Although organizations often invite stakeholders outside their immediate circle to summits, it is rare when the speakers and the listeners exchange insights that rock their world view. Just such an exception occurred February 26-28 at the American Physical Therapy Association PASS Summit on the future of physical therapy and society.
APTA reached out to invite 30 non-physical therapists from a range of related fields to help them see new possibilities for their future role in society. The first day was devoted to the perspectives of these special guests either through a series of fast-paced panel presentations or through final words of wisdom before they departed. As one guest quipped, this reminded him of his fighter pilot days. They were expected to go fast and deliver a significant impact.
And they did deliver, asking physical therapists to step up to leadership opportunities in technology, healthcare reform, new practice models for care delivery, prevention and wellness, and community and national health. They delivered a powerful wake-up call to greater collaboration with other professions. They made the future seem real and urgent.
And the physical therapists listened very carefully. On day two, they recommended the profession seize a number of leadership opportunities that might have once been outside their worldview.
Courage came in two forms at this summit: outsiders who cared enough to be publicly provocative and insiders who were open to listen and dream how they could lead significant change. When a worldview gets rocked this way, outsiders and insiders become one. They now have a stake in a new worldview that makes them collaborators in creating a better future for society.