The health of human civilization and the state of the biospheric systems on which it depends, are intimately linked. This planetary system is now very tightly coupled, with both enormous information content and potential for novelty, albeit with declining resilience. Can we have the foresight to transform our present actions and value choices not only to anticipate future global health scenarios, but more explicitly to create the “future we want”?
Traditional reactive approaches to anticipating and planning for the future typically use a scenario planning strategy that is driven by data, trend analysis and expert opinion. Rather than simply reacting, the objective of global health foresighting is acting imaginatively and intentionally toward the “Global Health We Want,” employing a transdisciplinary approach informed by intentional design and transformative scenario planning.
Integrative Health and Wellness
Traditional allopathic health perspectives are rooted in the diagnosis, cure or management of disease and in disease prevention. Beyond concepts of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, little attention is focused on creating the conditions for health and wellness, as well as integrating the best of science and technology in these. The theme of integrated health and wellness will seek to challenge Western ideas and practices, including reductionist views of allopathic medicine, public health and risk management.
'Big Science', Health and Human Systems
The 21st Century is marked by a culmination of rapid and profound paradigmatic societal and technological shifts. These transformations and their reshaping of human systems, have not always been equitable, and have massive individual, public and global public health impacts. Over two billion people, for example, still live without basic sanitation and continue to be at risk from infectious diseases, while six million children die each year before reaching the age of five.