Bridging Worlds - Outlining the Next Steps Forward

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May 06, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Bridging Worlds - Outlining the Next Steps Forward

Fellows from Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? present their recommendations Fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

Salzburg Global Fellows have been encouraged to “keep connected and keep the momentum going” after a fruitful program on inclusive economies and better health.

Policymakers, business representatives, academics, and representatives from civil society were among those who took part in Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?

The program is part of Salzburg Global’s Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series and was held in partnership with the Health Foundation.

From April 29 to May 2, participants tackled complex challenges and attempted to bridge the worlds of business, health, and economic development. Toward the end of the program, participants worked in smaller groups to come up with solutions. On the final day, participants presented their ideas.

The first group to present focused on developing a conceptual model of the relationship between inclusive economies and health in places. Participants came up with two tools. The first tool was a list of simple conversation starters designed to encourage dialogue between the health and economic sector.

The second tool – named the Reinhardt Model – puts well-being economy at the center of discussions. This model has been designed for economic leaders to speak with health practitioners. It features a set of dynamics such as esteem, place, and well-being that feed into economies.

The next group sought to establish “new normals” for business and the public sector in a sustainable way when it comes to scaling. Participants came up with a short playbook with chapters exploring how we design for scale, understanding the market, finance, and what models people might choose.

This group also looked at partnership models and structures, how to work with different sectors, and putting in place the right governance. Evaluation is key. Has the scaling produced the expected results? Has the scaling led to diminishing returns? This group is keen to bring the playbook alive using case studies from around the world.

Several participants pushed for the creation of a new Salzburg Statement for Cities to Lead Change at the Local and National Level. They argued successful cities create environments which are inclusive of all people and abilities.

Participants encouraged city administrators to work with businesses to identify which groups are most marginalized and under-utilized, co-produce solutions with these communities, and address system-based barriers of unemployment for these groups.

Cities can measure their performance through a clearly defined governance framework, by working with multiple organizations to establish a shared dataset, and by contributing to global knowledge and lessons for other cities through networks and sectors. Cities can build on the positive contributions they are already making by promoting an inclusive economic agenda in their strategies and actions.

Participants working in the McGowan Room considered how to engage citizens and stakeholders through new narratives. They concluded narratives could be used to create bridges between different sectors. A good narrative is a shared story which incorporates many voices and can be retold. It captures a vision of the future and complements data, evidence, and the application for resources.

A story, however, does not have to be a written statement. There are other ways to be creative and to empower people during the process. Narratives can act as a framework for actions, participants heard, as well as bring forward a cast of new characters.

Participants working within this group indicated they would like to develop a Salzburg Statement and take their work back to their employers and refine their ideas.

The final group to present emphasized the need to act now for the future, managing transition and inter-generational justice. Participants discussed creating a language around “whole life thinking” and facilitating conversations between different generations. On a practical level, this work could be embedded within existing projects, participants heard.

The methodology behind the project is crowd contribution. Participants are looking for input from as many places as possible. Participants heard the group had the seed of an idea, but the backers who become involved in the project will help this seed grow.

John Lotherington, the program director at Salzburg Global for health and health care, urged participants to stay in touch, noting, “There is so much possibility in what you have been talking about.”

Lotherington proposed a three-month check-in to see where participants were with their projects. Salzburg Global Seminar will be on hand to provide logistical and catalytic support where possible.


The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health?, is part of the Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. More information on this multi-year series is available here.