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Newsletter 10/2021: Getting Ready for #WHS2021

Dear friends,

The World Health Summit 2021 is only a few days away and we are thrilled to welcome you all – in Berlin and online.

This year's many prominent speakers once again underscore the importance of our platform, which brings together the brightest minds from academia, politics, the private sector, and civil society: Hundreds of experts will address the enormous challenges we are currently facing in global health.

COVID-19 shows just how crucial the improvement of global health is and how fundamental the strengthening of international and interdisciplinary cooperation remains. This year, COVID-19 and related topics such as Pandemic Preparedness, Vaccine Equity, Universal Health Coverage, and many more remain a central issue of the far more than fifty keynote sessions, panel discussions, and workshops within the three days of the meeting.

As always, the results of these important discussions will be summarized in the M8 Alliance Declaration, which concludes each World Health Summit: The final statement with recommendations for action for international policymakers.

The World Health Summit actively facilitates and promotes the constructive exchange between stakeholders from all sectors in an environment of academic freedom. Because we are convinced that global health can only be improved by strengthening partnerships and international cooperation.

On that note, we cordially welcome you to the World Health Summit 2021!

With kind regards,

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit

Charles Ibingira
International President 2021


Get ready for #WHS2021 and look forward to the most pressing global health topics, amazing speakers, and inspiring discussions.

#WHS2021 in 30 Seconds

Watch the #WHS2021 Teaser here

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#WHS2021 Welcome Messages by the High Patrons

Angela Merkel

"The COVID‑19 pandemic continues to throw up significant challenges, such as new variants of the virus or the syndrome known as long COVID, which we can only overcome together. I am therefore delighted that in 2021 the World Health Summit is once again bringing together experts working in science, politics, nongovernmental organisations and civil society around the world."

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Emmanuel Macron

"The central topics of this 13th annual World Health Summit highlight the complexities and challenges that we must collectively address to alleviate inequalities in access to health care and treatment, harness science and technology and ensure that we are adequately prepared to deal with any future health crisis. The European Union has a key role to play, and these issues will naturally be at the heart of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union."

Emmanuel Macron
President of the French Republic

Foto: Ursula von der Leyen

"In these two years, we have experimented a wealth of creative solutions for our public health: on vaccine sharing, on joint procurement of protective equipment and medicines, on ramping up the
manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, on preparedness, let alone with the creation of the European Health Union. We are willing to share this experience with the world, and to learn from others who have also explored new solutions. The World Health Summit will be the perfect platform for this."

Ursula von der Leyen
President, European Commission

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

"In the coming months and years, other crises will demand our attention, and distract us from the urgency of taking action now. If the world continues down the same path, it will continue to get the same result, which is a world that is less healthy, less safe and less fair. Although the pandemic has robbed us of so much, it also gives us a unique opportunity to make real and lasting change for a healthier, safer and fairer future. The World Health Summit is an essential forum for the high-level discussions we need to move towards that future."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Read the full Welcome Messages here

How to Participate in #WHS2021

Digital participation is free and possible without prior registration. 
All sessions will be available online with Q&A function to join the discussion. The individual Zoom links can be accessed directly in the respective session in the online program
During the World Health Summit you'll find all links directly on our homepage and on Twitter

On-site participation is possible by invitation only.
Due to COVID-19, the number of participants at the venue (Kosmos, Karl-Marx-Allee 131a, 10243 Berlin) is limited and hygiene and distancing rules apply. Access to the venue can only be granted with proof of an EU-approved vaccination, recovery or a negative test not older than 24h. Register here

#WHS2021 Opening Speakers

Join the Opening Ceremony via livestream on October 24 at 6:00 PM CET on

Photo: World Health Summit 2021 Opening Speakers

More info

#WHS2021 Program and Central Topics

This year, COVID-19 and related topics remain the core issue.

The central topics 2021 are:

- Vaccine Equity: A Call to Action
- The Role of the European Union in Global Health
- WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All
- The Intersection of COVID-19 and Mental Health
- Unlocking Digital and AI Technologies for Health
- Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19

The online program provides always up-to-date und comprehensive information on each individual session: Hosts, chairs, speakers, detailed topic descriptions, and links for digital participation.

#WHS2021 Speakers

More speakers

Special Events at #WHS2021

Monday, 25, 11:00 AM CET, Saal 6
Launch: The Lancet & Financial Times Commission Report "Governing Health Futures 2030: Growing up in a Digital World"
More on the session
More on the commission and the report

Tuesday, 26, 9:00 AM CET, digital
Launch: Global Preparedness Monitoring Board Report 2021 
More on the session
More on the report

Tuesday, 26, 2:30 PM CET, Saal 7
Signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Global Health Projects
Charité - Universitätsmedizin BerlinGesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Signatories Charité: Heyo Kroemer, Chairman of the Board and Christian Drosten, Head of Global Health and Director, Institute of Virology
Signatories GIZ: Tanja Gönner, Spokesperson of the Board and Elke Siehl, Head of Sector and Global Projects

#WHS2021 on Social Media

Follow and share #WHS2021 and make sure to use our hashtag and handles.
Twitter: @WorldHealthSmt
LinkedInFacebookInstagram: @worldhealthsummit

All session recordings and videos are available on YouTube

If you wish to receive material to promote your sessions and/or speakers - just email us and we'll happily provide a communications package.

#WHS2021 Press & Media

The World Health Summit is fully open to the press.

Comprehensive information on the World Health Summit and the M8 Alliance in English and German, as well as photos, bios, and logos for download can be found in our Press Kit 

All press releases in English and German can be found here
Check out the media coverage here

For media inquiries please contact us


Ilona Kickbusch to be appointed as Honorary Professor at Charité 

Many people say, Ilona Kickbusch is the queen of global health, an icon. She advises countries and organizations, trains specialists and diplomats, has had a distinguished career with the WHO, was director of the Global Health Division at Yale University School of Public Health, has been involved in German G7 and G20 global health activities and the global health initiatives of the German EU presidency in 2020 - just to name a few engagements. She is the Founding Director and Chair of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and has received many awards - including the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. And we at the World Health Summit are proud and lucky to call Ilona not only our Council Chair, but also a true friend. And now Ilona Kickbusch will be an honorary professor at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. She will be appointed in the framework of the World Health Summit 2021. Congratulations, dear Ilona!

Meet the M8 Alliance Members

M8 Alliance Map

The M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies is the academic foundation of the World Health Summit. It is a growing network and currently consists of 30 members in 20 countries, including the InterAcademy Partnership, which represents the national academies of medicine and science in 130 countries.


Economist Impact: How to tackle future health challenges

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our partner, the newly launched Economist Impact has produced field-leading work on system preparedness, pandemic response and health policy implications. Through research, sustainable ways to tackle future health challenges as a global community can be identified - Economist Impact’s topic at this year's World Health Summit.
Read more

Sponsoring Partners

The World Health Summit is supported by a number of partners from academiaindustrycivil society, and policy. Thank you to our sponsoring partners

Logos: Strategic Partners

Logos: Major Partners

Logos: General Partners

Logos: Supporting Partners

Logos: Service Partners


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