AMEDD Futures 2039

Developing a capacity for futures thinking within the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) and exploring major trends impacting military medicine

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IAF completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the AMEDD Futures 2039 Project, which was designed to develop a capacity for futures thinking within the Army Medical Department (AMEDD), and to explore major trends impacting the AMEDD over the next 30 years. Participants included more than 40 military and civilian AMEDD personnel, located in the United States and Europe.

Phase 1 consisted of a workshop that took place in San Antonio, Texas, on November 14, 2008 where participants discussed 14 provocative forecasts developed by IAF, for military medicine in 2039. The 14 forecasts are:

Following the discussion, participants identified six key topics that required further study:

  • Military Medicine 2039 – Jointness and Beyond
  • The 2039 Health Care Model
  • Healthy Communities in 2039
  • The Optimization of Health is Achieved through Science and Technology
  • Professional Staff and Professional Roles in 2039
  • The Power of Military Medicine for Geo-Political Aims

Phase 2 divided participants into six groups, with each group exploring one of these topics. Led by futurists Jonathan Peck, Bill Rowley, Bob Olson, and Ed Ponatoski, each group conducted an environmental scan and then created forecasts of their topics for 2039. They also made recommendations of actions the AMEDD should take today to prepare.

Common themes emerged throughout the groups, as many participants could not address one topic without addressing the others. The papers and presentations reflected an extensive review of trends currently determining the future of warfare, health care, military medicine, global stability, and other issues. Participants demonstrated an ability to create provocative forecasts with the potential to reshape current practices. Many participants identified the AMEDD Futures 2039 Project as a valuable learning experience, with several stating that it completely changed their way of thinking – even the way they read the newspaper or think about current events.

Phase 2 consisted of three important meetings where participants shared their findings:

  • On June 15 th, the groups met in Alexandria, Virginia to present their preliminary forecasts and recommendations to each other and to the AMEDD leadership
  • On June 23 rd, Jonathan Peck, AMEDD project officers, and group leaders briefed Surgeon General LTG Eric Schoomaker, M.D., Ph.D., who offered his insights about the forecasts and recommendations, stating that he wants a system for health, not health care.
  • On June 24 th, Jonathan Peck presented the project results to the Major Subordinate Commands (MSC) 3 leadership at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Conference in San Antonio, Texas.