The Think Tank from Conception to Birth

About 9 months ago (almost symbolic isn’t it!), in the car on my way to Amsterdam, our new concept “The Think Tank” was conceived.

We wanted to bring world-class speakers/scientists to give lectures. But something did not feel right. Why bring a leading expert to the Netherlands just to give one lecture? It didn’t make sense to us. And after almost a decade in higher education we knew that students would only retain about 10% of what they heard during a lecture.

With this in mind we started brainstorming.

How could we improve the learning experience?

How could we make sure the therapists would get the most out of the time with this expert?

Could we provide something for different therapists with different needs?

How could we offer this to therapists in different locations?

And these were just some of the questions we were asking ourselves. To answer these questions we had to go back to the basis. Why? As Simon Sinek would say, it starts with why. What was our Why?

We want to improve healthcare, we want to provide better healthcare to our patients, we want to create an environment where we can share information and increase the knowledge of the therapists, and we want to educate as many therapists as we can. More knowledge equals better treatment and in the end provides better and more effective treatments to our patients.

We were sitting there thinking: Shit, those are some ambitious Why’s. How can we live up to these ambitions? This brought up even more questions.

But we had to start somewhere and we started putting names on paper. Pretty soon we had a list of names of people we wanted to invite. These were the best in their field. To be honest, it was almost terrifying! This was a new concept nobody had done before! How would we convince these people of coming, making time in their schedules for something we didn’t even know would work? Well, we got in touch with them. We pitched our ideas for them... and they loved it! We got valuable input from them and used that to refine the concept.

But how could we bring this concept to people? This was probably the most ambitious part of our idea. 3 days, 3 locations, 2 countries. Shit... Would the experts agree to this? And again they were amazing! Yes! Groningen, Amsterdam, Antwerp. 3 days...

We all have different learning styles. And we wanted to share this information with as many as we could. How could we do that? Our initial idea was to bring them over for a lecture. Well, we could still do that. So we decided to offer an evening lecture on each of the 3 days and locations. Low price, low time investment and an opportunity to meet likeminded therapists, have a drink and a chat.

The central point stayed the Think Tank. We wanted to create an environment where discussion was central, where there would be room for questions. Actually no, not only room, the students should drive it. We didn’t want the students to come and sit down waiting to consume. We wanted them to come prepared, engaged, motivated to learn.

So we created an online learning environment where articles and movies could be shared, an online chat forum for questions and discussion prior to the Think Tank and after completion so that the learning would not stop after the course ended. The lecture would be recorded and come on the forum for the participants to review when they would come home.

We believe that to really learn, you must connect the new information to your current situation. You need a context to put it in. To achieve this, we want the therapists to read a few articles before they come in, and also prepare a case, a patient they select from their own practice. We also want to stimulate a discussion about the current state of evidence.

Key elements in the discussion would be:
• What does the articles say
• How does it apply to your patients (population, setting e.g.)
• How does it match with current clinical practice
• Where is the gap between science and practice
• Where does science need to catch up
• Where do clinicians need to catch up

And as a result, we want to come up with a research question, which will be presented to Universities for new research projects.

We are proud of this concept, we believe in giving back to practice and to stimulate new ideas. In the end, that is what Incitus stands for. To incite, to bring things in motion, in rapid motion. We hope you will like it as well, we know our experts do!

Hope to see you there in 2018 for the "birth" of our Think Tank.

Stay curious, keep exploring.


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