Lab Notes

Meet Adam Dole, GoKart’s Director of Solution Leadership

Tell us about your background.

Throughout my career, I’ve thrived on unconventional thinking and applying emerging technologies to try and solve problems in a way that fundamentally improves the status quo. At the same time, I have always had a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives and a curiosity to learn what makes people tick. Having empathy for others and understanding individuals’ experiences has helped me grow and develop in every job I’ve ever had. Early on, I realized that what Bill Joy [co-founder of Sun Microsystems] once said is true: “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” Success in any endeavor depends on a team’s ability to act with humility and to develop meaningful collaborations to achieve results.

My first job after graduating with a BS in communications was in the Human Factors Department at NASA. My diverse team included psychologists, physicians, hardware and software engineers, designers and researchers. We were tasked with optimizing astronaut team performance while reducing the possibility of human error during long-duration space flight. Being a member of this team taught me the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration guided by a common vision.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve continued to pursue my passion for human-centered design in products, services and businesses aimed at improving people’s quality of life. I earned an MBA in 2010 and then joined the Mayo Clinic as a member of a new ventures team. Our goal there was to expand the scope and reach of one of the most renowned healthcare organizations in the world. We raised the bar and made a positive impact toward many of the big changes needed across the industry to ensure that the healthcare system works better for patients.

I was also a Presidential Innovation Fellow under the Obama Administration. I worked with The White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate public/private partnerships. Our job was to make it easier for patients and family members to access their electronic medical records.

Prior to joining GoKart, I also had the opportunity to cofound an early-stage healthcare startup that was backed by Mayo Clinic and Social Capital. The mission was to pair patients with their own personal healthcare assistant to reduce the complexities of navigating the healthcare system and reduce healthcare costs.

What are your favorite problems to solve?

My favorite problems to solve have two characteristics: a high probability of failure and the potential to make a significant impact on people’s quality of life. I think Elon Musk put it best when he said, “If something’s important enough, you should try. Even if the probable outcome is failure.”

Time is the most limited resource we have, and how we choose to spend it is critical and up to each individual. When I look at our healthcare, education and financial service sectors, I feel a great sense of urgency to make a difference. Today, millions of people in the United States can’t afford the healthcare they need to live a full and productive life. The American education system is failing to adequately prepare today’s young people for the rapidly changing demands and expectations of future workplaces. At the same time, we have an entire generation of people who aren’t getting the financial guidance and tools they need to deal with advancing age and retirement.

Joining the GoKart Labs team has enabled me to work on these types of problems, not only with some of the smartest and talented teammates that I’ve ever worked with, but also in partnership with some of the world’s largest organizations. As partners, we co-develop new technologies and ventures that make a positive impact on people’s lives across healthcare, education and financial sectors.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

Living on the coast in southern California, I’m fortunate to be able to see, hear and experience the ocean every day. I also have an obsession collecting hand shaped surfboards. This contributes to my “Blue-Mind”, which has been defined by “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.” (TED Talk)

Read the full press release here.

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