It’s just around the corner now—20 days away. And I’m beyond excited about it. At this year’s FORTUNE Brainstorm Health event—our third and (I’d bet a steak dinner on it) our best so far—we have an incredible roster of speakers and an equally important lineup of stuff to speak about.
As Aetna readies for its marriage with CVS, we’ll talk with Mark Bertolini, Aetna’s constitutively forward-looking CEO, about the future of America’s sprawling healthcare system, which is now clearly at a crossroads. At a time when Aetna–CVS and Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway, and dozens of other companies and company partnerships are feverishly rewriting the rules, this promises to be a fascinating conversation—and Mark has some strong, provocative ideas for change.
One big question for the future: Why does mental health remain the missing link in healthcare today? Why, as Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson frames it, do we separate the head from the body when it comes to protecting and maintaining our wellbeing? We’ll dive into that essential question with Tyson—one of the most eloquent people I’ve ever met—and two other terrific panelists: Deborah DiSanzo, global general manger of IBM Watson Health, and Amy Powell, the president of Paramount Television, whose studio coproduces “13 Reasons Why,” the achingly authentic dramatic series about a teen suicide.
In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, it is hard not to worry about our teenaged kids—and not just about their safety from outside threats. It’s a terrifying question for many parents to ask, but is your teenager crazy? Thankfully, Frances Jensen, professor of neurology at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, and the author of The Teenage Brain, will answer that. Her research pulls the veil off of this dark and mysterious realm—and explains why teens are so vulnerable to addiction, whether that addiction is to drugs or to their smartphones. If you have a teen of your own (or have ever been one), you won’t want to miss this one.
As for the brain’s positive explosive forces, we’ll explore where the creative spark comes from, how to nurture them when they come—and how to turn those brainstorms into a worthy invention—with two individuals who have harnessed that power themselves: serial inventor and CEO of United Therapeutics Martine Rothblatt and James Park, cofounder and CEO of Fitbit. (And who better to poke and probe for those secrets than Sue Siegel, GE’s chief innovation officer and the CEO of GE Ventures? Answer: Nobody.)
So what’s the next big thing in health-tech—and where will it come from? We’ve got two oracles to answer that, too—Venrock partner Bryan Roberts and Verily’s chief medical officer, Jessica Mega. (Also on tap: A breakout session on investing in medtech and medicine with some of the most high-powered and hot-handed investors around.)
We’re primed for eye-opening conversations about the dangers and opportunities of our truly borderless world, about the real-world (and now-world) promises of precision medicine and artificial intelligence, and about the end of privacy as we know it. (Should we care?) We’ll dig into the progress we’ve made in weaponizing our bodies against disease—and about the still-major challenges that remain in sharpening our immune system’s focus on threats, from cancer to viruses. (And yes, we’ll talk about some of those emerging and reemerging threats, too.)
We have an all-star cast of scientists and physicians to discuss why, contrary to reason, both science and medicine are under assault today—and what that could mean for all of us. And we have what promises to be a truly enlightening interview with someone who has discovered some powerful insights about our inner strengths…and the forces that so often distract us: the life and business strategist Tony Robbins. This will not be like any conversation you’ve ever heard…even if you’ve heard Tony speak before.
Ridiculously, there’s more. A heckuva lot more—including some fun surprises. And we’re covering it all in two splendid days and nights in southern California.
My spectacular co-chairs, Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington—the doyenne of digital media and the High Priestess of Wellness herself—and oncologist, proteomics pioneer, and author extraordinaire David Agus, both of whom are constant inspirations for me, have helped to create a truly remarkable gathering of thought leaders, innovators, and change agents. And our unrivaled program director, Sara Leeder, has fit every piece—every square, rhombus, and circle—seamlessly together. (Thank you, Sara!)
I mentioned in yesterday’s note that attendance is unfortunately limited, due to our desire to create an intimate environment where people can freely talk their minds and share their experiences. But if you want in, please apply here.
For those that can’t be there in person, we’ll webcast as much of the event as we can. Watch this space for more.
This essay appears in today’s edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.