Edinburgh Futures Conversations

In this article

The University of Edinburgh and EFI launch a new series to promote global understanding and cooperation, and to contribute action-oriented thinking to the public debate about the world’s response to Covid-19.

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The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) present a new series of events to promote global understanding and cooperation, and to contribute action-oriented thinking to the public debate about the world’s response to Covid-19.

Designed to bring together global experts, influencers and policy makers to discuss our societies’ biggest issues, Edinburgh Futures Conversations will feature a public health focus and promote action-orientated thinking.

The Future of Health

The first event in the Edinburgh Futures Conversations series will be on 2 March. Experts from around the world will share their perspectives of the pandemic and explore how to change and reshape public health systems to transform outcomes.

Leading infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci – chief medical advisor to the Biden Administration – and top respiratory diseases expert Dr Nanshan Zhong – who has led investigations into the COVID-19 outbreak in China – will be speaking at the opening session.  Professor Sheila Tlou, Co-Chair of the Nursing Now Global Campaign, and former Botswanan Minister of Health will chair.

Edinburgh experts Professor Devi Sridhar (Chair of Global Public Health) and Professor Shannon Vallor (Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence) will also feature in the event, joining a number of other experts from around the world.

This first event is being led by Assistant Principal, Professor Liz Grant, and Assistant Principal and Director of EFI, Professor Lesley McAra.

“The global pandemic demonstrates the need for international cooperation and mutual understanding to solve the many threats that our planet is facing today. Universities have a vital role to play in bringing diverse and competing interests to the table, as well as providing research evidence. The Edinburgh Futures Institute is proud to be hosting these conversations on behalf of the University of Edinburgh.”           

Professor Lesley McAra, Director, EFI

Student Voices

EFI will also host parallel opportunities where students will lead a programme of activity on the Future of Health conversation. Participants will examine the role that universities and students have in nurturing a multi-sector, multi-level approach to collective action.

“Students are leading the call to take responsibility for catalysing changes, for being part of the great reset that needs to frame new social contracts that care about the human family, and the global commons. The Edinburgh Futures Conversations is a space where students will ask -– does what we do, how we learn, what we know, make sense? Or are we missing some fundamentals in our approach, in our ability to be responsive and in the skills we have to address our futures. This space is an opportunity to work with global leaders to begin to find solutions ”             

Professor Liz Grant, Assistant Principal

Future Events

Future events in the series will focus on Covid-19’s impact on the global economy, social justice, sustainability, the creative sectors, and East-West relations.

Details of upcoming events will be published shortly.

Register for the first Conversation on 2 March

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