this very, very cool and very, very intriguing project from the Institute for the Future.  Called Superstruct, it’s the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game.   Involving a global health pandemic (Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ReDS), the game highlights the political, economic, social and military issues that might (very likely would) accompany a worldwide health crisis.  Comprising a range of scenarios (Quarantine, Power Struggle, Exile, etc.), the game invites people to join the Global Extinction Awareness System and figure out how to prevent a global disaster that actually is not that far from the realm of the possible (think SARS on steroids).

According to the Institute, “By playing the game, you’ll help us chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how we might solve the problems we’ll face.  Because this is about more than just envisioning the future.  It’s about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential.”

Talk about a strategic planning session.  This is brainstorming on a scale not yet seen on our earth.

This is also brilliant.  And this is also the future.  People connecting in ways never before imagined – and never before possible – to solve real-world problems by doing what human do best:  think creatively, play creatively and work creatively to overcome real and potential obstacles.

This is the evolution of communication in real time.

This is a must-follow.