What matters to you?

In celebration of What matters to you? day on 6th June 2019 we caught up with Jason Leitch about his talk ‘What matters to me’ from TEDxGlasgow in 2016 and learned how the message has continued to spread across the world and to a broader audience. This is what Jason had to say.

‘What Matters to You’ is a global movement. I’m just one of the front guys. It has started in Scotland and Norway but now has reached over thirty countries. One of the secrets to this is ‘What matters to you’ day. More than four hundred care systems around the world have taken part and many health systems have adopted it on a daily basis.

It works by healthcare professionals having a conversation to gather the important parts of what matters to a person; patients benefit from a better experience as a result.  It’s used in some general practices, in systems from Malaysia to Alaska (US) so it’s quite a big deal. Some of this was already set in place by what was already happening in 2016 and TEDxGlasgow certainly gave the message and movement a bit of a push.


When I spoke at TEDxGlasgow in 2016 there were almost no health care workers present at all. The crowd was mainly entrepreneurs, artists, private and third sector, so I think the audience was new to this concept and they responded positively. The TEDxGlasgow talk was a catalyst for reaching a wider and more unusual crowd for me because I’m used to healthcare professionals.

Lots of people have said they watched the talk. People who tweet or talk to me say:

We showed your ‘What matters to you’ talk at our event


We’re inducting some new fellows and we showed your ‘What matters to you’ talk to discuss values”.

So I think it’s a handy, quick, multimedia resource that people can continue to use.

Quite a lot of schools have adopted it, other settings like social work departments and some criminal justice areas, finding it’s applicable to their service users or paid staff as well as patients and families. For users outside healthcare the gain is exactly the same. It’s used as an exercise in P1 or S1 sometimes as an induction to their school time. The teachers use it as an intro to the individual. So ‘What matters to them’. Is it their pet, their lunch, is it their mum and dad, their granny or auntie or is it their Xbox?

I went to a school in the south of Glasgow (in Govan) and did a talk for their senior pupils using ‘What matters to you’ as an exercise at the end of it.  They responded well, they all filled in a poster and stuck it up on the wall. The items that mattered were personal but also Xboxes and iPhones. There wasn’t a single one of them who wanted to be without their tech, just like me wanting my wifi!


Those who lead the ‘What matters to you’ day,  talk about putting it into action a little bit more.  It’s not just about listening to what matters to the individual, the family, the carer, or whoever it is you’ve asked the question to, but it’s also about acting on it. The next step is putting people’s wishes into action. Continuing to spread this message and encouraging diversity of use is perhaps the next step and ‘What Matters to you’ day is a key element of continuing this.

Learn what Jason said matters to him in his TEDxGlasgow talk by watching it here:

Jason’s speaker experience has helped to continue the right conversation about what matters to you, now it’s over to taking more of action. You can read more about What Matters to You day here and help continue the conversation across ages and disciplines.

We’re delighted by the positive impact What Matters to You has made. Have you been inspired to act on Jason’s talk, or any TEDxGlasgow speakers? Let us know what you’ve been doing at [email protected]


  • Written by Zeb Ahmed
  • Posted on June, 6 2019

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