Professor Peter Thomas, Creative Director of Medicine Unboxed, talks to Bill Dost, President and Managing Director of D&D Leasing about his support for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014.
BILL DOST is, in the opinion of most people who have met him, an unusual individual.
He’s an entrepreneur, a theologian and a philanthropist. The Reverend Dr. K. Bill Dost has a BA in arts in religious studies, an MBA, and a PhD in theology and divinity. He founded a finance business that operates in the UK and Canada. He’s President of the Toronto Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization.
This explains why, when Medicine Unboxed asked Bill to support the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize, he and his company readily agreed.
“It was an easy ‘yes’ for us”, Bill says. “By funding the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize we are supporting a holistic view of healthcare and healing and we are fulfilling our social responsibility to protect the arts for the future.”
How does Bill defend to his investors the idea of spending money on something as un-businesslike as an arts prize?
“I don’t feel the need to defend it”, he says. “I want to help kickstart the Creative Prize into something important. As a business we have a social purpose – it’s not just about making money. As an entrepreneur, and a supporter of entrepreneurs, I believe that solutions to problems often come from creative leaps. So for me, Medicine Unboxed and the Creative Prize is an investment in the future”.
One thing that Medicine Unboxed focuses on is the idea of the authentic development of empathy in medical professionals. How does Bill view this, since empathy is the last thing – given the financial crisis and the well-publicised failures of some financial institutions to think about others – we would associate with those institutions and the people who run them?
“For me community-building is important. That’s one of our contributions as a business to the world”, says Bill. “And, being empathetic is close to home personally. My wife is a nurse. My parents are doctors. I understand the importance of taking others into account in what we do.”
Bill (along with his heavily pregnant wife, Maggie) came to the Medicine Unboxed event in 2013. Having heard and seen Medicine Unboxed what did he think of it?
“For me, Medicine Unboxed is TED for the arts and medicine. And like TED, it will grow into something truly influential. It’s unique, creative, and looks at issues in healthcare in a different way. It’s one of the reasons I feel I can and should support it. But I don’t know where it’s going to go – and that’s exciting for me”.
Bill Dost will be speaking at Medicine Unboxed: Frontiers on 22-23 November about D&D Leasing’s support for the Creative Prize.