September 21-23, 2021
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The Leaflet Article

Featured Article:

The Symposium - A 'Call to Action' from Now through September 2021

Dr. Wayne Ruga, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FIIDA

In the 68 years of my life, I have seen and experienced some amazing happenings - but, I have never lived through such an intense period of disruptive change as these first 6 months of 2020 have been. Of course, notwithstanding the human suffering and the tragic impact this period will have upon the future of humankind, a most unfortunate consequence of this period of change is the need to cancel the 2020 Symposium.

I have known for many months that I would be writing an article for this issue of the 'Leaflet'; - however, the current circumstances have filled me with a sense of urgency to write this article, a very different article than I initially had in mind. 'This article is a 'Call to Action' - to you, and to our Symposium community; this is an unprecedented time of challenges AND of opportunity, of new possibilities, and it is an ideal time for strengthening the bonds of connectedness within our extensive Symposium community.

I write this from my perspective of being the Symposium founder, of having been an active attendee in 27 of the 32 regular annual Symposium events, being an outspoken and highly opinionated advocate for the ability of; to transform lives, and one who is not bashful about challenging the status quo to progress by pioneering uncharted territories.

Right now, tomorrow, next week - from now through September 2021 - what can each one of us do to further transform health and healthcare;Three suggestions come into my mind:

  1. Reach out – Let’s use this time to extend ourselves to individuals we have connected with in the Symposium community.  Each, and every one of us, is an important resource and our contribution to others is highly valued - these 18 words are what the Symposium has been founded upon - this is the unique DNA that provides the Symposium with its transformative edge....and, the more diverse and different 'voices' that engage within our community, the greater the vitality of its impact upon progress.  This is a wonderful time to reach out and connect with others who we have met at the Symposium - last year, or any time - and begin a new conversation.... maybe a conversation that begins with a question like - 'how can I best be a useful resource for you?'.
  2. Write a ‘Leaflet’ article - In the previous issue of the ‘Leaflet’, Jenabeth extended an invitation to the Symposium community to submit articles for publication in the 'Leaflet'.  This is an ideal opportunity for all of us to engage with the Symposium community by sharing our unique resources – our advanced learnings, innovative project solutions, new products, progressive approaches, or even big questions.  Everyone in the Symposium community is interested in securing new resources - what resources do you have that we can benefit from your sharing with us by your writing an article for the ‘Leaflet’?
  3. Plan to participate in the 2021 Symposium - Finally, even though it is not possible to predict what the world will be like in September 2021, we can assume that there will be a Symposium and that it will be a real humdinger (definition: 'a remarkable or outstanding thing of its kind').  Please mark 20 - 23 September 2021, Austin, TX, in your calendar and make plans to attend (there may be a Pre-Conference Workshop and additional offerings on the 20th).  Hopefully, these plans will include re-connecting in real-time with your connections to share each other's good company AND to explore how to build upon the resources of each of you to create a new initiative - one that contributes to the transformative impact of the Symposium, and that you can - then - share with the Symposium community as an inspirational learning resource, either as a future ‘Leaflet’ article or Symposium presentation…or both.                     


Design will always be a resource that can contribute benefits to the provision of health and healthcare.  There is no foreseeable limit to the many innovative ways that design can be defined and utilized to improve upon the status quo.  The cancellation of the September 2020 annual event is not a reason for engagement in the Symposium community to diminish or end - rather, it is a unique opportunity to strengthen the connections and relationships that we have already created.  This ‘Call to Action’ is a suggestion to encourage us all to do precisely that.

I look forward to being together with you in Austin, again, in 2021.  Certainly, in the meantime, I will be acting upon each one of these three suggestions – and, I welcome you to reach out to connect with me so that, mutually, we can explore ‘how can I best be a useful resource for you?’   

My contact details are -                                                                                                                        

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