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The Thomas Kellner
Innovation Award

Sadly, Thomas Kellner passed away in 2020.  He was recognized as someone who designed for the future, a visionary thinker. Many of us who worked with him felt he seemed five years ahead and we found it engaging to work in the gap between now and then. That battle between what is happening now and what should be happening was a challenge he relished. He was a generous man, with a strong dedication to evolving and improving healthcare systems, lifelong learning, and the experience of patients.

Innovations submitted for the 2021 Futurist Forum were reviewed, and the award selected based on criteria which GAME feels represented Thomas's approach to learning.  These include an approach to work that includes 1) networking and collaboration, 2) accurate needs assessment, 3) outcomes-based planning, 4) interdisciplinary inspiration (projects that tap in to multiple disciplines), and 5) recognition of the role of the pharmaceutical industry in lifelong learning.

The 2023 Thomas Kellner Innovation Award (TKIA)

The next TKIA will be awarded to the 2022 Futurist Forum Innovathon project team that, after the 6 month learning Innovathon journey, meets the criteria.  The award will be announced at the Virtual 2023 Innovathon Conference in Q2 2023.

Inaugural Awardee (2021)

GAME is proud to announce the inaugural Thomas Kellner Innovation Award was awarded at the 2021 Futurist Forum:


Thieme Stap of Radboudumc Health Academy

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For decades the relation between healthcare and science has been determined by a reductionist thinking paradigm, in which only what can be counted, really counts. We are still in that paradigm, but new voices are heard that argue we are, in fact, transitioning to a new era in healthcare that is more pluralistic, integrative and focused on learning together. The patient movement, and an omnipresent appeal for genuinely person-centered care are the main drivers for this transition.

Research methodologies that produce new forms of knowledge required to steer this transition are on the rise. Arts-based inquiry represents one promising direction thereof. At the 2021 FuturistForum we presented a combined visual, and narrative panorama for the participants to get close to the process of doing this type of research.

The qualitative research involves photographic portraits or Parkinson’s patients and their care professionals. With the use of this innovative approach, we hope to shed light on how person-centered care comes about, and may be improved by looking at it from a learning perspective. At the same time the research setting of the artist’s studio or the patient’s home provides a new learning environment for professionals to learn in. Exhibitions of the photographs also provide innovation opportunities for lifelong learning in health care and medical education.

The photographs and stories of the people portrayed will be published in a book (December 2022, contact to pre-purchase a copy).

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The research team is based in the Netherlands in the city of Nijmegen at the Radboud University Medical Center, and the research is positioned within the transformative learning research group led by Jur Koksma, and carried out in close collaboration of the hospital’s Department of Neurology:

- Thieme Stap, PhD-candidate Radboudumc Health Academy, presenter at the GAME 2021 FuturistForum

- Richard Grol, photographer, Emeritus Professor Quality of Care
- Roland Laan, director of the Radboudumc Health Academy
- Marten Munneke, Radboudumc Department of Neurology
- Bas Bloem, Radboudumc Department of Neurology
- Jur Koksma, Radboudumc Health Academy


Stap T.B., Grol R., R. Laan, Munneke M., Bloem B.R., Koksma J.J. Holding still, together: person-centered Parkinson’s care portrayed. In: Richard A., Pelowski M., Spee B.T.M. (Ed.) Art and Neurodegenerative Disease - Illuminating the Intersection of Illness and Creativity. In press.

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