The Future of the Global Health Landscape

A live, international debate with the World Economic Forum and the University of Geneva. How innovations in global governance and technology are shaping Global Health.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


June 11, 2013 from 8:00 am to 10:15 am America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)

Together with the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), swissnex San Francisco hosts Bay Area experts for an interactive web conference with speakers and participants across the globe in Switzerland. This session of UNIGE-World Economic Forum Debate Series explores global governance, universal health coverage, access to digital health innovations, and the way infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases are influencing the future of healthcare.

The following questions will be addressed in the debate:

– What models of governance will be needed to respond to the growing complexity of the global health agenda?
– How can health promotion and disease prevention fit into the universal health coverage debate?
– How can digital innovations transform existing models of healthcare?


9:00 am  breakfast and networking
9:30 am  presentations and live debate
11:15 am  doors close


Dr. Maria P. Neira

Dr. Maria P. Neira was appointed Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, in September 2005. Prior to that, she was Vice-Minister of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency and held senior positions at the WHO. Dr. Neira began her career as a field physician and medical coordinator for Médicins Sans Frontières, working with refugees in the Salvador and Honduras border area. She later worked as a public health adviser for the Ministry of Health in Mozambique and as a UN Public Health physician in Rwanda. A medical doctor by training, she started her professional career in 1983 with three years in endocrinology and nutrition at the Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris.
Dr. Neira is a Spanish national and holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Oviedo, Spain, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, France. She specialized in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases at the Université René Déscartes, then in Nutrition at the Conservatoire National d’Arts et Métiers, both in Paris. She also obtained an International Diploma in Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Among her distinctions, she has been awarded the Médaille de l’Ordre national du Mérite by the Government of France and is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Asturias, Spain.


Prof. Didier Pittet

Didier Pittet, MD, MS, CBE is the Hospital Epidemiologist, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Infection Control Programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. He holds Honorary Professorships at Imperial College London, UK, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health Science, and the First Medical School of the Fu, Shanghai, China. He is Lead Advisor to the World Health Organization Global Patient Safety Challenge “Clean Care is Safe Care” and African Partnerships for Patient Safety.
He is the recipient of several national and international honours including a CBE awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services related to the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the UK (2007), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Lectureship for his contribution to infection control and healthcare epidemiology (2008), and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases’ Award for Excellence (2009). Professor Pittet is co-author of more than 450 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 50 textbook chapters. The experience of his team in engaging nations and healthcare settings worldwide in a universal commitment to patient safety is unique.


Dr. Caricia Catalani

Caricia Catalani is a researcher, teacher, and advocate whose work focuses on innovative technology for global health. With over 18 years of experience working on community health projects and research with underserved populations, Dr. Catalani has collaborated with and led studies related to community, maternal, child, reproductive, and sexual health. She has worked around the world, in communities throughout the United States, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She has served as principal investigator and co-investigator for several studies, including technology usability evaluations, community-partnered studies, program evaluations, and randomized clinical trials.
She is currently leading global health technology studies in Kenya, Rwanda, and Cambodia. For the past 4 years, she has designed curricula and taught courses in information technology, eHealth/mHealth, and video for health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. Caricia holds a Doctor of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of the Arts in International Development from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Cary Adams

Born in London, Cary Adams has a BSc Honours degree in Economics, Computing and Statistics from the University of Bath, UK, and a Master’s degree (with Distinction) in Business Administration. He is a Harvard Business School Alumni having attended the School’s Executive General Management program in 2003.
In 2009, Adams became CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), based in Geneva, Switzerland. UICC exists to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer and its growing membership of over 770 organizations in 156 countries.Adams and his team focus on global advocacy to deliver the World Cancer Declaration targets by 2020, running significant global programs that address key cancer issues. They use their membership reach to bring about the exchange of best practices globally. He is also Chair of the NCD Alliance, a coalition of around 2,000 NGOs working on Non-Communicable Diseases, which include cancer, diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases.


Vanessa Candeias

Moderator Vanessa Candeias is the senior manager of the Healthy Living Initiative at the World Economic Forum. She previously worked with the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion of the World Health Organization Headquarters, the Directorate General for Health, Ministry of Health in Portugal and the Institute of Preventive Medicine of the University of Lisbon. She is a nutritionist by training and holds a Master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos