20140307 - DMSc Appendix - Problem and Challenge Network Visualization

Re-Engineering How We Think About Careers

Most people ask themselves: “what profession do I want to enter,” or “which job do I want to apply for?”. At Oral-Health.org, we invite you to change your approach and ask, “What problem or challenge do you want to address?” Problems and challenges obey neither professional nor disciplinary boundaries. Solving the problems we face in the world require insight, creativity and energy from people from a wide range of fields. What is most important is that you explore the many ways in which you could develop a skill set that you can use to create value around a problem or challenge that you are invested in addressing. To help you to imagine the possibilities, we interview people across disciplines and professions. We ask them about the problems they are working to address, why those problems are important, the skills they bring to the table, and background about their work-life, personal-life, and their values. We also ask them for advice that you can use to begin cultivating careers like theirs. The most stories you listen to, the more possibilities you can imagine.

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We Encourage Active Exploration: How do you prepare for a job that you have never encountered? How do you prepare for a job that does not yet exist? We believe that you can maximize serendipity by thinking about a problem or challenge you are concerned with, especially if you explore how you can solve that problem of interest through various professions, and disciplines, and sectors of the economy.

We Emphasize Our Interconnections: Problems and challenges obey neither disciplines nor professional boundaries. The interconnections between the work that we collectively do are there, and we must look for them. We encourage you to explore our profiles, and to meet people in the real world who might connect you to people doing engaging work in your area of interest.

We Communicate Possibilities Through Digital Stories: Our Possibility Profiles to tell the story behind the resume of people whom you may never have met before. Each profile contains a transcript and a podcast. You can learn about the problem they address, its importance, their unique path, their work-life balance, their values, and their advice.


Project Goals

Oral-Health.org was built by Jason L. Outlaw as part of his Doctor of Medical Science thesis at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and is an off-shoot of The Realm of Possibility, a problem-based career exploration platform managed by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation is a project-based organization that attempts to address important problems and challenges in society, by bringing people together across disciplines, professions, and sectors to ignite progress.

Our goals for Oral-Health.org are to:

  • To communicate to the public and to people across disciplines and professions the problems and challenges we are facing in oral health and the importance of solving them.
  • To create a collaborative clearinghouse for oral health resources accessible to the public, supported by stakeholders in the field of oral health.
  • To create career exploration resources for students and learners who are interested in exploring career possibilities in the oral health.
  • To tell deep, humanizing, digital stories of individuals working to address important problems and challenges in oral health across disciplines, professions and institutions.