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Rod Falcon

Director, Health Horizons Program
Rod Falcon

Born in Oakland, California in a time and place of great social change, Rod Falcon attended nearby UC Berkeley to better understand what was happening. There he studied history and social change as an undergraduate and public policy as a graduate student. After working one summer enforcing the Voting Rights Act for the Justice Department, he realized that public policy was not as future oriented as it might be and was inspired to do something about it. He came to IFTF to forecast the future of the California health care safety net and has stayed on for more than a decade and counting.

As one of the leading ethnographic researchers at IFTF, Rod uses the stories of real people to get at larger trends. For his pioneering work on social networks, he has visited homes in China, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the United States, where families and individuals have generously opened their lives. Rod has also examined the information and technology ecology in the home and workplace and has led research in technology adoption, workspace and mobility patterns, and personal health technologies.

Rod leads IFTF’s Health Horizons team. He conducts research across a range of health and health care issues with an emphasis on the global health economy: evolving consumer health markets, do-it-yourself health care, the shifting of care outside clinical settings, and the growing number of people turning to technology to become better-than-well. Rod’s current work explores how social technologies are creating health-aware environments as well as personal systems for managing health. In the course of his work, Rod speaks to executive audiences in the health care and food industries and helps them find innovative strategies for participating in the global health economy.

Rod has a B.A. in American history and ethnic studies and an M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley. Outside work, Rod keeps busy learning the myriad stories of his own large extended family.