Episode 16 – Linda Riddell on Understanding and Addressing Scarcity and Poverty

Scarcity is a universal experience; we’ve all faced different types of it at different times. And during the pandemic, we all faced the scarcity of certainty - and how much extra effort and focus it takes for things. In this insightful conversation I had with Linda Riddell, she uses wonderful examples to help us understand what it’s actually like for people living in poverty and the challenges of chronic scarcity and overload. And she gives tangible things we all can do to be more aware, empathetic, inclusive, and helpful for the millions of people struggling financially. If you’re like me, you’ll leave this conversation awakened and hopefully looking for opportunities where you can show up as a leader and make a positive difference for others.

Guest Info

Linda K. Riddell, MS, Vice President Strategic Initiatives - Validation Institute

Linda Riddell is a population health scientist, poverty educator and independent validator with 30 years’ experience in health care, public and private health insurance, and health policy. She specializes in measuring outcomes for health and wellness programs, such as coaching, behavior incentives, and novel interventions. 

Linda is the founder of Health Economy, LLC, focusing on health policy and health data analysis. Her clients range from state governments to private insurers to start-up technology companies. She also serves as Vice President Strategic Initiatives for the Validation Institute, which peer reviews outcome measures for member companies. 

After studying the effects of scarcity on our brains, Linda created a unique, experiential game in 2018 where players experience for themselves the brain changes that occur in poverty. Gettin' By is meant for people whose work affects those in poverty -- such as teachers, legislators, and medical care providers. After playing the game, participants learn about how poverty changes the brain and how they can take this into account in their work.

Linda has a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service. 


 Show Notes

Gettin’ By - this is the game Linda created that leverages research-based and real-life situations to simulate what it's like to experience scarcity and what it's like for people living in poverty.

The Validation Institute - this organization is dedicated to providing unbiased, data-driven insights on healthcare solutions and services to help foster transparency in the marketplace, showcase true cost savings, and empower purchasers.

Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How it Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

This is the book Linda referenced that digs into the research of scarcity on our brains and helped form the foundation for Gettin’ By.



Behind the Scenes

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