“As we walked out of the room, we knew that things would never be the same again. We were very happy… felt so confident, inspired and prepared to create change for global health across the world” (EV 2014)
On 29 September 2014, the emerging voices together with the emerging leaders held their pre-conference program at the University of Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. The program served as a unique platform for exchange of knowledge and skills and as a networking hub among emerging and leading researchers and practitioners working for global health. It started with welcome remarks and introductions from distinguished guests such as Prof Helen Schneider (UWC), Prof Lucy Gilson (UCT), Prof Bruno Marchal (ITM), Prof Meng (Peking University) and Upendra Bhojani (IPH Bangalore). Undoubtedly, the opening’s highlight was each thematic working group’s two-minute “teasers”, which included a whole range of video presentations, acting, singing and dancing. Many of them blew the audience away. The eight thematic working groups include: health financing, people as providers, patient perspectives, knowledge translation, governance and human rights, community health systems, quality of care and complex health systems.
Selected representatives from the thematic working groups also presented their research during the opening and closing plenaries: Bhaskar Purohit, Elena Vargas, Nasreen Jesrani, Marian Theresa Valera, Upasona Gosh, Erlyn Rachelle Macarayan (that would be me!), Anteneh Asefa and Sameera Hussein. Concurrent sessions were held in two sets: morning and afternoon sessions. Although the creative teasers have been very successful in attracting guests to go into each of the sessions, what made the sessions very engaging were the stimulating discussions and thought-provoking questions after each presentation. Every emerging voice and leader excelled in presenting cutting-edge research and novel ideas on improving global health in different settings. Certainly, the day did not end without the cocktails to celebrate such a very successful pre-conference program, and then Emerging Voices turned again into Emerging Dancers (not for the first time this week, I have to say). After a week-long rigorous training prior to the pre-conference, each of the emerging voices and leaders, as well as their mentors, truly deserved this hour of celebration.
What’s next? The conclusion of the program did not just mean an end for the emerging voices and leaders. The program led to a new set of future health leaders inspired and passion-driven to create bigger and greater impacts through their very own ways. With a united voice for global health, these future leaders are now ready to tackle the world’s worst problems, create innovative ideas and revolutionize the way we think about global health. Don’t forget to keep yourself updated on many of our upcoming initiatives and events!