“Less than one decade ago, some leaders thought plans for Lake Nona would never materialize,” said UCF President Dr. John Hitt as he welcomed Forum attendees on day two. “Now, Lake Nona is said to be the biggest economic game changer for Central Florida since Walt Disney World.”

And the Medical City is certainly a beacon for hope. “Because our community dared to dream big, Lake Nona has become a model for the nation,” he said.

With that inspirational note, Scott Wapner, CNBC host of of “Fast Money Halftime Report,” took the stage to set the framework for the day. “Today we’re going to hear from those who have used their own entrepreneurial spirit to transform the way we live our lives,” he said. “Unique business opportunities have clearly been created from this new health care model that we are all living in today.”

And we can certainly learn from those already leading the way. Take Mark Verstegen, for example. He launched API-Core Performance. He addressed what can we learn about proactive health and performance from elite athletes. We marvel at their seemingly superhuman prowess, as well as their determination, motivation and their ability to recover. What is it about their training that could apply to the rest of us seeking optimal health?

“Every day is game day,” he said. But the most important thing to remember is, “we have to realize that we are dealing with people.”

One thing to keep in mind, he said, is that “we need to practice what we preach. Sometimes our health givers are the least cared for population out there. These are the ones providing your services. If we don’t upgrade them, that’s going to affect the outcomes of all our organizations.”

A Conversation with Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour

Up next was Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour, who continued the conversation about entrepreneurship and proactive health.

CNBC’s Scott Wapner introduced Plank as a guy who “literally turned his sweat into a $2 billion business.” Today, Plank’s focus on innovation empowers not only athletes but everyday people who strive for healthy living.

Scott Wapner, Host of CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” and Kevin Plank, CEO, Under Armour

Where exactly does this sort of drive come from, Wapner asked? “I always enjoyed creating a team of people with a shared vision,” said Plank. “Entrepreneurship is something that we try to teach, but I think you have to inspire the culture. It’s a 360-degree approach. It has to come from all facets and assets of your body.”

And the road is never easy. “Entrepreneurship is a painful process,” he said. “You want to be known and to be recognized, but it takes a really long time for that to happen. In those early stages there’s no one thing. There’s simply the entrepreneur who finds a way to get it done. I knew I’d go broke before I made a nickel.”

A New Era of Engagement: Maximizing Optimization & Personalization to Foster Wellness

Daniel Amen, MD, CEO of Amen Clinics, Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold, Delos Living Founder Paul Scialla, Fitness expert and trainer on ‘The Biggest Loser’ Dolvett Quince, Tictrac Co-Founder Jeremy Jauncey, and Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer Michael Roizen, MD

The panel discussion focused on “the person” – the consumer, patient, caregiver — and how we inspire this person using technology to change their lives. The main question here is: Can you change the health of the population with a return on investment that makes sense for an organization?

The biggest problem we have, of course, is medical costs, which are constantly soaring across the country and world. “The only way we can bend this curve to flat, is if we can decrease the influx of chronic disease,” said Michael Roizen, Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer. “We have the most disease in the world between ages 55 and 65 years old.” The four factors causing this are tobacco, food choice/portion size, physical inactivity and stress. Stress is the most important factor.

Roizen told the audience about a case study of a patient who was able to lose 43 pounds, control his type 2 diabetes and get rid of his osteoarthritis. Part of the success was due to personal touch formed through email updates. “It was our way of nudging him,” Roizen said. And the combination of technology, care and consistency worked. The patient’s healthier lifestyle saved $30,000 direct costs because of the foods and health issues he avoided.

He also engages patients by using MyChart, where they can review suggestive care maneuvers, book doctors appointments, etc., and Wellness Widget, where patients enter their own data on an iPad.

Founding a New Industry – The Canyon Ranch Story

Due to an asthmatic condition, Mel Zuckerman, founder of The Canyon Ranch and a pioneer in health and wellness, was told he couldn’t exercise as a child. So he didn’t. For 40 years. Until he ended up in a “fat farm.”

That’s when he had his aha moment. When he discovered that he actually could exercise, he felt empowered. “I was feeling like I had never felt in the first 50 years of my life,” he said. “I need to feel this way for the rest of my life. I lost 30 pounds in 4 weeks.”

He immediately wanted to pass along this discovery to others. So, he built the first Canyon Ranch resort in 1978. “Most people don’t realize how empowered they will feel if they live a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director, Tavistock Group and Mel Zuckerman, Founder, Canyon Ranch

How did he turn his newfound passion for wellness into a respectable business model?

“We hired staff that was nurturing and caring,” he said. “The people I surround myself with share the same passion.”

Revitalizing America

In 1980, the world shifted a lot, Alex Friedman, chief investment officer of UBS, began. There was a big push to revitalize the economy. And it worked. America started borrowing more.

By 1987, “It felt like the sky was falling,” he said. And by 2008, when the housing bubble burst, things just got worse. Now, as the economy recovers, the climate is just right for innovators and entrepreneurs. Innovation is creating jobs and igniting economic growth.

Overall, this gathering of 150 of the best and brightest in the health and wellness industry was a huge success. As Florida Blue’s Renee Finley said, “we’re in the crossroads of something very transformative. There will be a tsunami of opportunities that emerge, and Lake Nona will clearly capitalize on this.”

When a handful of key leaders from around the globe get together in Lake Nona, Fla., here’s what happens: a lively discussion that is altogether inspiring.

Healthcare Reform

“This is arguably one of the most transformative times in health in history,” said Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senator. “Over the next few years this country will be building a new paradigm in health.”

And with that, Daschle launched the Forum with a real spirit of optimism. Likewise, he was equally positive about Lake Nona’s Medical City.

“This is really one of the of the most innovative experiences that I’ve had,” he says. “What you’ve done in a very short period of time and what you are about to do over the course of the next few years is extraordinary.”

As the architect of Obamacare, he set aside the question of what government’s role should be and instead addressed cost, access and quality issues, pointing out that 45,000 people die a year because they don’t have health insurance.

Transforming the Health of Cities

Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor at NBC News, kicked off the following panel, which was meant to take Daschle’s ideas and move them forward. The key take away is that leadership really matters especially at a grassroots level. In order to move the dial, a community and its key stakeholders must roll up its collective sleeve and take charge.

Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of Clinton Health Matters, is taking that to heart. “We like to say we’re in the how business,” she said. “We use a common formula. We take on complex problems, and look at how we try to move the needle.”

Health Policy and New Models of Care

“Innovating a Learning Health Care System” Panel

“All physicians share a special relationship with the patient,” said Jim Madara, CEO of the American Medical Association. “We call it ‘the magic moment.’”

Along those lines, “we need to engage patients in coproduction of health,” said Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

At the end of the day, if you have a satisfied physician, you have a satisfied patient.

After this session, Florida Blue announced its new innovation center as “a next step in a transformation of the health and healthcare community in the state of Florida.” The 92,000-square-foot, three-story building will break ground in the first half of 2014 across from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Lake Nona’s Thad Seymour Announces the Lake Nona Innovation Center

Medical Technology

“How do we decode connectivity?” Carlos Dominguez, EVP, office of the chairman and CEO of Cisco, asked the crowd. And perhaps, more importantly, “How do you get your organization to follow? How do you lead people through this transformation?”

“Build a culture of experimentation,” he said.

Carlos Dominguez, EVP, office of the chairman and CEO of Cisco

Technology has rebooted all industries. Take the car insurance industry, for example. Thanks to technology, Progressive is monitoring actual behavior now and charging premiums based on that.

Healthcare is no different. Consider Proteus. It has developed ingestible sensors that gather information about medication-taking, activity and rest patterns providing valuable insight for patients and caregivers alike. Or, consider connected inhalers, which help give an accurate picture of what is happening in asthma patients. And finally, what has a lot of people, including Dominguez, intrigued: 3-D printing.

Disruptive Innovation

“How do we leverage what we know about the genome?” said Bob Brigham, chief administrative officer of the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Regenerative medicine is going to allow the body to heal itself; one day we won’t be doing transplantation anymore.”

“You are continually regenerating yourself,” said Tom Gonwa, M.D., chair of transplantation at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Pluripotent stem cells can make anything.”

Essentially, you take a simple skin biopsy, reboot it and turn it into whatever you want.

“It’s one of the most important discoveries in medicine so far,” he said.

Beyond that, The Mayo Clinic is making other technological strides. Take RP7, for example. It’s a telemedicine robot that allows doctors to be face to face with patients even if they are miles away. It also allows doctors to consult with other doctors in different locations, saving precious time.

Focusing Where It Matters

The day ended with an important discussion on obesity, one of the most daunting public health issues facing the nation and the world today. In fact, this year, obesity was designated as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association.

Diabetes is on the rise. Why? “More people are getting diagnosed,” said Vivian Wang. As countries become more wealthy you can eat a more Westernized diet. People are becoming more sedentary.”

It’s no surprise that diabetes is the main driver of healthcare costs in the U.S. In fact, the total cost is 234 billion, according to Wang.

What’s frustrating is that “95 percent of type 2 diabetes is preventable by practicing healthy eating habits.”

On the positive side, “we are starting to understand the behavioral aspects of diabetes,” said John Brooks, president and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Institute Harvard. “Having that kind of understanding is going to be critical.”

Sam Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, concurred by ending the day with a zinger. “This will actually be a very exciting time to be obese,” he said.

Earlier today at the second annual Lake Nona Impact Forum, Tavistock Group and Florida Blue announced the development of the Florida Blue Innovation Center at Lake Nona Medical City featuring the Florida Blue Collaborative Imagination Center. The 92,000-square-foot, three-story building will feature both wet lab and office space. Tavistock anticipates groundbreaking for the Florida Blue Innovation Center in the first half of 2014, with a grand opening scheduled in 2015.

Pat Geraghty, Chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, said, “Florida Blue’s mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. We see our Collaborative Imagination Center within the Florida Blue Innovation Center as the embodiment of the future of health care, and we look forward to utilizing the facility in ways to bring true innovative thought to life that will positively impact health.” He added, “We can accomplish this by investing boldly in innovation and partnering with like-minded people and organizations who share our vision for imagining the future. Lake Nona is a place we believe can do just that, and we are committed to helping to lead that charge here.”

Located in the heart of Lake Nona Medical City across from the University of Florida Research & Academic Center and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Florida Blue Innovation Center will establish a center of gravity for health and life sciences innovation, according to Dr. Thaddeus Seymour, Jr., President of the Lake Nona Institute and host of the 2013 Lake Nona Impact Forum.

“The Innovation Center marks an important stage in the development of the health and life sciences cluster at Lake Nona,” said Seymour. “Anchored by Florida Blue, the building will provide Central Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with a new launch pad that will take advantage of the exceptional research, health care and technology capabilities available at Lake Nona. The addition of much needed laboratory and incubation space will accelerate the formation and growth of the life sciences commercial sector of our economy, creating high quality new jobs and significant value creation for decades to come.”

Florida Blue will serve as the building’s anchor tenant with its Collaborative Imagination Center. Other tenants will include a 15,000 square-foot life sciences incubator to be managed by the University of Central Florida in partnership with the University of Florida. Funding for the initial planning and startup of the incubator has been provided by $2.5 million in state funding made possible through the efforts of Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando. Tavistock is actively recruiting companies and organizations to occupy the remaining space of the Innovation Center, which is served by the same advanced technology infrastructure that has earned Lake Nona the “Iconic City” designation by Cisco. Once the first building is fully occupied, Tavistock will begin recruiting for the second of four planned adjacent innovation-focused buildings in the heart of Lake Nona Medical City.

CEOs Support Increased Physical Activity—Effort Will Drive Greater Employee Health and Wellness

Yesterday, at the Lake Nona Impact Forum, an annual convergence of top thought leaders representing academia, industry, healthcare delivery, and government, leaders from many of the nation’s foremost organizations signed the CEO Pledge at a session led by Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson. The CEO Pledge – a nationwide campaign promoted by the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) – aims to encourage every CEO in the United States to recognize and champion physical activity as an important driver of employee performance, health, and engagement.

“Our employees are our greatest asset, and we believe that by investing in their health, we are investing in the success of our business,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. “I am honored to convene this group of senior leaders to sign the CEO Pledge and make a strong statement about the importance of physical activity. Getting people moving is a critical priority for our country and we, as leaders, must set the example by providing opportunities for employees and their families to become more active and improve their health and quality of life.”

More than 150 CEOs have signed the CEO Pledge since its launch last year. Joining Alex Gorsky of Johnson & Johnson, today’s signing ceremony added Mark Verstegen, Founder and President of Athlete’s Performance; Mel Zuckerman, Founder of Canyon Ranch; Pat Geraghty, Chairman and CEO of Florida Blue; Des Cummings, Jr., President of Florida Hospital Foundations; John Brooks, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard University; Jim Zboril, President of Lake Nona; Thad Seymour, PhD, President of Lake Nona Institute; Roger Oxendale, CEO of Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando; David Bailey, MD, President and CEO of The Nemours Foundation; Tim Liezert, Medical Center Director of Orlando VA Medical Center; Jeff Arnold, Founder and CEO of Sharecare; Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director of Tavistock Group; and Deborah German, MD, Dean of the University of Central Florida, College of Medicine. A complete listing of signatories may be found at http://www.ncppa.org/ceo-pledge .

For more information on NCPPA’s CEO Pledge, including how to join the movement for physical activity in the workplace, please visit www.ncppa.org.

About the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity

NCPPA is the leading force in the country promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives. We are a diverse blend of associations, health organizations, and private corporations, advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active.

Tonight marked the beginning of the second annual Lake Nona Impact Forum, hosted at the burgeoning life sciences cluster in Lake Nona Medical City.

The high profile event kicked-off with a VIP reception at the Intelligent Home in Laureate Park, the cutting-edge residential community located minutes from the developing Medical City. Guests toured this state-of-the-art, futuristic venue, which represents the paradigm shift that is placing the home at the heart of personal and family wellness.

Among the Intelligent Home’s innovative features are a mirror displaying individual biometrics, workout devices that track workout goals, a customized kitchen to track weight management goals, and apps and tools that help residents maintain physical health, as well as spiritual health and wellness.

The program then moved to Nemours Children’s Hospital for a welcome reception for the Forum’s delegates from diverse sectors such as health care, academia, government and other key industries.

President of the Lake Nona Institute Thad Seymour, Jr., greeted delegates and introduced this year’s core theme: Inspiring Health Innovation. Panel discussions followed suit, led by Tavistock Group’s Senior Managing Director Rasesh Thakkar, who stressed the need and opportunity for development in the health care field, especially at this pivotal time in our nation.

“We are here for one reason, and that is to make a difference in this world,” Thakkar said. “One inspired human can make a difference.”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, led discussions on innovating technology that is transforming the human condition and breaking barriers to welcome “human touch, human kindness and human grace” in the medical field.

GE’s Jan De Witte and Johnson & Johnson’s Alex Gorsky touched on opportunities for integrated technology and collaborative efforts to increase preventative health initiatives through groundbreaking solutions such as personalized medicine, modernized anesthesia and lower health care costs for the consumer.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle closed the evening by noting the innovative opportunities at Lake Nona.

“Somebody once said that those without imagination have no wings,” Daschle said. ”I think you are a wing factory here at Lake Nona. In three years, you have built something that is now being recognized around the world. Your commitment to wellness, education and sustainability couldn’t be more clear. And tonight, we see collaboration at its finest.”

Just a taste of what is to come over the next few days, the remaining portions of the Impact Forum are set to delve further into these trending topics and the promise of opportunity for new collaborations and progressions amongst industry leaders.

This week, a group of the nation’s foremost CEOs, academics and healthcare leaders will gather at the emerging life science cluster in Lake Nona Medical City to generate and exchange ideas that inspire new ways to address healthcare, wellness and sustainability practices in our communities.

The 2013 Lake Nona Impact Forum, taking place Oct. 23 – 25, will explore the roles technology, innovation, collaboration, imagination, wellness and prevention play in health and healthcare by uniting business executives and key innovators from academia, industry, healthcare delivery and government for three days of symposia and informal conversations.

“We are building upon our successful Forum last year and are gratified with the interest we are generating around the activity at Lake Nona,” said Dr. Thaddeus Seymour Jr., president of the Lake Nona Institute and host of the 2013 Lake Nona Impact Forum. “With this incredibly diverse group, we are confident we can come up with innovative programs and solutions, which can be tested and expanded to additional markets around the world.”

Given the state of healthcare and its uncertainty, a broad group of executives has been assembled from academia, industry, healthcare delivery and government to present their insights and solutions for improving our nation’s health. This year’s speakers and panelists include U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer Michael Roizen, NBC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Clinton Health Matters CEO Ginny Ehrlich, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Policy Advisor Susan Dentzer, UBS Chief Investment Officer Alex Friedman, GE Healthcare IT and Performance Solutions President and CEO Jan DeWitte, Florida Blue Chairman and CEO Pat Geraghty, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, and U.S. Senator Mel Martinez.

The three-day conference will deliver a series of presentations and conversations held in the heart of Lake Nona’s emerging health and life science cluster. Lake Nona Impact Forum conference venues include the University of Central Florida Health Sciences Campus, the Sanford?Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Florida Research & Academic Center. These institutions, along with the Orlando VA Medical Center (opening next year), represent an economic bright spot in the state with $2 billion invested in facilities and infrastructure over the last seven years alone. The 7,000-acre master planned community of Lake Nona is being developed by Tavistock Group, a private investment organization.

The 2013 Lake Nona Impact Forum is presented by the Lake Nona Institute and GE, along with sponsors: Johnson & Johnson, Florida Blue, Cisco, UCF College of Medicine, UBS, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Tavistock Foundation, UF Research Institute, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours, Sharecare, Under Armour, Canyon Ranch, and Insurance Office of America.

Inspired by the influential Aspen Institute, TED Conferences and the Clinton Global Initiative platforms, the Lake Nona Impact Forum was founded and organized by the Lake Nona Institute, a nonprofit community-focused organization committed to creating sustainable, healthy communities and advancing the quality of life by exploring the intersections of wellness, sustainable living and education.

To learn more about Lake Nona and the Lake Nona Institute, visit www.LearnLakeNona.com and www.LakeNonaInstitute.org.