A celebration of humanity

Global Ideas Forum is true to its name. It is a snapshot from the global forefront of human thought and innovation. It is a safe haven for creation and collaboration that transcends national borders, and considers every individual. No one is left out of the conversation and the diversity of the human condition is celebrated.

 

In an impassioned speech, Kon Karapanagiotidis (the inspiration behind the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre), implored that you cannot fail if you invest in what is right. Indeed truly global ideas that are born out of the basic but universal desire for equality cannot fail. How might we collaborate ideas and abilities to ensure what is right is reflected in our global reality?

 

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Simple ideas underpin global movements — if you take a group of unequal people and treat them equally, they will still be unequal at the end. Julie Reilly (Australian Women Donors Network) highlighted the lack of compulsion by health professionals to change at a cellular, animal or human level to include women. How might we defy centuries of bias and seize the global opportunity for gender equity?

 

Jonathan Harris, artist and computer scientist, considers every aspect of the complex world that we have created to be a part of human nature. It is we, the human race, that has conceived it, which blurs the lines of “natural”. How might we embrace tools and technology as a natural extension of human capacity?

 

When the same digital artist quietly reflects that his health is his own you stop to consider the externalisation of medicine. You’re shocked that you’re shocked by this simple phrase, despite your commitment to patient-centred care. How might we align the prerogative of the individual with public health policies for the good of all?

 

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Consider the cultural context of health, and how a society’s values and beliefs affect an individual’s physiological functioning. Grassroots Greg will tell you that paternalism is so twentieth century, and change will come from the local community in the modern world. There are no perfect-fit solutions in health, and we must be guided by those afflicted. How might we as global citizens appreciate the need for diversity in health care delivery?

 

Quality evidence translates abstract numbers into measurable improvements in health, but what are we missing by thinking that data can solve everything? Not all evidence is compatible with the imperfect reality of being human, and consequently the majority are ignored in our desperate desire for sterility of data. How might we use research meaningfully and ethically in a world that is deafened by statistical noise?

 

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Global Ideas Forum challenges every conventional thought about health and its policies, systems and pitfalls. Indeed it goes so far beyond health that it is best considered an exploration of humanity.

Charlotte O’Leary
Medical Student, Monash University