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SwitchPoint Is about Health, Technology, Partnerships—and Love

Loyce Pace at SwitchPoint 2017

Loyce Pace, president and executive director of the Global Health Council, at SwitchPoint 2017.

We love it for the inspiration we feel there, the connections we make, the performances that move us. 

How do you mark time passing?

My days tend to run together—a hamster wheel of wake up, go to work, come home, make dinner, play “Fast Dogs” (don’t ask) with my four-year-old, go to bed, repeat.

What stands out are the extraordinary things. My wedding day, or the night my son was born, or climbing the Austrian Alps.

It's about making time to show up and stand up.

But then there are the unexpected moments, like the time in college when I skipped film class to see Tori Amos with my best friend Gail (the lights!), or the time at SwitchPoint 2017 when Loyce Pace said, “If we don’t talk about it, we don’t know what do to about it, and if we don’t know what to do about it, it will get done without us. I can’t promise it will be easy, but it will be worth it.”

Loyce was talking about the political state of the country, but she could have been talking about anything. It was at this moment I realized that while SwitchPoint is about health, technology, and partnerships, it’s also about not letting time pass you by. It’s about making time to show up and stand up.

Ultimately it’s about love, life-changing events, and inspiration.

SwitchPoint presenters are people who love what they do, even though their jobs are far from easy. You can tell Nadia Hitimana loves helping girls get an education, and making sure that menstruation doesn’t keep them from it. You can tell Lucy Mphuru loves providing safe deliveries for expectant mothers. And you can tell that David Moinina Sengeh loves his family more than anything, although he also really loves prosthetic design.

We love SwitchPoint events for the inspiration we feel there, the connections we make.

And speaking of love, there’s a lot of it in the SwitchPoint community, both at the annual conference and at the monthly lead-up events. Last month, I experienced the power of VR for the first time at the SwitchPoint Virtual Reality (VR) Lab and got a glimpse of the power VR can have in training and empathy generation.

Then at the SwitchPoint Game Slam this month, I met some game lovers compelled to learn and understand how gaming can help solve the problems that plague our world. In the words of the celebrated game designer Jane McGonigal: “If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, and obesity, we need to aspire to play games for 21 billion hours a week by the end of the next decade.”

That’s a lot of love for games.

Many of us love SwitchPoint events for the inspiration we feel there, or the connections we make, or the performances that move us. This year, at our main event in April, we’re looking forward to even more of those than ever. Because it’s those sparkly moments that change your course, change your perspective, or at the very least change your outlook.

When I think back through the years and the hundreds of brilliant minds I’ve encountered at SwitchPoint, there’s one dazzling thought that occurs to me:

I’ve only met a tiny fraction of the geniuses who are now searching for creative solutions to the world’s problems. This exponential potential for love, power, and inspiration makes me believe things are going to be okay.