The 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum kicked off this evening with remarks from Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director of Tavistock Group, on the topic of transformation.

While Thakkar was talking specifically about the incredible transformation of the Lake Nona community over the last decade, his comments set the tone for the evening’s discussion. Transformation in the way businesses, academia and government think about health and wellness will be at the center of the conversations happening over the next few days at the Lake Nona Impact Forum.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder, editor-in-chief and namesake of The Huffington Post, continued the theme, talking about the transformation in employee wellness happening in workplaces across America. She noted that C-suite execs are openly discussing once-marginal concepts like their meditation or “digital detox” practices. In short, she explained, downtime is no longer synonymous with laziness but an opportunity for renewal.

The conversation continued with Huffington interviewing Alex Gorsky, CEO and chairman of Johnson & Johnson, on how a focus on employee wellness leads to improved employee engagement. No longer is there a disconnect between employee investment and a company’s bottom line. In fact, Gorsky noted their research finds that, for every dollar invested in the employee, the company earns three to four in return. “Investing in our employees is just the right thing to do,” he told delegates.

The duo stressed that working excessively long hours or on the weekends should no longer be considered a badge of honor. In fact, as Alex explained, Johnson & Johnson now has a policy not to answer emails on the weekend, unless it’s specifically stated as urgent. It’s these small but powerful changes to the vernacular of the workplace that greatly reduce employee stress levels and improve workforce engagement.

Transforming from a country based on sick-care to one of well-care was another prevalent theme throughout the evening. It was introduced in the context of Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute, based in Lake Nona, which studies patients’ specific motivation for recovery – and that leads to structured behavior, which allows them to reach their goals.

Innovation in the delivery of health care and practice of wellness was a conversation that began tonight in presentations from leaders at Guidewell and Garmin. Dawn Iddings of Garmin introduced participants to Vivofit, a wearable wristband that tracks activity and personalized activity goals. She announced the Impact Forum Step-Challenge, in which delegates will have their steps logged over the course of the Forum and displayed on a leaderboard. It was noted that our inactivity as a society is comparable to the issue around smoking in the decade before. Garmin is advancing consumer technologies to encourage healthy living and inspire active living.

Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, discussed ongoing concerns about the cost of America’s health care system and called the third Lake Nona Impact Forum “just what the doctor ordered” to challenge the existing way of doing things and bring disruptive ideas to create a sustainable and healthy world.

The “transformation” is underway, with more to come Thursday and Friday at the Forum.

Remember to follow us @LN_Institute and join the discussion at #LNIF15.

Today it begins! The eagerly awaited 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum presented by Johnson & Johnson is underway at Lake Nona Medical City.

With 250 of the nation’s top CEOs, academics and health care leaders in attendance here in Orlando, they are engaging in collaborative, meaningful conversations – through interactive panels, thought-provoking presentations and networking opportunities — that will further inspire impactful health innovation.

From CEOs to academicians, corporate scientists to government officials, media titans to health care pundits, the breadth and depth of speakers, panelists and participants is stunning. Their dialogues and debates are sure to lead to big ideas that will motivate the next generation of new technologies and programs for healthy, sustainable and inspired communities.

And what better place to host such a forward-thinking group of the world’s foremost health care leaders than Lake Nona, which FORTUNE Magazine has called a model for the next great American city.

We are grateful to presenting sponsor Johnson & Johnson and our 21 other sponsors for making the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum happen. Return here often for updates throughout the three-day forum, or follow us on Twitter @LN_Institute or using #LNIF15, on LinkedIn and on Facebook.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2015) – This week, more than 250 of the nation’s top CEOs, health care innovators and thought leaders are gathered in Lake Nona, Orlando for the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum presented by Johnson & Johnson.

Committed to inspiring impactful health innovation, the invitation-only event fosters conversation among key leaders through interactive panels, thought-provoking presentations and rare networking opportunities. Sessions during this year’s Impact Forum range from personalized medicine and building healthy communities to the impact of wearable technology and wellness real estate.

“We set out three years ago to convene the best thinkers and innovators who can redefine the landscape for health and health care, and this year’s speakers and delegates are doing just that, with Lake Nona increasingly recognized as a place at the forefront of that change.” said Dr. Thaddeus Seymour Jr., president of the Lake Nona Institute and host of the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum.

The three-day symposium developed by the Lake Nona Institute was inspired by the Aspen Institute, TED Conferences and the Clinton Global Initiative platforms. This year’s cutting-edge presentations and conversations will be led by some of the nation’s foremost leaders, including the following speakers and panelists:

  • Alex Gorksy, Chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson
  • Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group
  • Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings; Founder, HICCup
  • Jeff Arnold, Founder & CEO, Sharecare, Inc.
  • John Chen, CEO & Executive Chair, BlackBerry
  • Mehmet Oz, MD, Host, “The Dr. Oz Show;” Vice Chair & Professor of Surgery, Columbia University
  • Mehmood Khan, MD, Vice Chairman & Chief Scientific Officer of Global Research & Development, PepsiCo
  • Patrick Geraghty, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, GuideWell and Florida Blue
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, CEO & Founder, Nantworks; Chairman, Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation; CEO, Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Paul Scialla, Founder, Delos Living
  • The Honorable Robert McDonald, US Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN; Staff Neurosurgeon, The Emory Clinic; Associate Chief of Neurology, Grady Memorial Hospital

The event seeks to be an open forum for discussion and idea sharing among the country’s foremost health, life sciences, and technology leaders.  The 2013 wrap-up video found at provides an overview of the inspiring and dynamic discussions held during the forum.

In the vein of improving health and healthcare technology, the 2015 Lake Nona Impact Forum is hosted in the health and life science cluster of Lake Nona Medical City, and venues include the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, SanfordBurnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, Nemours Children’s Hospital, the University of Florida Research & Academic Center, and the Orlando VA Medical Center.  

The 7,000-acre master-planned community of Lake Nona is developed by Tavistock Development Company, a diversified real estate firm owned by Tavistock Group and specializing in planning, design, finance, construction and development. Recently acknowledged by FORTUNE Magazine as a model for the next great American city, Lake Nona is one of the fastest growing communities in America attracting more than $2.8 billion in construction across 7.1 million square feet with the development of two new hospitals, three college campuses, a nationally recognized medical research institute, the USTA’s ‘New Home of American Tennis’ and thousands of new homes. Focused on sustainable design and healthy living, Lake Nona is recognized by Cisco as the only designated “Iconic Smart + Connected Community” in the U.S. for its integrated gigabit network – one of only nine such communities in the world.

The 2015 Lake Nona Institute Impact Forum is presented by Johnson & Johnson, along with Founding Sponsors:  Cisco, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, GuideWell, Sharecare, Tavistock Foundation; Medical City Partners: Nemours Children’s Health System, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, UF Health, Orlando VA Medical Center; and Contributing Sponsors: Dr. Phillips Charities, Florida Hospital, Garmin, Insurance Office of America, MediFit, Mirati Therapeutics, Orlando Health, PepsiCo, PwC, Technogym, and the United States Tennis Association.

To learn more about the Lake Nona Impact Forum and the Lake Nona Institute, visit and