WHIS Inspire | Edition 3 | August 2021

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INTRODUCTION Welcome to the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS), a platform for sustainable development to improve the world that we live in, now and for the future. Our digital magazine, WHIS Inspire, is a way in which we can explore the fields of healthcare and sustainability on a global scale while openly sharing knowledge and developing solutions together. Through this, we provide inspiring content that is dedicated to the innovative advanced across the globe, designed to give the tools and inspiration that empower individuals and their communities to make a difference to their lives and others. In September 2015, 193 heads of state pledged their commitment to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United

Nations. Throughout the magazine, you’ll find interesting stories from our colleagues and friends around the world who are leading positive change and implementing the sustainable development goals. We have partnered with the UNGSII Foundation which was created to assist and accelerate the implementation process their mission is to ensure that the world reaches its goal, at the latest, by 2030. Our role is to support the Foundation with the implementation of sustainable development goal 3, Good Health & Wellbeing.

www.whis.world Twitter




contact@whisinspire.com Join us on social media using the hashtag #WHIS

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Director & Editor in Chief

Director of Design

Writer & Journalist

Emily has a demonstrated history in creative copy and content writing and loves nothing more than creating meaningful media that inspires others. With extensive experience and a keen eye for detail, she has built a comprehensive portfolio of written work for clients across various sectors.

Josh is a talented graphic designer who has worked with a range of clients and boasts a broad background in a variety of different industries. With a lifelong passion for the creative arts, Josh has a strong focus on editorial design and commercial branding. He takes pride in producing unique designs that reinforce a brand’s ethos and values.

Anna is a Journalist and Psychotherapist from London. With experience working in a range of mental health settings, she writes articles and interviews exploring psychology, philosophy, and contemporary arts with her blog and seeks new and inspiring stories to share.

GARETH PRESCH Founder & CEO of WHIS Gareth is a social entrepreneur, problem solver and healthcare strategist who believes in sharing knowledge for the greater good. He is the founder and CEO of the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS), UNGSII Expert Lead for SDG3/4, Member of the Pope Francis Vatican COVID-19 Commission, and Founder of the Global Social Prescribing Alliance.

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We are delighted to present yet another unique and inspiring magazine that’s packed full of interviews, features, events, and a range of other articles from various contributors around the globe that highlight the importance of sustainability and promote good health and wellbeing for all. I am extremely proud of both our team and all the contributors involved in creating this edition. This magazine showcases projects and events happening around the globe and introduces real-life experiences along with global issues that affect us all; from music and the arts to environmental and humanitarian health.

In a world that’s facing its greatest challenge ever in combating climate change, improving global health, and achieving sustainability worldwide, it is up to us all to do our bit and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Our existence and ability to thrive in this world is entirely dependent upon how we reset and rebuild our relationship with the natural world. – Volkan Bozkir, UN General Assembly President

The effects of climate change are intensifying, with record-breaking heat waves, devastating floods and more intense drought in many regions, which are all linked to human-driven global heating. The impact of our actions is alarming, but there is still hope. With the latest research and an improved understanding of our own health and that of the environment, we are able to look at ways in which we can enhance our own physical, mental and social wellbeing while preserving the planet at the same time.

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In this edition, Ben Wilkins, member of our WHIS MSK Expert Group, shares his outlook on musculoskeletal disorders and suggests pathways to better health and access to support. Juliana Ascolani looks at the importance of health literacy in pursuit of disease prevention, and Dee Carbery’s article amplifies the necessities of a gender perspective in advance of the Orange The World campaign to end gender-based violence later this year. We look at how the Global Unity Mural (GUM) aims to bring together artists for the purpose of uniting the world, while Isabelle Waschsmuth discusses how art and creativity facilitate wellbeing and health upon reflection of her recent art exhibition earlier this month. Miriam Burger demonstrates how we can raise vitality and relieve stress through music therapy and sound meditation, and provides tips for integrating sound and music for individuals at home. Our team also interviewed Jools Hamilton, co-founder of The Good Summit, alongside guest speaker, Prof Luke O’Neill, in preparation for our co-hosted event in October this year. In light of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November, we also look at how the changing climate affects us all and the correlation between our health and the environment. Our featured piece on Ocean Health with Rich German, explains the projects he’s working on for protecting our ocean and creating solutions for the challenges that it’s facing. As Rich says, “It’s not too late, but we no longer have the luxury of time”. After all, there’s no planet B.


As you read through the magazine, I hope you are able to discover the various work that is being accomplished around the world and learn about the steps we can all take to achieve a fairer, healthier, and happier planet for everyone to enjoy. I am sure you will find something that sparks your interest in contributing to positive change. Perhaps you’ll discover your perfect sound meditation technique to find inner harmony, or ignite your artistic creativity to build mental resilience. Maybe these features motivate you to advocate for better health in your local community or encourage you to find new ways of making a difference locally. We hope this magazine will inspire you to use your creativity, skill, thought and enthusiasm to make a difference in your own personal wellbeing and pave a way towards a healthier, more sustainable world now, and for future generations. Now is the time for change, and only we can make that happen.

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2021 SO FAR April •

Gareth Presch joins the panel discussion at the World Sepsis Congress WHIS hosts a Webinar on Fitness and Social Prescribing

World Health Innovation Summit discusses social prescribing opportunities in the Carlisle Living magazine


May •

7th - WHIS hosted its next Art Programmes in the Health Sector Webinar with WHO 14th - WHIS hosted its Social Prescribing Champions event for Portugal 19th-20th - Gareth Presch spoke on SDGs at the World Humanitarian Forum London 27th-28th - Gareth Presch Chaired the Health Session at the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin

June • •

September •

October • • • •

7th-25th - Arts for SDGs exhibition takes place (partnered with WHIS) 27th-30th: Gareth will be Chairing the SDGs and Cities at the World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Uganda


• •

9th - WHIS Talks Webinar on Digital Healthcare & Health Literacy

23rd - SDG3 Global Student Alliance for Social Prescribing Launch in London 25th - Global Goals Concerts and SDG Finance Conference for 25+5

17th-21st - World Investment Forum UNCTAD, Abu Dhabi 22nd-24th - UNGSII SDG Champions Conference, San Marino 23rd-25th - World UN Day - Youth Implementation 27th: The Good Summit event at Trinity College, Dublin (partnered with WHIS) 30th-31st - SDG Cities Conference UN-HABITAT, Shanghai

November 1st-15th - COP26, Glasgow TBC: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment - 16 Days of Activism

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18-19 TH SEPTEMBER 2021

This year marks the 10th anniversary of World Sepsis Day, an initiative established by the Global Sepsis Alliance, a non-profit charity organisation with the mission to provide global leadership to reduce the worldwide burden of sepsis.

Aligned with the United Nations SDG3, World Wellness Weekend is a non-profit event that promotes prevention and healthy lifestyle choices. The celebration connects communities across the world through a range of wellness initiatives.

Every year on September 13th, countless events raising awareness of sepsis are organised all over the world. The events range from medical education to information for lay people, sport activities, fundraising events like pink picnics, and much more.

Each year, before the September Equinox, the event takes place with the aim to showcase the expertise and passion of wellness and fitness professionals while encouraging the local community to be more active, more often, with friends and family.

It provides the opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against sepsis and increase public awareness, but also to show support and solidarity with the millions of people who lost their loved ones, or, as sepsis survivors, suffer from long-term consequences of sepsis.

Thousands of wellness, sports, tourism and hospitality professionals will open their doors to the public, in order to organise safe, fun and free 60-minute activities, classes, workshops or talks. As of today, 1,576 venues are listed on the Wellness Map and appear united in 133 countries (957 cities).

The easiest way to support World Sepsis Day is to share the link for signing the World Sepsis Declaration with your colleagues, families, friends, and everyone that should be informed about sepsis. You can find a collection of ideas, inspiration and resources to get involved with this year’s World Sepsis Day here.

Stop Sepsis, Save Lives

Professionals can sign up on the Wellness Map (available in 16 languages) to create their page with upcoming wellness activities, classes, workshops, or retreats that they will offer to their local community and clients on September 18th or 19th. The public can visit the Wellness Map, click on the Locate me! button or type the name of a city and select the activities that they want to join.

Wellness starts with WE, not ME

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World Humanitarian Forum (WHF) is the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum in humanitarian aid and international development. WHF brings together decision-makers and opinion-formers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as the next generation of partnershipbuilders. The annual WHF advances critical global discussions and transforms conversations into action, as well as providing a powerful forum to catalyse collaboration through shared-value approaches and social impact objectives. WHF is an international knowledge exchange platform at the intersection of government, aid, development and innovation aimed to improve the lives of millions in need.

READ THE OUTCOME REPORT Head to pages 141-142 for an overview of Session 8 where Gareth Presch, Founder & CEO of WHIS, participated in the discussion on the impact of digital health tools.

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The Working Group I contribution to the recently published Sixth Assessment Report addresses the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations. The report provides new estimates of the chances of crossing the global warming level of 1.5°C in the next decades. It shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.

It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change, making extreme climate events, including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts, more frequent and severe.

Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C will be beyond reach. Human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.

The climate we experience in the future depends on our decisions now. Information gathered from IPCC AR6 Working Group I Press Conference Slides and IPCC AR6 Working Group I Press Release 2021/17/PR.

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HOW THE WORLD HEALTH INNOVATION SUMMIT SUPPORTS SDG CITIES TO IMPLEMENT GOOD HEALTH & WELLBEING World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) aims to relieve the pressures on health services by giving our communities the tools to take care of their own physical and mental wellbeing... from childhood through to old age. Ultimately, WHIS hopes to change the way people think about their health, physically and emotionally, giving them the ownership and the tools to make a difference. Through inspiring and informing people in their communities, we can empower them to implement change to improve their own health and wellbeing. WHIS is a platform that brings patients, clinicians, managers, voluntary sector, education and the business community together to create value while supporting our health and social care services. Based in the heart of Cumbria (UK), WHIS identified that people in the community would be better supported if they had more access to holistic solutions in their locality. Taking a personcentred health approach (prevention), WHIS recognised that there are four key cornerstones - all of which need to be supported at the same time by the same people: Economy, Education, Environment and Ecosystems.

Some statistics as to WHY we need a new platform to support people’s health and wellbeing: •

The cost of dementia globally is at $1 trillion dollars and will double to $2 trillion by 2030. 18 million healthcare staff shortage worldwide by 2030 (BMJ) $8.7 Trillion Global Healthcare Costs (Deloitte 2018) Cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory diseases (Non Communicable Diseases NCDs) will cost $47 Trillion in the next 20 years - Ref: World Economic Forum Report, The Global Economic Burden of NCDs The global population will jump from 7.6 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations Number of people over the age of 60 should reach roughly 2 billion. The world is currently ill-equipped to respond to these trends, and the global health system will have to undergo a major transformation in order to provide an environment in which people live healthier and longer lives without Cancer, Mental Health, Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s (Non Communicable Diseases) etc. More than one in two adults and nearly one in six children are overweight or obese in OECD countries - Ref: Obesity Update OECD

Mental ill health is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, contributing almost 23% of the overall burden of disease compared to about 16% each for cancer and cardiovascular disease. The economic and social costs of mental health problems in England are estimated at around £105 billion each year - it’s estimated that the economic costs of a suicide are £1.7 million. Ref: Knapp, Martin and McDaid, David and Parsonage, Michael (2011) Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention: the economic case. 15972. Department of Health, London, UK. Ref: Knapp, Martin and McDaid, David and Parsonage, Michael (2011) Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention: the economic case. 15972. Department of Health, London, UK.

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The WHIS model provides opportunities to address these challenges while creating new jobs with direct and indirect benefits for local communities. We’ve seen emotional wellbeing and resilience in young people, decreased isolation and improved motivation amongst healthcare, social care and community based professionals. -


Shaping the Future for a Better Tomorrow

Cautious calculation = £1 : £36 (SROI Lynchpin Report 2018) • • • • •

INVEST £100 = SOCIAL RETURN £3,600 INVEST £1000 = SOCIAL RETURN £36,000 INVEST £10,000 = SOCIAL RETURN £360,000 INVEST £100,000 = SOCIAL RETURN £3,600,000 INVEST £1,000,000 = SOCIAL RETURN £36,000,000

“I have enjoyed every session because I learnt how to treat myself better. I can practice calming myself down when I’m emotional. Thank you WHISKids.” Each City will become a hub for health and social care innovation that will attract opportunities to develop new businesses, research grants and support their local health services with recruitment and retention of existing staff.

DOES YOUR CITY WANT TO BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION? FIND OUT MORE READ MORE Find out more about how WHIS is working towards implementing good health and wellbeing.

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Health By Stealth Tackling MSKD-Related Disability

Let’s Talk About Sex Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

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The Good Summit Interviews With Jools Hamilton, Luke O’Neill & Gareth Presch

Ocean Health An Interview With Rich German

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Global Unity Mural An Initiative To Bring Together Artists To Unite The World

Health Literacy The Role Of Health Literacy In Preventive Health Care

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Benjamin Wilkins

Sound & Healing Finding Inner Harmony Amidst The Challenge

The Good Summit Page 19 Art for Resilience “VERSUS” Art EXHIBIT Palais des Nations (Geneva)

Global Unity Mural (GUM)

Deirdre Carbery

Rich German

Juliana Ascolani

Dr. Miriam Burger

Isabelle Wachsmuth

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Meggen Lowry, Martin Ong’wen, Jack Chew, Joost van Wijchen and Ruth Septhon, members of the WHIS MSK Expert Group.

TACKLING MSKD-RELATED DISABILITY THROUGH INTEGRATED COMMUNITY ACTIVITY As the primary cause of disability on the planet, musculoskeletal disorders (MSKDs) present an urgent and growing challenge to healthcare systems everywhere. An umbrella term used to describe conditions that affect the joints, bones, tissues, muscles and nervous system, MSKDs include conditions like osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Deep health inequalities exist due to factors such as gender, ethnicity and income, and global MSK health services are facing a mammoth task owing to the backlog of patients post-Covid. In order to reduce the impact of MSKDs, collective communities need to focus on inclusive designs so as to be able to deliver solutions that facilitate everyone’s journey to joint health & wellbeing.


MSKDs are more than an ‘ache in your knee’ or a ‘twinge in your back’. Globally, they contribute to 17% of all Years Lived in Disability, more than any other health condition. With over $100 billion in healthcare costs each year, and up to five times that lost to sick leave and reduced productivity, the economic case for solutions is clear. But the greatest toll of MSKDs is the daily impact they have on people’s lives. Patients suffer the inability to work without pain, loss of independence due to reduced mobility, early retirement, premature entry into care facilities, inability to spend time with friends and family… And critically, the emotional and mental anguish that results from these challenges, often leading to depression and significantly lower quality of life. In addition to their direct impact, MSKDs are often a gateway to increased risk of developing other long-term health conditions (LTHCs). Back pain, the main contributor to the MSKD burden, can lead to the development of additional MSKDs and LTHCs. Non-specific back pain is just one example of an ‘upstream’ condition that can have significant ‘downstream’ health costs and life impact; resultant sedentary behaviour, increase cardiovascular risk, muscular atrophy (sarcopenia), increased falls risk, lost mobility and independence, social isolation and requiring extensive ongoing treatment and social care. This is why early intervention and accessible selfmanagement are so critical to reduce worsening downstream costs - both financial and personal.

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This challenge demands well-designed, responsive health systems and interventions to deal with MSK conditions as they develop. But even more so, it demands that we create societies and communities where MSK health and wellbeing are inherently supported, preventing conditions and facilitating their self-management before their impact spirals. This may all sound common sense enough, but prevention and community empowerment have been on the agenda for decades. Even before the pandemic, many healthcare systems found themselves ‘firefighting’ the significant challenges posed by MSKDs, with limited resources to undertake more ambitious programmes. As we adjust to the lasting impacts of Covid-19, we must look to more innovative approaches if we are to foster the proactive, community-based support we need. ‘Problem First’, co-designed solutions Design-thinking methodology dictates we should understand the problem first and design the solution second. This approach is also known as the ‘double diamond’, with decision making points along the understanding and development pathway. Utilising this methodology in collaboration with patients, clinicians, policy makers and stakeholders can generate a deeper understanding of the problem and the solutions. Focus on the health journey, not the destination MSKDs are often long-term and recurring, and the reality is that many patients will never fully overcome them. By reflecting on the ‘journey’ to improved health, we can better support patients to tackle the long-term challenge of treatment and self-management. This means prioritising everyday wellbeing and valuing progress in a way that is meaningful to each patient, to shift the focus from an curative mentality to improving daily outcomes. Desire, not demands The paternalistic ‘finger wagging’ approach explicitly instructing people to avoid the causes of disease – has been demonstrated to drive limited behaviour change. Much more powerful is the ‘salutogenic’ approach, which promotes healthy decisions and lifestyles by creating environments where better choices are desirable rather than demanded. By co-designing the pathways to health, we ensure people engage because they want to, not because they are told to. Leveraging this allows clinicians to become supportive coaches rather than rationalised consultants, empowering patients to lead the transformation of their own health.


Over 20% (1.7bn) of the global population are affected by MSKDs Boost the power of social prescribing By re-thinking and transitioning services from traditional hospital settings to community health and wellbeing options, social prescribing can enable true ‘upstream’ intervention. Yet when used in isolation it can’t be a silver bullet - the success of social prescribing ultimately depends on creating, sustaining and communicating a whole network of neighbourhood solutions. This is where charities and community groups can play a vital role in joining up the dots between primary health interventions and the myriad health and wellbeing options that may prevent them ever being needed. There is no doubt of the scale of the challenge we face. Around the world, healthcare systems must grapple with compounding burdens from MSKDs, while the individuals who face them everyday often struggle to access the help they need. This requires a fundamental shift in focus, putting power in the hands of frontline clinicians, patients and communities, allowing them to shape policies, co-design solutions, and be the architects of their own wellbeing.

2.4bn are in need of rehabilitation, the majority due to an MSKD

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T R IN I T Y CO L L EG E D U B L I N 2 7 T H O CTO B E R 2 0 2 1 2PM – 6PM


1. What is the purpose behind The Good Summit? The Good Summit (TGS) is all about celebrating COMMON GOOD in the world and creating more of it. We want to know what the best things happening for humanity are, and where they are taking place. We also want to connect people with the stories and learnings of positive social transformation.

2. Why are events like TGS important for stimulating positive actions and achieving sustainable social change? I myself am a huge believer in gatherings. The social connection and learning that comes through human interaction is GOOD for every part of our lives. Social lives, intellectual lives, spiritual and physical selves! There isn’t an aspect of our lives that cannot be enhanced by being together in positive ways. For us at the THE GOOD SUMMIT, that might mean a dozen people around a table over a meal, or thousands of people together through a webinar. A core value of THE GOOD SUMMIT is that ‘We are Better Together’. Anything we can do to develop togetherness, we will do.

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3. What will be discussed and what do you hope to achieve?

4. Could you name some key speakers who will be joining the event?

Like so many other events, we had to change what THE GOOD SUMMIT was in 2020 because of COVID-19. We moved our event online and actually connected with thousands more people than we would have had, had we just stayed as a one-off physical event. Hence, this year, we have stayed online in order to host three special school seminars and one amazing event in partnership with WHIS. The school seminars will bring issues of Mental health (and online bullying in particular in focus), The learnings from Science with COVID-19, and a political seminar with senior government ministers from both Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Our event on 27th October has an incredible lineup of experts with 4 sessions:

Through these seminars, and the partnership with WHIS, we hope that everyone from school pupils through to senior health professionals will be able to join a discussion about how the last 18-24 months in particular have provided things for us to learn as a society.

“Digital Health” with Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Global Social Prescribing Alliance Clinical Champion; James Fennell MBE CEO The KEY; Roland Schatz CEO UNGSII (BMZ, Digital Africa); Elaine Daly, partner and head of life sciences at Grant Thornton

I would hope that there is intellectual stimulation for those attending, as well as practical skills in coping and taking positive steps in life (particularly in the school seminars). If we can hear stories in the future from schools about projects that were picked up, actions that were taken, or changes that pupils made because something from our seminars inspired a pupil, that would be wonderful. Another core value of THE GOOD SUMMIT is that ‘We can all make a difference’ - encouraging everyone to know their own value and develop practices that bring positive transformation for the world through our events this year is always important to us!

“Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Global Health” with Deirdre Carbery, Chair World Health Innovation Summit Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Group, Dr Catherine Day, chairwoman of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality, chaired by Prof Ivana Bacik TD Law School.

“What has the science taught us?” with with Prof Luke O’Neill, Immunologist TCD; Assistant Prof Ann Nolan, Global Health TCD; Dr Alan Smith, Deputy CMO Dep of Health. “Good Health + Well Being” with Prof Clíona Ní Cheallaigh, Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine TCD; James Sanderson, CEO NASP, NHS Director of Personalised Care; Gareth Presch, Founder WHIS and Assistant Prof Orlagh Hegarty UCD.

This lineup is incredible and will encourage some deep learning, and hopefully positive action as a result of the conversations. For me, the joy in THE GOOD SUMMIT events are the connections that take place in the name of positive social transformation... If we inspire reflection and actions on some of the most pressing issues of our day, then together we can walk toward creating the world we want to see.

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1. How did you get involved with The Good Summit? A couple of years ago, I was asked to speak at The Good Summit on the issue of new medicines for diseases and it was a joy to do. The gathering was so positive - so I spoke last year also, and am taking part again this year.

2. What will you be discussing at this year’s event and why? I will be discussing how science has made a huge difference to the fight against COVID-19. We’ve seen remarkable progress in the development of vaccines and medicines, through the efforts of many thousands of scientists. I will also be discussing what might happen in the coming months.

3. Why is this subject important to you? I am an immunologist and my lab is working on COVID-19. I also have a passion for communicating science to the general public, and this has never been more important, given the level of anxiety and worry out there over COVID-19. While I have had a regular slot on Irish radio and have published books developing science for everyone, it has been my experience that at this point in time, everyone is listening to what science has to teach us all. The academics at this point in time have a real responsibility to educate and assist the general public in all the prevalent issues.

4. What do you hope attendees will learn from your panel? They will hopefully learn a bit about how science was deployed and how it has been our greatest ally in this fight.

5. Is there anything that you’re looking forward to the most? Engaging with the audience – it’s great to get their opinions and views on this most important issue for our time. That, and of course hanging out with Jools again - we always have a lot of fun connecting through all things Good Summit!

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1. How did you connect with Jools and get involved with The Good Summit? In 2018, I met Jools through a mutual friend, David Crowley, and he explained the mission and vision behind the Good Summit. We instantly found common purpose and it’s been a pleasure to help and support.

2. Why are events like The Good Summit important? These events are so important as we get to meet new people and share our ideas. We basically stimulate and co-create solutions that bring about positive change for the benefit of our communities.

4. Is there anything that you’re looking forward to the most? I’m really looking forward to meeting Jools and his team again. Over the last few years, the event has gone from strength to strength and we’re looking forward to supporting its growth and working with colleagues in Ireland to implement the global goals.

3. What outcomes do you hope to achieve from this year’s event? I hope this year we can bring impact investment opportunities to Dublin, Ireland. Over the last few years, I’ve met with the HSE and discussed the opportunities to help and support the health services while improving people’s health and wellbeing. It’s a huge opportunity for Ireland. We’ll be bringing colleagues who can help support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland. It would be fantastic to see the projects shared (One Stop Solution Platform, SCR500, Global Social Prescribing Alliance, etc) at the event become projects in Ireland.


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THE MURAL THAT WILL UNITE THE WORLD THE GLOBAL UNITY MURAL “GUM” IS A COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVE TO BRING TOGETHER WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF UNITING THE WORLD. LavaStage, World Health Organization (WHO), Art Fusion Digital Platform (AFDP), United Nations Global Sustainability Index Institute (UNGSII) and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) will initiate the world’s largest artistic collaboration event through SDG cities and countries to unite the world.

“What an opportunity for the Arts to play a significant role in the implementation of the SDGs while improving people’s health and wellbeing.” - Gareth Presch, CEO, WHIS

Following the success of the June 2021 VERSUS Art Exhibit that took place at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, a large consortium of partners is moving forward to scale-up the Art Impact for Health and SDG’s incubator. This initiative is led by the the World Health Organization’s Director General. The goal is to create the most recognised mural in history. The core mural will be on display for three weeks on the United Nations campus in Geneva. In February 2022, the Mural will go to the United Nations campus in New York City, where a multi-city, six-week tour will kick-off. The Mural will grow while on tour. Each SDG city will have a different artist who will add to the original. Nine countries, six SDG cities per country will be announced on January 31, 2022. The Mural will have a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) that will allow the authentication of every contribution to the original work. The initial campaign began on 9th July 2021. It will continue with the SGD Champions Conference in San Marino, Italy on 22nd -24th October 2021, the SDG Cities Conference in Shanghai, China on 31st October 2021 and during the 26th Conference Of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow, UK in November 2021.

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“I, Apollo, invite you to contribute to one of the most important murals of the century where we will gather to build healing and unity through art.” - @apolo.mde, A top Columbian graffiti artist is the first collaborator


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LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT Echoing human security principles, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises a “world free from fear and free from want.” To achieve its transformative promise, Agenda 2030 calls for a new approach to address the interconnectivity of today’s challenges. To this end, human security and applying a gender perspective provides an effective analytical lens and programming framework and one where gender must be mainstreamed throughout.

DEIRDRE CARBERY Human Security & Gender Advisor & Chair of WHIS Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Expert Group VIEW CONTRIBUTOR’S BIO

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Gender equality is one of the major human development challenges around the world. Equality is not merely a political and ethical issue, but it also serves to guarantee the effectiveness of development policies and programmes. Strengthening the rights of women and girls, including trans women, helps all of society move forward towards an equitable and peaceful society. We, the WHIS Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, understand that there is a direct correlation between inequality and insecurity. In fact, one of the best indicators of conflict is gender equality. The larger the gender gap is, the more likely a country is to be involved in intra- and interstate conflict, to be the first to resort to force in such conflicts, and to resort to higher levels of violence. On issues of national health, economic growth, corruption, and social welfare, the best predictors are also those that reflect the situation of women. What happens to women affects the security, stability, prosperity, health, regime type, and the power of the state. Therefore, development will only be possible and indeed, sustainable if its benefits accrue equally to both women and men.

The SDGs must be viewed as interdependent parts, all must be achieved if the 2030 Agenda is to be fully realised. As the 2030 Agenda applies to all countries, all peoples and all segments of society, gender equality is essential for creating inclusive societies and sustainable economic trajectories. Women’s equality and empowerment is one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, but also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development. This is why we say that it’s a ‘cross-cutting theme’. To be effective, policy actions for sustainability must address the disproportionate impact of economic, social and environmental shocks and stresses on women and girls. Women’s knowledge, agency and collective action has huge potential to improve resource productivity, enhance ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and to create more sustainable, low-carbon food, energy, water and health systems. Failure to capitalise on this would be a missed opportunity. Women should not be viewed as victims, but as central actors in moving towards sustainability. Sex, age, gender and sexual orientation matters in the context of programme development and in understanding the challenges and barriers to progressing the UN SDGs. Gender equality can only be achieved by taking proactive action, removing all barriers to full and equal participation, and calling out inequality when we see it. The Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Panel of Experts consists of a Chair and five experts, a diverse group of women and men including specialists in Education, Health, Economics, Human Rights and Equality Studies. The panel is committed to the mainstreaming of a gender perspective throughout WHIS programmes and initiatives, conducting a gender analysis for all projects and will continue to identify opportunities to progress gender equality and the empowerment of women globally.


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3. You also ran an ocean cleanup project not long ago. What can you tell us about it?


Here’s a video from the clean up:


1. What were the main influences drawing you into the world of ocean conservation? Honestly my main influences are the dolphins and whales. Since 2010 I have paddle boarded about 25,000 miles here in Laguna Beach, California and have had close to 2,000 encounters with many different species of dolphins and whales, including blue whales and orcas. I’ve been fortunate to create a deep love and connection with these animals and that is my main motivation for all work I do to protect the ocean.

2. You recently celebrated World Ocean Day. How did it go? Recently I’ve been noticing a lot more trash and plastic in the ocean. It’s become clear that plastic pollution is not a problem on the other side of the world. It’s an issue right here in my backyard paradise. So to celebrate World Oceans Day, we teamed up with 12 other local nonprofit organisations and organised the Laguna Kelp Clean Up. Close to 100 ocean lovers showed up and together we collected 4 large bins of trash that was in the ocean. It was great to see our local community come together to take a stand for the ocean we all love so much.

4. What other projects are you working on at the moment? My nonprofit Project O has two major projects at the moment. First is the Blue City Network where we are certifying cities for following best practices when it comes to protecting the ocean and waterways. We are starting with coastal cities here in California and then will move inland and globally. The intention is to provide cities and communities the support and resources needed to be true champions of the environment. The other main project is our podcast that I host, Our Epic Ocean. Launched at the beginning of 2021 I have now interviewed 25 of the top people on the planet working to create solutions to the challenges our ocean is facing.

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5. Which facets of your work do you find most inspiring? It can be very overwhelming when you think about all the issues our planet is facing, but it is inspiring to see so many people coming together – especially young people – to help create a better future for the ocean, the animals and for humankind.

9. What do you believe are the most important solutions we need to be focusing on for a healthier ocean? From a practical solutions perspective, I feel some key areas are 1.

6. What actions are you taking to achieve SDG14 goals? Every project I am focused on is designed to help protect life living under water. I believe we are at an ‘all hands on deck’ moment in time and we need to do whatever we can to help protect the ocean and the sacred life that calls it home

7. What are the greatest learning curves you have faced in your work? Probably the need to be patient, which is hard when scientists warn us we need to make sweeping changes soon before we hit critical tipping points. It is important to balance taking inspired actions with things like personal development, self-care and healing

2. 3.

A Renewable Energy Revolution to help with carbon drawdown A Food Revolution with a focus on plantbased diets Better management of the ocean, including more no-take zones and dramatically less fishing

10. If you could give one message to the world about ocean conservation, what would it be? It’s not too late, but we no longer have the luxury of time. Choose the area you want to focus on and work daily to make a difference. Start with caring for yourself and your loved ones, then your community, and let the effect ripple out into the world.

8. What is your response to the connection between the health of our oceans and our own health? Everything is connected. I believe it all begins and ends with self-care and self-love. If I take care of myself – mentally, physically and emotionally – I will treat others with more kindness. And as more people begin to do this I feel as a species we will make better decisions when it comes to protecting the planet and ocean. Ultimately, I feel it is a shift in consciousness that is required to make the changes we need to learn to live in harmony with each other and the planet.


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HEALTH LITERACY THE ROLE OF HEALTH LITERACY IN PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE Health literacy is a key point in helping individuals understand and, just as important, implement knowledge in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. The application of this knowledge is where the challenge lies. However, by applying health information to enable favourable behavioural changes, it is possible to take a big step towards disease prevention.

Reducing the onset of diseases is the main purpose of preventive medicine, helping people live happier and better lives and achieve their best selves. One huge component to this involves health literacy: a modifiable factor of shaping people’s behaviours – and ultimately, their health. People with greater self-reported health literacy exhibit a greater chance of developing health preventative behaviours, such as engaging in physical activity, adhering to regular check-ups, and a better perception of social standing and self-health control.

Health literacy can be divided into three levels: 1.

2. 3.

Functional health literacy (knowwhy) refers to effective information communication. Interactive (know-how) talks about new skill acquisition. Criticism or application includes personal and community empowerment in regards to healthy living.

Although understanding the levels can help create effective health promotion and prevention strategies, individuals must also be empowered with techniques to help them apply this theoretical knowledge. This includes having certain skills which are important to health literacy, such as comprehension (reading and understanding health information), numeracy (the ability to process, communicate, and act on numerical data), critical media literacy (the ability to analyse media for credibility, purpose, and quality), and digital literacy (the ability to use digital tools for accessing and synthesising information).

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An individual’s level of health literacy and ability to utilise the aforementioned skills is closely correlated with their health status and lifestyle conditions. The greater the health literacy of a person, the greater their chance of maintaining their wellbeing is. Here are some examples: Mental Health: Health literacy is a strong predictor of an individual’s capacity to identify and commit to healthy behaviours and avoid mental health consequences. Chronic Disease Management: People living with chronic diseases and with inadequate or marginal health literacy are less skilled in self-managing the daily responsibilities that their disease entails. As a result, focusing on people’s health literacy enables them to manage their illness. Pregnancy and Parenting: The adoption of healthy behaviours during pregnancy affects not only the mother and fetus, but also the child’s health due to epigenetic programming. A higher level of health literacy helps parents identify reliable content and practices within the world of health-related materials for pregnancy. The Behaviours of Young People: Increasing media literacy can improve health outcomes by reducing harmful alcohol or smoking behaviours or curbing unhealthy behaviours related to obesity and eating disorders.

JULIANA ASCOLANI Health researcher and biomedical engineer VIEW CONTRIBUTOR’S BIO

Improving people’s health knowledge is important due to the distinct interplay between limited health literacy and poor health outcomes, resulting in higher health consequences as well as higher financial and social costs. An informed population is more likely to freely make better decisions around their health, demanding the best service, being accountable for the results, and more satisfied with their health status and overall wellbeing. Health literacy constitutes, then, increased health prioritisation to reduce inequalities and improve the health of all people.


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“Modern physics has taught us that the nature of any system cannot be discovered by dividing it into its component parts and studying each part by itself... We must keep our attention fixed on the whole and on the interconnection between the parts. The same is true of our intellectual life. The whole is never equal simply to the sum of its various parts.” – Max Planck

DR. MIRIAM BURGER Physician, Sound Medicine Expert, Musician, and Ayurvedic Coach VIEW CONTRIBUTOR’S BIO

SOUND & HEALING FINDING INNER HARMONY AMIDST THE CHALLENGE Tools that we can individually use to master change are numerous. Powerful ones are music and sound. Music can move our soul - respectively the structures we consider to be soul-like. Science also has investigated how music impacts us morphologically and functionally, yet it affects not only the nervous system and psyche: music also shapes our cellular environment through diverse pathways, with different theories on how it translates into cell reprogramming. Not only do modern sciences apply sound and frequency technology, ancient cultures inherited sound rituals as early salutogenetic and empowering methods. Across diverse cultures, spiritual leaders, creatives, and exceptional individuals – they all have used techniques of inner coherence to master change. Coherence can be reached through meditation. And if meditation is taking the stairs, Sound Meditation is taking the elevator. Sound will entrain brain waves within minutes when you’re trained. You may know from listening to your favorite music,“healing sounds” or rhythms how impactful music can be for your body. Music impacts the flow of “Qi”, “Prana”, “Kundalini” in your energy system, and fosters creative as well as deeply recreative mental states; it supports you in physical activity, overcoming addiction, growing nerve tissue, reviving overall cognitive functions. Even reconstructing long-forgotten lifelines to recall one’s identity is possible. From the premature born up to the centenarian – the restructuring and energising power of music impacts many aspects of our existence, and beyond.

Photographer: Katharina Weins

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TOP TIPS FOR INTEGRATING SOUND AND MUSIC How you can easily use music for self-care… •

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Photo Credit: The Global Health Delivery Project, Harvard University.

Use music as your friend! Apply the power of music to support your daily routines and to reach your goals. Use songs to overcome tiredness, to get rid of melancholia, energetic music to push you through a sports session, or relaxing music to enjoy a cup of tea in the evening for instance. Sometimes we know exactly what music works best in a certain moment, so trust your intuition and use music to cope better with particular situations or challenging emotions. Shake it off! Dance with your favorite music and energise your cells and your body. Play music yourself! Do you play an instrument? Use it and rewire your brain - every time you play, you actively promote your brain’s neuroplasticity. Can’t play an instrument? Learn! It’s one of the most creative activities and the possibilities are limitless. Sing and hum! Your voice is your innate instrument. Your whole body and energy system benefits from the resonance of your singing voice. Meditate with music! Meditation does not always mean sitting in silence. Sound Meditation is a wonderful mindfulness practice to focus and quieten your thoughts, to interrupt the Default Mode of your working brain, and de-stress your system. Use music to improve your sleep! Listening to relaxing music in the evening reduces the cortisol levels and signals your body to slow down for a good rest.


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1. What are your suggestions for how we raise our vitality? How can we support health before sickness? The WHO defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. Sound meditation offers the benefits of meditation, only that you do not need meditation expertise, as it takes you quickly into meditative states. You can simply let a ‘sound bath’ gently take you into a meditative state. Without any experience, you still fully benefit from sound meditation. It is a great tool to activate the parasympathetic response, which balances the stress response. The parasympathetic response is also essential in preventing sickness. While we live in constant information overload and uncertainty during the pandemic, we translate stress into so-called stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). As part of our natural hormonal cycles, stress hormones are physiologically meaningful. However, chronically secreted they can accumulate up to excessive levels, affecting health on many levels, even at the cellular level. Sound meditation can support the nervous system to become more ‘resilient’ to stressors. It can be a simple tool to release beneficial neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins) balancing chronic stress and pain, and improving mental clarity and physiological balance. Also, the quality of sleep can greatly benefit from the effects of Sound Meditation as it influences the release of melatonin and its derivatives. It may be possible that vibrations also enter tissue directly and travel to cell level. Interestingly, latest research at MIT shows that cellular structures emit vibrational signals in intracellular processes.

Photographer: Katharina Weins

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2. What does an in-person sound meditation session look like? A sound meditation is an immersive sound experience with gongs, singing bowls, and other instruments also used in Music Therapy. You can combine it with recorded music. It’s called a ‘bath’ because sound waves ‘wash’ over you and fill the room as you lie down and receive the experience. It is assumed that the harmonics of low frequencies and overtone patterns, binaural dynamics, will effortlessly carry your mind into a meditative state, and vibrations enter your body to release tension. The sound session starts out with a brief introduction, a short guided meditation and breathwork to help you settle into the experience. The instruments will then be played for 45-75 minutes as you sit or lie comfortably and listen to the various sounds and feel sensations that may come up. The session will conclude with a short silence to let the experience settle, followed by an outro to guide you back and let you adjust to the present reality. During a gong bath, you sit or lie in front of a gong with eyes closed or with an eye mask, and listen to the low frequency tones. The soothing sounds carry us into a meditative state. I work a lot with the gong and singing bowls, and see that everyone has a different experience with them. It is assumed that a gong’s tangible sounds (vibrations) work on the central and peripheral nervous system by entraining brain waves and entering nerve endings, which can cause shifts in consciousness states, tingling sensations, sensations of electricity. Some people feel completely blissed out, while others feel more emotional. This will be different each time for everyone. The first time can be particularly intense, since it will be a new experience.

3. How do you envisage the future of sound meditation? I think wellness music such as sound meditation is a first wave of an emerging discipline we could call sound medicine and musical medicine. As a medical doctor, to me this is a truly inspiring vision. In the future, I would like to contribute to the conceptualisation of a medical specialty that officially entitles doctors to be specialised in sound and musical medicine. As a musician and artist, I have always been very sensitive to our audible and vibrational surroundings. It is well known that high sensitivity is linked to creativity. There could be future opportunities at these crossroads. I believe that we will benefit greatly from utilising wellness music in educational, cultural, preventative and therapeutic ways. And just as meditation has become a big part of everyday life, I think sound meditation will become that, too.


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“Dancing, playing music, singing, sculpting, painting, writing poetry... Art is a practice that favours the link with nature and essence of creation; it is the infinite capacity of a human being to give more meaning and soulfulness to his or her life” The initiative, ‘Art Impact for Health and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, promotes the networking of a collective intelligence that links and values both arts and sciences. Whether scientists, leaders, or entrepreneurs of innovative solutions, all wish to contribute with their creativity to the reflection and development of solutions. It is a creative, organic way of federating with distributed leadership, based on co-creation an international consortium within which to reflect upon the practical implementation of SDGs and their societal impact. This approach allows for communicating, in a creative and universal way, the importance of SDGs, the solutions underway, as well as involving stakeholders in a multidisciplinary and multisectoral manner in their implementation. In this respect, Art Impact for Health and Wellbeing SDG incubator makes it accessible to all and presents different perspectives of scientific knowledge by mixing humanism with innovation. This resonance integrates all collectives who work in favor of creativity and humanization of services for an effective social support. People and multidisciplinary communities are set in motion. A place of exchange and sharing is offered to them whereby they can pool ideas and knowledge, as well as support and inspire one another for the benefit of a cause greater than oneself.

By putting collective intelligence into an organic network like a living ecosystem, there is greater potential for innovation than by simply combining intelligence, experience, and knowledge of each individual. This gives an absolute continuity in creativity, motivation and solidarity. It is co-constructing a coherent set of methods, experiences and know-how. It is, additionally, the ability to share the advances of science in service of humanizing public services, and particularly health care for SDG-3 in an artistic form. It is to co-create collectively in a transversal way, and to capitalise on all existing sustainable and fair initiatives. Within this framework, an international exhibition took place in June 2021 on the theme of resilience at the individual and collective level. VERSUS was presented at the Palais des Nations with the support of the UNOG cultural and artistic activities service.

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ISABELLE WACHSMUTH WHO, Artist Painter VIEW CONTRIBUTOR’S BIO It is a way to fight social isolation through the establishment and engagement of creative and local communities, and also to involve organisations in charge of art. The exhibition was interactive with multiple artistic presentations: music, videos, short films. Support was provided by a dozen partners, including WAAS, WHIS, UNGSII, SDG Cities, National Academy for Social Prescribing, Ashoka, and Smile Train. This allowed a gathering of more than 60 contributors and contributions from around the world.

The visibility of artists involved in the process was greatly increased. It was a tribute to all the beneficiaries of the arts initiatives and their diversities, including the most vulnerable and marginalised children, women, and people with disabilities.

The exhibition was able to identify and present a retrospective of a set of initiatives, both individual and collective at the global level, demonstrating through artistic representations and testimonies of resilience journeys how art can impact the meaning of life, the notion of well-being.

Art generates meaning-making through stories, images, sounds, performances, and other methods that allow people to communicate their experience and sense of being alive. The combination of the arts facilitates wellbeing and health and thus, on a collective level, social support for people, whatever their condition. The artistic act represents a deliberate response to a felt need.

The aspect relating to social support for the most vulnerable and marginalised people in local communities has allowed to federate in practice an approach consisting in ‘leaving no one behind’. The exhibition demonstrated how multidisciplinary artistic humanist approaches can be combined in the fields of health, education, and social entrepreneurship. Also, thanks to the intervention of twelve panelists at the opening, a process of co-creation and co-inspiration between various disciplines and expertise was accomplished.


Art is intentional. Creating requires all the focus, skill and experience the artist can master, as well as other qualities such as imagination, courage, sensitivity and integrity. It is a way to facilitate people’s resilience and awareness of the importance of their health. Therefore, it seems that participating in the arts, not just having access to them, remains a cause that should not be overlooked by anyone, including at the political level.

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