World Health Summit 2012

October 21-24, 2012


Arthur Schopenhauer captured a deeply felt human need when he wrote that “health is not everything, but without health everything is nothing.” People everywhere rightly expect busi-ness, researchers and policy-makers to come up with viable concepts for well functioning health services that deliver good health care as well as effective disease prevention and control. Also in years to come that will remain a major global challenge. Responding to this challenge calls for a special kind of symbiosis that combines research and medical excellence with a pioneering spirit, responsibility and ethical integrity. In this respect the World Health Summit is a truly ideal forum. Now in its fourth edition, this unique gathering brings together experts from all over the world. I bid them all a very warm welcome to Berlin.

In the year 2012 sustainability is very much in the spotlight. Particularly Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, has highlighted the importance of sustainable life-styles and economic stewardship. So it makes excellent sense for this year’s World Health Summit to focus on the nexus between health and sustainable development. In a world in which ever more people are living, this is an increasingly critical factor. That is why inter-national cooperation is so important here, for it can play a crucial role in generating new hope and new prospects for people all over the world. Everyone has the right to a life lived in dig-nity, after all – and that means also in the best possible health.

As patron of the 2012 World Health Summit, I hope the conference will be a resounding success.

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

(please click here to read the Welcome Message in German)

As patron of the 2012 World Health Summit I would firstly like to express the simple idea, that although health is essentially the most private, indeed the most personal, of issues, it is also a matter of public concern. It is actually one of the primary state responsibilities.

In my role as joint patron, together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, I intend emphasizing that nothing can be achieved long-term with regard to health matters without international cooperation, in particular at the European level.

The challenges facing us are considerable. They are urgent. We should accept them together.

The first one is universal access to health care. Inequality in health treatment is one of the worst offenses against humanity. Everything possible should be done to rectify this injustice. This must be one of our joint priorities.

The second challenge is research, which can only develop further if adequate means are available and a coherent organization based on coordinated public decisions exists.

The third challenge concerns essential modifications to our way of thinking and handling in order to ensure sustainable development. This is about the future of our planet, the quality of our air and water: virtually everything is dependent on this prerequisite in some way. It is imperative that every world conference dealing with health issues takes this vital dimension into consideration.

I am very grateful to the forum participants for their work, their determination and their devotion to the common good. I hope you will have rewarding discussions and fruitful exchanges.

François Hollande
President of the French Republic

(please click here to read the Welcome Message in French)

Welcome Message

Dear Friends,
Dear Colleagues,

“Research for Health and Sustainable Development,” the theme of the 2012 World Health Summit, articulates this year´s focus on finding novel solutions for non-communicable diseases and conditions of global concern, like obesity, diabetes, and mental illness. Unhealthy lifestyles are a main cause of these new epidemics. Greater awareness of the global economic risks and human suffering related to the epidemiologic transition, as well as sustainable solutions for healthcare systems to meet the challenge of non-communicable diseases and conditions, are urgently needed.

This year, the world will meet in Brazil for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Although health and research are the basis for development, these issues do not figure prominently in the agenda for Rio. We strongly believe that research for health has to be an essential part of the development agenda.

Governments around the world are already struggling with the challenge of providing quality healthcare, despite increasing financial constraints. The economic crisis poses many challenges, but also represents an opportunity to reform health systems and to rethink the direction and nature of financing for research and health, resulting in more money for health and more health for the money. Science must be sensitive to financial realities, so that scarcity of resources will be considered an enabler of, not an impediment to, sustainable innovation. Maximizing the benefits from limited resources will ensure that the gains of medical progress reach as many people as possible. Important topics that need to be discussed are priorities for research, public and private sector partnerships, intellectual property rights, regulatory procedures for health products and conventions on biomedical research and development.

Academic institutions worldwide must take more responsibility in all health sectors and provide governments with the knowledge, evidence and advice to effectively translate scientific evidence into rational policy and effective solutions. To accomplish this goal, research is fundamental. We must also increase the quality and quantity of diverse health professionals to strengthen their impact on population health.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is proud to share the presidency of the World Health Summit 2012. The School has funded projects in over 120 countries worldwide and our mission is to protect populations from illness and injury by pioneering new research, deploying our knowledge and expertise in the field, and educating scientists and practitioners in the global defense of human life.

We invite you to the 4th World Health Summit in Berlin to jointly search for sustainable solutions for research, health and development in the 21st century.

Michael J. Klag
President 2012
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, USA

Detlev Ganten
Founding President
Charité – Universitätsmedizin
Berlin, Germany


Details Diseases of Modern Environments

In the past years, life expectancy has continued to rise steadily. Longer life expectancy as well as the unhealthy lifestyles resulted in the transition of global predominance of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity and mental illness, as both the leading cause of death and disease burden with serious socio-economic consequences.

How do we combat NCDs and their risk factors to enhance sustainable development? What is the way forward in terms of a multisectoral approach to take effective action and how can they be integrated with existing mechanisms?
There has been significant progress in putting those new issues on the global health agenda, but governance for a healthy planet can only be sustainable if neglected diseases as well as future pandemics are also given attention.

Translating Research into Policy

Research and health are the basis for all development. Millions of dollars are spent on health innovations that fail to live up to their promise. Public health interventions are often implemented without consideration of the issues of delivery and access. Research capacities for the burning medical questions and health issues of our time must be built without delay.

What policy and infrastructure is required to support research and development, innovation and partnerships for the current global health-care needs? How can we reorganize and better support the system to increase translational efficiency between public and private sections at a nation-state, regional and global level? How can in return research and evidence better inform policies, strategies and interventions for global health, including health systems development and the MDGs? How can Health Impact Assessment help us to make health a routine part in all plans, policies and programs?

Health Economics

The vital interlinking relationship between health and economy and its interactions must not be underestimated. This has been especially apparent in the global financial crisis during the past few years leading to ripple effects on health and social spending. Evidence confirmed that failing economy predicted worse health. Sustaining investment and financing in health and social structures is therefore an essential priority to maintain stability and security as well as improve their performance. What mechanisms do we need that identify early warning signs and help mitigate the negative impact of economic downturns?

Research and development has seen a shift from the private sector to the academic community. How can we reorganize the academic system to increase translational efficiency between academic medicine, industry and operational actors of the health care system? Effective incentives and regulatory procedures are needed for medical innovations for diseases of global importance. How can we support a shift in focus from “sick care” to healthcare that truly prevents illness and promotes health?

Information Technology for Health

Information technology is an essential component of health today. The vast amount of data which is produced in health-care every day creates huge challenges. Data are produced, which is then transformed into information which again is translated into decisions.

What are the specifics of this sequence in health-research and in health-care? Which role does IT play at the patient bed? How can IT be used at the bench in the laboratory?

But IT for health has a different meaning depending upon which perspective is taken into account: the view of the decision maker in politics is not the same as the view from the CEO's office in the industry. What is the perspective of science and what of civil society? Only by taking all aspects into account will the picture of IT for health be complete.

Educating Health Professionals

Health Workers in well-performing health systems are crucial for global health. However, the health workforce crisis due to an insufficient number of trained health professionals and brain drain as well as a misdistribution continues to pose a challenge worldwide. Although much attention must be devoted to workforce shortages, the quality of the workforce is equally important.

Profound changes are needed to maintain efficient health systems. Changing patterns of health threats in the 21st century, population movements and financial flows require a transformative educational approach of health professionals that are better attuned to the pressing needs for both global awareness and local sensitivity. What is the future of Nursing? What are the future challenges? How can we best align research and education with the community’s need?

New Voices in Global Health

The Lancet and M8 Alliance  – World Health Summit 2012 - Call for Abstracts

The M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centres and Medical Universities is pleased to invite submission of abstracts for presentation at its upcoming 4th World Health Summit. The World Health Summit is one of the world’s foremost gatherings of leaders from academia, politics, industry and civil society to develop joint strategies and take action to address key challenges in medical research, global health and health care delivery with the aim of shaping the political, academic and social agendas. This year´s World Health Summit “Research for Health and Sustainable Development” will be held in Berlin from October 21st to 24th, 2012.

The M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centres and Medical Universities was officially founded in 2009, as a medical and scientific forum of excellence on the occasion of the 1st World Health Summit in Berlin. It is composed of a network of prestigious medical institutions dealing with scientific, political, and economic issues related to medicine and global health. The M8 Alliance acts as a permanent platform for framing future considerations of global medical development and health challenges. It is the M8’s vision to harness academic excellence to improve global health.

The New Voices in Global Health (NVGH) is a competitive abstract submission and selection programme designed to highlight important research, policy and advocacy initiatives of new and future leaders in global health, and empower participants with global health advocacy skills.

Selected participants will have the opportunity to make a presentation at the World Health Summit 2012. The accepted researchers will participate in either the NVGH forum session or the NVGH poster presentation session. Selected abstracts will be published in a special booklet available at the World Health Summit and on The Lancet´s website.

Issues addressed must be relevant, reflect current challenges, show originality and will spark the interest of conference participants and the readers of The Lancet. Topics of particular interest would be those linked to the summit’s main themes:

“Research for Health and Sustainable Development”

Educating Health Professionals
•  Brain Drain in Medical Professions
•  Educating Health Professionals for the 21st Century

Translating Research into Policy
•  Integrating Research into Health Policies and Health Systems
•  Minimizing Waste of Research
•  Translating Genomic Research into Global Health Gains

Financing Health
•  Economic Crisis and Health Impact
•  Sustainable Health Systems Financing and Universal Coverage

Diseases of Modern Environments
•  The Epidemic of Chronic Diseases
•  The Future of Maternal and Reproductive Health
•  Urban Development and Mental Health

Research using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods may be submitted. Abstracts should be submitted online no later than June 15, 2012. An expert committee composed of M8 Alliance members and Lancet editors will review the abstracts after peer review.

Satellite Meetings

“Berlin meets Beijing”

Open to all

October 23rd, 12 – 15h
Hosts: GTAI, Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche, World Health Summit
Location: Taubenstr. 7-9, 10117 Berlin

Honoring the close partnership of Berlin with the Chinese capital Peking, a Satellite Symposium is being organized for October 23rd. The aim of this Symposium is to discuss the fruitful cooperation of these two cities regarding health care, health economy and health systems; to share experiences and to create new synergies.

The fast urbanization of Chinese cities causes many medical problems. To alleviate the consequences of the demographic change, a health care reform was initiated in 2009 with the main objective to ensure public access to health care. With more than 200,000 people involved in health care, medical and biological research, Berlin might be able to offer additional help. The Charité comes with the potential of various research institutions, academia and start-ups in the field of health care; interdisciplinary collaboration; and cooperation in all health related fields.

Host of this special event are the Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche e.V., Germany Trade and Invest, and the World Health Summit. About 200 international participants from Academia, Politic, Health Care and Economy are expected.

Registration: Berliner Wirtschaftsgespräche and on site

IAMP Young Physicians Leaders Meeting

By invitation only

October 19th – 20th
Hosts: InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP)
Location: Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBWA), Jägerstr. 22/23, 10117 Berlin

The IAMP Young Physician Leaders Meeting is a satellite meeting which will take place from October 19th to 20th. Together with the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers and Medical Universities worldwide, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) will on this occasion establish a “Young Physician Leadership Program”: 20 outstanding young physician leaders are selected and nominated by IAMP members for a specific workshop to develop their leadership skills during mentoring sessions with an international group of physician leaders. The program includes participation in the World Health Summit (October 21st – 24th 2012), which will provide an outstanding scientific and policy program and networking opportunities with a global group of medical and scientific professionals, government officials, business leaders and health related organizations.

Eligible physicians for the Leadership Program are under 40 years of age, have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in clinical medicine, medical education, public health or health policy and show significant promise for leadership in their fields in the future.

The Co-Chairs of the IAMP, Jo Ivey Boufford and Looi Lai-Meng, will be chairing this program in Berlin.

Zeit Campus Dialog

Open to all
October 23rd, 18:30 – 20h
Hosts: ZEIT Campus, World Health Summit
Location: Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus, Luisenstraße 59, 10117 Berlin

ZEIT Campus is a highly regarded German magazine for students and young professionals. It is being issued by one of the most important German newspapers: DIE ZEIT. The symposium on Tuesday, October 23rd, discusses the topic “Science as a Job: Which Chances and Perspectives do Young Scientists in Germany have?” and will be held in German exclusively. Prof. Detlev Ganten, Founding President of the World Health Summit, Dr. Katrin Paeschke, researcher and biochemist at University Würzburg, and Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Academic Exchange Service, will discuss possibilities and recommendable steps for students and alumni to take in order to successfully start an academic career. Simon Kerbusk, Chief Editor of ZEIT Campus, will moderate the discussion.

Interested participants will have the additional opportunity to enjoy an exclusive inside look at the World Health Summit as they will be able to visit the Summit on Tuesday, October 23rd, from 4pm on, free of charge.

Registration: on site at the World Health Summit

health_y: food|media|innovation|education

Open to all
October 16th, 19:30 - 21:00
Hosts: Stiftung Brandenburger Tor, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin,
World Health Summit, Helmholtz Association
Location: Max Liebermann Haus, Pariser Platz 7, 10117 Berlin

Health and the access to health care are universal rights. They define a public affair (res publica) in the most classical sense, comparable to social needs, public transportation or the right for education

The new event series “health_y: why healthy?” will offer a forum to address, present and discuss pressing health challenges. It will gather Academia, Research and Civil Society to help establishing new ideas as well as multi-disciplinary and global approaches for the future state of health.

This opening session as Satellite for the World Health Summit will focus on “The Value of Good Food: Healthy cooking, its prizing, and equity for all”. Markus Heidmeier (DRadio Wissen) will moderate the discussion.

Registration: Stiftung Brandenburger Tor and on site

Rethinking Global Health – A Student Perspective

Invitation Only
October 19th - 24th
Host: Arranged by Representatives of Several International Student Organisations (bvmd, IFMSA, UAEM and others)
Location: tba.

Several international student organizations will arrange a workshop from October 19th – 24th 2012 to accompany the World Health Summit. The workshop will be designed as a series of activities, emphasizing the important role of students in the vast area of global health. The concept has been specifically created for the World Health Summit – for students, by students.

Encouraged by the success of the „BVMD Week of Global Health Education“, which accompanied the World Health Summit 2011, the organizers implement the idea of a workshop-week on Global Health again, supported by several international student organizations. The workshop’s activities will enable participants to explore the multi-facetted world of Global Health via discussing topics as Patient and Community Health; the leading role of physicians in this context; the role of international institutions and governments; the access of reliable information on Global Health issues.

The workshop will be both theoretical and practical. Through short interactive lectures, trainings and exercises, students will learn to use the theoretical knowledge in practice. Daily briefings, discussions and reflections on the day will be part of the workshop routine.

Application deadline: September 16th 2012. Applications are to include a CV (max. 2 pages) + letter of motivation (max. 1/2 page)

Further information at BVMD or preWHS(at)

Pan-African Satellite Symposium on Respiratory Infection AIDS, TB and Rheumatic Fever: A Triple Challenge

Open to all
October 20th, 9 – 18.15h
Hosts: African Cultural Institute, e.V., Pan-African Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery e.V., Berlin Medical Society, German Heart Institute Berlin, Koch-Metschnikow-Forum, University of the Free State, South Africa
Location: German Heart Institute Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin

Main objective of this Satellite Symposium is to interact with distinguished clinicians and scientists from Africa, Asia, Europe and USA who are specialized in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis associated cardio-respiratory co-infections, streptococcal infections and rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart valve disease and public health. Furthermore, it aims to provide cutting-edge education and holistic approaches that improve diagnostics, medical and surgical therapy and to improve the scientific basis of follow-up and population. About 100 high-ranking participants from Science and health care as well as political decision makers are expected to attend this first Symposium of its kind. The Satellite Symposium will be highlighted by a 3-hour multi-site video teleconference (1st German–African Telemedicine Forum) from 15-18.00 hrs.

Read more on the program

Registration: Afrika Kulturinstitut e.V.

Paris-Berlin Center of Public Health – a bilateral cooperation

October 20th, 14.30 - 16.30 pm
Co-Hosts: Deutsches Ärzteblatt
Location: Friedrich-Kopsch-Hörsaal, Institut für Anatomie, Campus Charité Mitte, Philippstr. 12, 10115, Berlin

Upcoming challenges for public health include the reduction of social inequalities in health, the development and evaluation of effective prevention and health promotion programs, the organization of health services in the context of an ageing society and new technologies, and the assessment of the impact of an increasing globalization on health. A bilateral cooperation such as the Paris-Berlin Center of Public Health allows for a more efficient use of available resources in addressing those issues in both research and education. As public health challenges are increasingly global, solutions can only be achieved in the long term in bilateral and international cooperation.

Moderation: Prof. Ulrich Frei (Charité)

Jean-François Girard, President, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité
Annette Grüters-Kieslich, Dean, Charité

Including Panel and Open Discussion 

Research for Health and Sustainable Development Human Rights - Nutrition – Governance

October 20th, (from 16.30 pm; coffee) 17.00 – 18.30 pm

Co-Hosts: Deutsches Ärzteblatt
Location: Kopsch Hörsaal, Philippstraße 12, 10117 Berlin

This year, world leaders have met for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Although health and research are the basis for development, these issues do not figure prominently in the agenda for Rio. And health for all can only be established if we include other very important factors, like nutrition, education, empowerment and governance into our agendas. The objective of this panel discussion is to find links between all these health-related sectors in order to reach a healthy and sustainable development for all.

Introduction: Vera Zylka-Menhorn, Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Germany

Moderation: Jean-François Girard, President of Sorbonne Paris Cité, France

Monika Hauser, Founder and Executive Member of the Board of Medica Mondiale, Germany
Hans Rudolf Herren, Founder and President of the Biovision Foundation, Switzerland
Mphu Ramatlapeng, Board Member FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics), Lesotho (tbc)

The 10th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development

Open to all
October 24th, 18.30 – 20.30h
Host: BMZ
Location: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Stresemannstraße 92, 10963 Berlin

In 2015, the world’s most dominant development framework, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), will come to an end. It is hard to judge the impact of the MDGs, but they have been successful in focusing advocacy and resource mobilization efforts around the eight sectors included in the framework. In 2015, the world will endorse a new framework for poverty alleviation and improving development outcomes.

Since 2000, there has been clear aggregate progress on all of the MDG targets, although some regions and countries have lagged behind. Population dynamics – growth, aging, urbanization, migration – are having a huge impact on the ability to meet the MDGs and will continue to impact future development frameworks, debates and outcomes. By 2015, the world population is expected to reach 7.3 billion and exceed 10 billion by the end of the century. Population dynamics are too important to ignore, and will determine the scale and shape of the development challenges we face. Population dynamics are a cross cutting issue which affects environmental degradation, climate change, food and water scarcity, employment, conflict and instability, all of which put pressure on the political, economic, health and education systems of many developing countries. Dialogues about equity, sustainability, gender and human rights need to consider population dynamics.

The time for experts in population dynamics to analyze the political landscape is now – to ensure that the next framework considers population dynamics and their impact on a nation’s sustainable human and economic growth outcomes.

Moderator: Melinda Crane (DW-TV)

Registration: on site

20:30 Reception on invitation by the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ)

Selection of Speakers 2012

Josef Ackermann
Chairman Zurich Insurance, Switzerland (confirmed)

Peter Agre
Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry 2003, USA (confirmed)

Daniel Bahr
Minister of Health, Germany (confirmed)

Eric Cornut
Head of Europe, Novartis, Switzerland (confirmed)

Gan Kim Yong
Minister of Health, Singapore (confirmed)

Detlev Ganten
Founding President, World  Health Summit, Germany (confirmed)

Laurie Garrett
Senior Fellow,  Council on Foreign Relations, USA (confirmed)

Jean-François Girard
Dean, Paris Sorbonne Cité, France (confirmed)

Richard Horton
Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet, UK (confirmed)

Zsuzsanna Jakab
Regional Director, WHO Regional Office Europe, Denmark (confirmed)

Ilona Kickbusch
Director, Global Health Programme, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, and Chair, Global Health Europe, Switzerland (confirmed)

Michael Klag
Co-President, Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA (confirmed)

Judith Mackay
Senior Advisor, World Lung Foundation, Hong Kong (confirmed)

Lucy Makoae
Honourable Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Health, Lesotho (confirmed)

Sir Michael Marmot
University College of London, UK (confirmed)

Philip D. Murphy
US Ambassador to Germany (confirmed)

Anders Nordström
Ambassador for Global Health, Sweden (confirmed)

Peter Piot
Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK (confirmed)

Sima Samar 
Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (confirmed)

Severin Schwan
CEO, Roche Group, Switzerland (confirmed)

John G. N. Seakgosing
Minister of Health, Botswana (confirmed)

Peter Seeberger
Director, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (confirmed)

Volker G. Wetekam
President and CEO, GE Healthcare Germany, Germany (confirmed)

Klaus Wowereit
Mayor of Berlin, Germany (confirmed)


World Health Summit 2012
(PDF, 0,6 MB)

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Annual Report
World Health Summit 2012
(PDF, 0,5 MB)

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Media Report
World Health Summit 2012
(PDF, 0,3 MB)

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World Health Summit 2012
(PDF, 9,5 MB)

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Final Program
World Health Summit 2012
(PDF, 15 MB)

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