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When are you fully ‘Emerged’?

By Kristof Decoster
on April 15, 2018

As many of you know, one of the perennial questions around the ‘Emerging Voices’ venture is this one: when are you actually ‘Emerged’?  (+ grin)

I don’t have a clue – feeling at times closer to a Drowning/Imploding Voice, especially on Friday mornings – but nevertheless thought it might be good to speculate a bit, even we all agree that in life (and certainly in health policy & systems research/global health) one is never really fully ‘Emerged’.


So here we go: what are possible indicators of being ‘Emerged’?


  • Like the EV’s Founding Father, also known as ‘Gandalf’, you can run half a marathon without even blinking an eye. #NCDswalkthetalk
  • You make a (health equity) difference on the ground in your own country, and manage to stay out of jail. (for Russian EV alumni: you manage not to get poisoned in the UK)
  • You are poached by an international organisation (for example, UNICEF) for its headquarters.
  • You get to do that PhD you always dreamed of, and you even finalize it in the foreseen time period, while carving out your own niche.
  • You are invited for a keynote speech at a major global health conference, and get the perk of staying at the Radisson Blu-u-e-e hotel.
  • You get “kudos” from Kent Buse on Twitter.
  • You’ve managed to ‘switch the poles’ big time, among others by conceptualizing global health in a new way.
  • You tweet with dr. Tedros himself.
  • As you grow impatient with all the bureaucrats and old dinosaurs in your own country, you start your own (mini-) EV venture in your country/department.
  • You can sing ‘This is the moment’ like a well-known (some would say, slightly notorious) EV alumnus.
  • You are the lead or co-lead of another HSG Thematic Working group, and as systematic in your approach as another well-known EV alumnus. #arewesystemsresearchersornot ?
  • You are invited to moderate the final panel of a global HSR symposium. As a result Tim Evans will never èver be asked again to do so.
  • You go to pristine settings in the North to discuss ‘actionable governance’ in the Global South. #Bellagio4ever
  • You get a nagging feeling that some of the new EVs are not just smarter, but also wiser than you, even if they’re much younger.
  • You are the first author of a Health Policy & Planning ‘ten best resources’ article.
  • You turn off the daily spam you receive from one of the EV googlegroup facilitators as you consider yourself fully ‘Emerged’ now.
  • You can write scientific articles that knock the reader out like one of the SHAPES’ leads routinely does. #toocomplex&eruditeforthisworld
  • You have mastered the skill to tailor your key message to the forum you’re attending. #contextsensitivity #onesizedoesnotfitall
  • You have the natural charism of one of the EV governance members, especially the one with the beard. A whiff of Scandinavian authority and rigour also helps.
  • Your hair begins to resemble one of the EV googlegroup facilitators’ #notmuchleftbehind
  • You’ve started your own Community of Practice.
  • As you are being invited to more and more global health workshops, high-level events & breakfasts, your ecological footprint begins to resemble Richard Horton & Ilona Kickbusch’s.
  • You mingle with health diplomats at the World Health Assembly and write a short report afterwards for IHP that contains at least the words ‘FENSA’, ‘global health governance gridlock’ and ‘meta-governor’, smuggling in a few bad words on philantro-capitalists in the process.



Obviously this was just a start. Surely there are many other possible indicators of being ‘Emerged’. So feel free to add some of your own, below this post!

Bet you are ‘emerged’ too! : )


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