The IFTF Blog
Vivian Distler, May 1965 - December 2011
IFTF has lost a dear colleague and a bright node in its network community in December. Vivian Distler, a Director of Research and Collaborative Networks at IFTF, has passed away. Her colleagues on the Health Horizons team and across the Institute and its broader community will miss her insights, her laughter, her friendship, and her caring.
Vivian joined IFTF in 2007 and quickly became the voice of the Health Horizons Program in the blogosphere. She was also the Institute's anchor in many of the networks that helped make sense out of emerging health trends. Pursuing her deep interest in the quantified self, anticipatory health, and new medical technologies, she built spirited relationships with thought leaders, innovative organizations, and social networks at the cutting edge of health and well-being.
Vivian could often be found working late into the evening, accompanied by her long-time animal companion Buddy. She contributed to such diverse projects as Global Food Outlook, Mobile Health, the Future of Persuasion, and the American Heart Association's Social Media Project. She was the practical driving force behind several games, both public and private, to crowd-source foresight about the health horizon. With an inaugural grant from the IFTF Roy Amara Fund, she also helped develop a forecasting curriculum for high school students in East Palo Alto, focusing on the future of food and nutrition.
Among her blog posts for Health Horizons are her reflections on everything from a "pink" ladies' health tracking application for the iPad to laughter as the "best medicine." In a post reviewing the TEDMED performance of opera-singer Charity Tillerman-Dick, she wrote:
"Charity is still alive—and able again to perform—as a result of the double lung transplant she received more than a year ago at the Cleveland Clinic....I attended TEDMED to learn about some of the most exciting developments in science, technology, and medicine. Exploring these signs of change is part of what I do in my day-to-day life as a researcher at IFTF. But listening to Charity reminded me of what's really important to remember when thinking about the future of health. It's about the people whose lives are going to be affected by the incredible advances that are being made in S&T."
We mourn Vivian deeply. She will always be in our hearts.
- Date: Sunday, January 29
- Time: 2pm
- Location: Congregation Etz Chaylm, 4161 Alma Street (between Charleston and San Antonio), Palo Alto, California