The Rise of the Health Creation Society?

What is the antidote to 300+ years of narrow focus on producing and consuming things while neglecting human needs?

Prosperity eludes us today as we cope with toxic residue from the industrial era. Human potential is suppressed by dysfunctional financial systems, unsustainable medical systems, “angry” citizens, alienation, depression, educational models that are focused on teaching at the expense of learning, plus careless abuse of the natural and built environment.

The antidote to all this sickness and dystopia is health. Health provides people with the capacity to prosper beyond the mindless, passive consumption of goods and services that seemed to have worked so well in the past.

Instead of one more dehumanizing label for the future such as “information age,” how about an aspirational term – a term that evokes active participation in a collaborative creative process: the health creation society.

The question at the heart of aspiring to transform machine age norms on a daily, local level as well as a multi-generational, global scale is:

“Am I /are we engaged in creating health or eroding health?”

– Sharon VanderKaay and Tye Farrow


  1. Don’t many of the ingredients to the Health Creation Society fit within the world of “producing and consuming things”? Healthy financial and medical systems, research (and development!), and enhancing the built environment all have a stake in production. I agree that our values are skewed and we should consider our lifestyles and designed environment from the point of view of ongoing health and well-being, but I think the dichotomy here is too simple.

    • Sharon Vanderkaay

      We certainly will continue to produce and consume things. I think the question is whether people will be satisfied with the role of passive consumer in an illness-oriented society, or will there be more active citizens who frame their choices around health (whether financial products or active living)?

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    We see our collaboration with clients and colleagues as providing a living lab for enriching the creative process. Farrow’s built work has been internationally recognized for leadership in human-centric design. This is where we come to discuss our ideas as they hatch and our experiences as they happen.
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