We are at a pivotal juncture in recorded human history. The confluence of global environmental degradation, social inequities and civil unrest, and the continuing and often widening inequities in health outcomes between and within nations, shines a light on some fundamental ruptures in society as we know it and poses questions of justice and equity.
Generally, it is known what must be done to ensure a fairer, more sustainable and healthier world. Imagine a time when we have redistributive macroeconomic and social policies; intolerance of bigotry; inclusive societies that welcome difference.
Conditions of life that support, nurture and enable everyone, regardless of their sex, postcode, age or colour to flourish, but all done with the lightest of environmental touches. Pursuit of such a vision requires changing the status quo. It means redressing the inequities in power, money and resources and in daily living conditions.
This is not straightforward given that many people and institutions benefit from the status quo. Pursuit of a fairer, more sustainable and healthier world is a governance challenge, taking place in many rooms, at many levels, and using many processes.
The shifting political sands at the turn of 2016 provide an opportunity to harness the global despair and desire for a different society. The opportunity is now for governance for health equity.
About the Speaker
Professor Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and the Director of RegNet. Sharon is also Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy ANU. Sharon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and an ANU Public Policy Fellow.
She is one of the foremost researchers internationally in the social determinants of health, and was nominated in 2014 by her international peers as one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health.
Sharon’s interests are in the role of structural factors in affecting health inequities, including trade and investment, urbanisation, food systems, and climate change; and the analysis of governance, policy and regulatory processes and their effectiveness at improving health equity.
Read more about Sharon’s work at her RegNet profile.