Davos: Innovating Dynamic Health Systems

PSI President and CEO Karl Hofmann shared the following analysis on the question of developing health systems and universal healthcare that was discussed by a panel of experts at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. Above, you can watch the panel’s discussion.

Is universal health coverage a pipe dream, the fevered aim of Geneva bureaucrats,and beyond the reach of real world health systems? This session attempted to tackle this tough question. What are the practical steps we can take now and for the coming decades so that by 2040 we have achieved universal health coverage, or healthcare for all that is sustainable because it is available, affordable and of high quality?

Fifty participants considered three general approaches:

- How to build healthy communities and cities
- How to leverage technology and data
- How to deliver healthcare innovatively

Coming from many different perspectives, consensus emerged around a few key points. Universal coverage by 2040 passes through recognition that healthcare requires holistic, multisectoral approaches.”Health is not just the province of the minister of health,” said one minister of health in the session.

We need to collectively move from disease treatment to health promotion and wellness. The social determinants of health may vary greatly, as one participant noted, but an embrace of health promotion in all circumstances will lift all health boats.

Even From Davos, Family Planning Gets a Fresh Look

2012 may be remembered for many things good and bad, but one undeniably positive story is the way in which family planning and women’s reproductive choices and rights came back into the sunlight after too many years in the shadows of the global health and development agenda.

The July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning featured pledges of new resources to help some of the 220 million women in the world who want the means to plan the timing and size of their families, but aren’t able. But even more crucial than new money was new advocacy. Presidents Kikwete of Tanzania, Museveni of Uganda and Kagame of Rwanda took the podium personally to embrace the cause of saving women’s lives through access to modern contraception, as did Melinda Gates, whose powerful leadership voice will resonate for years on this topic.

Davos 2013: A Jumping-Off Point for Young Leaders to Address Girls’ and Women’s Health

By Kate Roberts, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, PSI.

World Economic Forum 2013: BrandingYesterday, I had a brief glimpse into what it must feel like to be a Bond girl.

I had just arrived in Switzerland for the 2013 World Economic Forum, yet rather than calmly entering Davos, I found myself leaping from a moving Alpine train in heels, with my luggage on one arm and a young Egyptian journalist on the other. It was not the necessarily entrance I was going for — but it did provide an apt metaphor for why I came to the 2013 Forum in the first place.

I’m here to encourage the new class of young leaders gathered in Davos to think about ways they can help solve one of the most overlooked barriers to global economic growth: girls’ and women’s health. It’s the reason the journalist and I missed our stop and had to jump from the train. Two seconds prior we were talking about the degree to which preventable complications like HIV, malaria, and unintended pregnancies continue to hold back millions of girls and women from reaching their full economic potential. We spoke about how his sector, the media, can work with other groups — government, business, NGOs, foundations, individual philanthropists — to address these barriers, and why it is economically beneficial to do so.

It was exactly the type of conversation that I hope will take place on a daily basis here in Davos — one that leads to action.

Kate Roberts on Facebook and the New Lottery of Life

Children have a 3 in 10 chance of being born into abject poverty. PSI’s vice president for corporate marketing Kate Roberts writes in the Washington Post how it is important to ensure that the world does not miss out on game-changing innovators just because bad luck in the lottery of life. Kate uses the example of young entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, as an example of a young person’s innovative spirit unleashed on the world.

IT School @ Winneba Open Digital Village, GhanaMark Zuckerberg, for example, is preparing to take Facebook public in an IPO that couldvalue the company at roughly $100 billion. The monetary value, however, is dwarfed when one considers how this social networking site has altered the course of humanity. (Disclosure: The Washington Post Co.’s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

Facebook was an undeniable force in electing the United States’ first African-American president in 2008. Users of Facebook and Twitter, among other social networking platforms, helped fan the flames of a revolution that spread like wildfire across the Middle East and ultimately changed the futures of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Social media users have raised millions in donated funds for victims of natural disasters, and the platforms have exposed—through photos, video, and first person accounts— inequities around the world.

An Interview with WEF Founder & Executive Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab

KATE ROBERTS: You have brought some of the most influential people together through the World Economic Forum, and about seven years ago you formed the Young Global Leaders. Why did you decide to start the Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers programs?

Prof. KLAUS SCHWAB: Fifty percent of the global population is less than 27 years old. It was very interesting that when I created the Young Global Leaders, it was difficult to find people who were already in very responsible positions below the age of 40. That has changed dramatically, which shows the age of leaders is coming down. Our Young Global Leaders are usually between 30 and 40, and we have to capture the energy and the spirit of those who are between 20 and 30. That was the reason for the creation of the Global Shapers.

KR: Much of your work in philanthropy focuses on social entrepreneurship. How can the Global Shapers become social entrepreneurs within your definition of the term?

KS: Social entrepreneurship has to be seen in a much wider way today. What we need to do is engineer society to move from a basis of self-interest toward a basis of serving society. What we want to do with the Global Shapers is to stimulate young leaders to be much more engaged into society on the local level, but through the Forum also on a global level.

What’s different at Davos

The following post is by Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI, and originally appears in the Washington Post Davos Blog.

There were two promising agendas discussed at this year’s World Economic Forum, where global finance and business leaders rub elbows every January, with some social entrepreneurs and NGOs like mine thrown in the mix.

First, the population taboo was broken.

At panel discussions around the planet’s 7 billion population threshold and environmental sustainability questions, participants are slowly but steadily finding ways to talk about an issue that for too long has been considered off-limits in gatherings like this.

Meeting the unmet need for modern contraception on the part of women around the world is understood to be important, vitally important, to the trajectory the world’s population takes during the next several decades.

Are we heading toward 8 billion by mid-century? Or 10.5 billion? Not only is that difference significant, it is also something we can do things about. Demography is not destiny, necessarily. Nor is a planet with more than 10 billion inhabitants inevitable.

Kate Roberts: Thoughts on Young Leaders and Private-Public Partnerships

While at at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, PSI’s Kate Roberts took some time to make a pair of videos on topics that she believes to be important.  In the first, she shares her vision of how public-private partnerships can bring about more effective change in the world. In the second video, Kate is inspired by the young leaders who are taking part in the Global Shapers program.

Check out the videos!

Public-Private Partnerships

Key quote: “Use private sector strategies to build markets and to deliver healthcare and behavior change communications to those people who really need it the most”

Davos ‘dates’: The power of partnership for global health

The following post is by Kate Roberts, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, and originally appears on the Washington Post Davos blog.

The 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland has concluded.  Today, I returned to Washington, put away my snow boots, and began the process of sorting through hundreds of business cards.  It was an exhausting week, but I landed at Dulles energized by the collaborative ideas and commitments generated at this year’s Forum – particularly with regards to global health.

Davos is a bit like corporate speed dating. As a representative for my global health nonprofit, PSI, I sat down for numerous 30 minute “dates” with corporate leaders from around the world. Like any first date, each was an opportunity to evaluate if/how a partnership would work – Do we have similar or complementary interests? Are our values the same? We both came to the table interested in increasing our bottom lines.  For organizations like PSI, that line is measured by health impact and lives saved.  For corporations, the bottom line is opening new markets, developing a new consumer base, and being a good global neighbor.

At the end, it was profoundly clear that we could achieve both goals by working together.

Does PSI Kate Roberts Have Moves Like Jagger?

Unfortunately, we won’t know for sure the answer to that question. Kate did have the chance to dance with the Rolling Stones front man while at Davos. Alas, there is no video evidence of the two doing the “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

Check out Kate’s Davos Diary above where she shares her favorite moment of the week. We have more videos and reflections to share from Kate and CEO Karl Hofmann over the next two days.  Stay tuned!

Listen Up, Davos: Global Health Is Good for Business

The following post is by PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore and originally appears on the Huffington Post

It’s around 25°F in Davos, Switzerland today. Thousands of world leaders have arrived for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. These powerful men and women will spend the next five days setting a course for 2012.

As an ambassador for the global health organization PSI and a member of the WEF Global Shapers, I am really following what’s going on there, primarily because it includes a significant number of young leaders who will add their ideas on strengthening the global economy.

I am really hoping that the leaders of the world’s most powerful companies walk away understanding the economic importance of global health. And that they make improving global health part of their business plans.

I can’t fathom that 2 to 3 billion people live in poverty — many in the developing world, where access to basic health care is limited. I recently read that the poorest two-thirds of the world’s population has a US $5 trillion purchasing power. So, with simple investments in the delivery of basic health products and services, people struggling to survive can become more active consumers and producers.

New markets for goods (including American products) will develop, economies will become more vibrant and profits will rise. Most importantly, mothers will be healthier and children will regularly attend school. It really is a win-win.

The U.S. Congress understands this.