See more of the story

Downtown Minneapolis will be the center of the health and wellness world over the next three days as the second annual Manova Global Summit on the Future of Health convenes Monday at the Minneapolis Renaissance Hotel.

More than 100 speakers from small startups, Fortune 500 corporations and industries and institutions in between will present or take part in panels on topics ranging from reimagining aging to digital health.

The expertise is global, but several local leaders from Minnesota’s vibrant health care industry will be involved as presenters, panelists and attendees for an agenda focused on “innovation and inspiration.”

Among the notable speakers are Katie Couric, as well as Theranos whistleblowers Tyler Schultz and Erica Cheong, whose story may have even more relevance with whistleblowers at the center of the impeachment inquiry in Washington, D.C. But most of the focus will be on health experts and industry leaders well known within the field for their efforts on this important, and immense, sector of the national economy.

Although much of the focus will be on life-changing and lifesaving innovations, the summit will also examine health challenges. They include the opioid crisis — the subject of a live, audience-driven town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

While the summit is singular, it does aspire to aspects of other thought-leader gatherings, including TED Talks, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.

“This might be one of the only places on the planet where you could invite people to have a convening about really big conversations about health and people would come because of the credentials that are here, because of the organizations that are here — corporate, academic, medical and otherwise,” Kathy Tunheim, co-founder of Manova, told an editorial writer.

The summit’s mission is ambitious, added Mark Addicks, Manova’s co-founder and CEO. “It’s to highlight and inspire through innovation actions that will improve the health of everyone on the planet.”

Doing so will take continued leadership from Minnesotans, who are at the vanguard of this vital industry. In fact, one of the objectives of the event is to project this region as a center of health care leadership.

“We want people to come here and be a part of this, and over time it helps attract the talent that is going to fuel the next generation of what happens,” Tunheim said.

That next generation, as well as savvy industry veterans, can find inspiration in new ideas, thanks to the Manova summit. And Minnesota can lead the nation, and hopefully the world, in coming up with innovative health and wellness solutions.