Wellcome Trust: Sustaining Health

Meteos was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to run a cross-sector, system-focused dialogue between company executives, institutional investors, public health officials and academics with expertise in health, nutrition and the natural environment. The dialogue, which ran from October 2013 – March 2015, was designed to further the aim of cross-sector collaboration and enhance the ability of the Trust’s Sustaining Health initiative to improve health outcomes.

The overall focus of the dialogue was to explore how knowledge and technology can support the Sustaining Health agenda which recognises the importance of social and environmental determinants of health. The Dialogue explored a range of specific themes, including:

• The dialogue explored how stunning innovations in science and technology can support a holistic approach to sustaining health. It reviewed knotty, inter-disciplinary cooperation, communication and data-handling.

• On nutrition, the dialogue explored how nutrition interacts with a host of other factors and disciplines, including agriculture, climate/environment, behaviour, education, economics, social policy and politics, in order to identify the linkages in the agri-income-nutrition pathway that are most critical to improve outcomes, and most amenable to intervention.

• On cities and health, the dialogue explored the role of technology in helping city planners to look at energy, water, health and waste in an integrated way. It asked what collaboration between municipal governments, business and academia is needed to reach their full potential and raises questions about the ownership, management and curation of public data held largely in private hands.

The dialogue included a consultation with coincided with UN Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change and New York Climate Week in September 2014, held in collaboration with Columbia University International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and the Mailman School of Public Health. The Dialogue concluded with the publication of a public report, ‘Vital Connections: Science, Society and Sustaining Health’ , as well as an internal report to the Wellcome Trust.

Who is involved?

Gbola Amusa, Healthcare Finance & Strategy Consultant, Independent
Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics, Queen Mary University of London
Molly Brown, Research Scientist, University of Maryland
Alexa Clay, Economic Historian, Author, and Innovation Strategist, Independent
Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Market Transformation, WWF
Rachel Crossley, Senior Advisor, Access to Nutrition Foundation
Steve Davis, CEO, PATH
Michael Depledge, Professor of Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter
Melanie Edwards, CEO, MobileMetrix
Ricardo Fuentes Nieva, Head of Research, Oxfam GB
Tara Garnett, Researcher, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Peng Gong, Professor of Ecosystems Science, Tsinghua University
Rachel Gordon, Strategy Director, DigitasLBi
David Green, Social Entrepreneur, Independent
Beth Hart, Head of Product Development & Technology Fresh & Frozen Foods, J Sainsbury plc
Claire Hughes, Head of Nutrition and Science, Marks & Spencer Food
Jim Kaput, Head, Systems Nutrition and Health Unit, Nestle Institute of Health Sciences
Heidi Larson, Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Jeremy Nettle, Director, Global Client Advisor for Healthcare, Oracle
Jason Payne, Philanthropy Engineering Team Lead, Palantir Technologies
Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director, Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology
Mark Rhodes, VP Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability Centre for Excellence, GlaxoSmithKline
Vladimir Savic, Senior Banker, Agribusiness, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Howard Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Inc.
Tristram Stuart, Founder, Feedback
Raj Thamotheram, CEO, Preventable Surprises
Phil Thompson, Associate Professor of Urban Politics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ivo Vlaev, Professor of Behavioural Science, University of Warwick