019: Dr. Julio Frenk (President, University of Miami)

Dr. Julio Frenk on Innovation City

“It’s not very difficult to be generous to your family and friends. What’s really tough in this world is to be generous to total strangers; people who look different than you, who maybe pray differently than you, speak differently than you, make love differently than you.” — Dr. Julio Frenk

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Dr. Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami. He joins Tyler and Michael at the University of Miami recording booth at the eMERGE AMERICAS conference. Dr. Frenk is a 4th-generation physician and the former Minister of Health of Mexico. Dr. Frenk has also served as Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Founding Director-General of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, Executive Director of Evidence and Information Policy for the World Health Organization (WHO), and as a Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also written three best-selling novels for kids that explain the functions of the human body. Find Dr. Frenk on Twitter @julio_frenk.

They discuss:

  • Innovating in technology vs. innovating in procedure, policy, and practice
  • The first fully democratic election in Mexico’s history in 2000
  • Getting the opportunity to put into practice ideas Dr. Frenk had researched and written about at the WHO
  • Seguro Popular, a program of comprehensive universal health coverage which Dr. Frenk created in Mexico, that provides coverage for over
  • 55,000,000 previously uninsured people
  • Transitioning to education
  • Education and Healthcare — the two fundamental investments
  • Creating fairness in a society
  • The lack of a technological revolution in education as compared to healthcare in the 20th Century, compared to changes that are beginning to develop now in the 21st
  • Disruption in education
  • Open architecture higher education systems; programs that people attend throughout their professional lives, rather than just traditional 4-year college programs and graduate programs
  • The most dynamic labor market in human history
  • Students graduating college are working in jobs and fields that didn’t exist when they started school as children
  • Stockbroker firms hiring computer scientists instead of finance majors
  • Medical diagnosis will improve through use of AI; soon doctors and nurses will have to focus on interpersonal interaction; a radical change from the skills they are currently taught
  • A flexible, modular approach to education
  • Virtual or mixed reality classrooms
  • Reaffirming the value of education
  • The importance of critical thinking
  • Numeracy: understanding the nature of math and data
  • Ethical reasoning
  • Flipped classrooms
  • The importance of gratitude
  • His family’s flight from Nazi Germany to Mexico
  • The need to give back, the need for generosity to strangers
  • The importance of embracing change
  • Living in the slowest moment in history
  • Career plasticity