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Q&A with NBCUniversal

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Curious how our Healthy Lives Challenge – launched in partnership with NBCUniversal, NBCUniverso, and Telemundo – came to be? We asked Reny Diaz, VP of Insights & Strategy at NBCUniversal, what he's most excited about during the challenge (including getting his abuela healthier!).


Reny Diaz in Cuba back in his sociologist/historian days.

1. In a few words, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at NBCUniversal:

I’m Vice President of Insights & Strategy at NBCUniversal, Hispanic Enterprises & Content. I serve as a member of the leadership team responsible for driving new audiences to NBCUniversal and serving them across all our platforms. I’m trained as a sociologist and an historian, so understanding how groups of people are influenced and why they behave the way they do has always fascinated me. I used to be a performer and believe art/entertainment and storytelling can inspire us in ways that logic and scientific learning fall short.

2. Can you talk a little bit about the types of solutions you're most excited to see during this challenge from an NBCUniversal/NBCUniverso/Telemundo perspective?

NBCUniversal has platforms like Prevenir es Vivir (Prevention is Life) to empower our consumers to lead healthier lives. How do we take that to the next level? You know, many people may look at kale with alien eyes and not realize that their ancestors had many in-culture ways to live healthy. For example, I thought my abuela was crazy for raising chickens in the back yard or dancing salsa (i.e., exercising) all day around the house. It turns out she was smarter than many of us. What if we told those narratives in our dramas and comedies? We might have co-invented Zumba!

In this challenge in particular, we're excited about solutions that draw upon technology, inspire action, and keep things visual and fun.

Read our challenge brief to dive deeper into the topic landscape and challenge goals.

3. Why does NBCUniversal/NBCUniverso/Telemundo feel so passionate about using technology to inspire all socioeconomic and multicultural groups to lead healthier lives?

Our most important commitment as a media and technology company is to our users. NBCUniversal’s credo states we are in the business of creating and delivering content so compelling it entertains, informs and shapes our world. As we grow our business, we don’t just want to anticipate the future, but rather create, invent and deliver it to our audiences.

4.What excites you most about this topic being part of an OpenIDEO challenge?

The prospect that one day even my abuela will get moving and eat more vegetables.

5.What has inspired you most so far in the challenge? 

The blind spots everyone is bringing to the forefront of the conversation. I read through the Gamification thread this weekend and couldn’t help thinking that many of these opportunities are possible today!


Thanks Reny. We look forward to more inspirational Research contributions and tapping into your insights as we move into the Ideas phase in June!

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Photo of Joe Silva

Good to get a little background info on Reny and learn more about the strategy of this partnership. It's very helpful for the community to have this as a reference- it will enhance our vision of what our ideas should accomplish. Thanks Joanna.

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