Making Sausages: Behind the Scenes at the ICM

Rebecca Sturgeon | September 16, 2018

This month I am embarking on a new and slightly terrifying adventure — I am hosting Healwell’s new webinar series, the Interdisciplinary Clan of Mystery.  Every month, I will get to interview a fiercely smart, devastatingly interesting human about their work in the healthcare field.  And people all over the world get to listen in, ask questions and learn with me.

Before we all meet up together in the field of webinar, I wanted to show you a little bit of how we make the (vegan, gluten-free, nutritionally balanced) sausages, or episodes, of the ICM.

I’m Coming for You, Terry

My Healwell colleagues and I know lots of interesting, smart and generous people, so finding guests for this first year has been relatively easy.  The hard part is: how do I craft an interview?

For this, I turned to my favorite low-key interviewer of all time, Terry Gross, host of Fresh Air.  I’ve been listening to Fresh Air in the car, at the gym, and at home while I’m cooking.  I’m trying to crack the code of what makes a great interviewer, and I think I’ve found the secret.

And here it is —

Do your homework and get out of the way. 

Terry Gross is absolutely brilliant at gathering a ton of information and finding out what her guests are truly passionate about.  She can ask a question to tap into a vein of love and enthusiasm that keeps going with little prompting.

We have some passionate and enthusiastic people coming to talk with us, so I’m reading up on a ton of healthcare topics.  I can’t wait to be inspired by all the ideas and knowledge coming at us in this series.

And to become the Terry Gross of Healwell.

What Does This Button Do?

Before we have the interview, though, we need to have the technology.  Kerry Jordan, Healwell’s Operations Director and the Producer of this whole series, researched several hosting platforms and we decided to use Zoom.

So, of course we have to test the thing.  For the past few months, Kerry and I have practiced a number of calls to test all the buttons and things.  Here is an actual transcript of one of our first Zoom calls* (*—this transcript may not be actual):

Kerry:  Hi!

Rebecca: Hi!

Kerry: So this is cool.

Rebecca: Yeah.

Kerry: Did you get a chance to watch that tutorial?

Rebecca: What tutorial?

Fortunately for me, Zoom is pretty easy to use, and Kerry did watch the tutorial, so we are ready to go with technology.  Our guest panelists can share slides or other documents, write polls, or they can go the old-fashioned route and talk to me via an embedded camera on a portable computing device.  Whatever they choose is going to be amazing.

Where the Magic Happens

a messy desk with a rolling chair next to a shoji screen

A stellar webinar requires a stellar location, which is why I have created a very special place for my hosting duties.  My own little spot to cook up new ideas.  I call it “The Kitchen,” mostly because it is actually my kitchen.  Here’s a view of the glamorous ICM Studio 1.  I assure you, all the nerd books on the desk are not props.  I am reading them.  For fun.

Speaking of fun, we are going to have lots of it this year down at the Interdisciplinary Clan of Mystery.  The first episode happens on September 23 at 8pm. We’re going to jump right into the deep end with a conversation about interdisciplinary health care teams, how and when they work, and what it takes to build one from the ground up.