Bridging Worlds - Reframing Mindsets and Narratives

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Apr 30, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Bridging Worlds - Reframing Mindsets and Narratives

Latest program in Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series starts with a discussion focusing on the importance of narratives Photo by Salzburg Global Seminar/ Katrin Kerschbaumer

Policymakers, business representatives, academics, and representatives from civil society are among those who have been encouraged to challenge one another’s thinking as they seek to bridge the worlds of business, health, and economic development further.

Participants were presented this task at the beginning of Salzburg Global Seminar’s latest program, Bridging Worlds: How Can We Use Business and Economic Development Strategies to Support Better Health? The program, which is being held in partnership with the Health Foundation, launched yesterday afternoon at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria.

Over the next few days, participants will focus on building new insights and aggregating their unique perspectives before developing recommendations concerning the future of work and its impact on health.

In the opening discussions, participants focused on the importance of narratives, particularly those which capture people’s hearts and minds.

Stories create an enabling culture, one participant said, and stakeholders should consider how people and the roles they play at organizations can help break down existing artificial barriers.

There are no “easy wins” in this field, one participant said, and there are difficult issues concerning language and the joining up of different disciplines.

In among this, societies are in the process of facing extraordinary demographic shifts and technological changes. The same participant said health had an “obvious link” with the changing nature of work, but this remained underexplored.

In smaller groups, participants discussed a few of the issues and raised several additional questions. Will technology be a force for good or a force for disruption? Who holds power when it comes to technology and health? We talk about health as an asset, but whose asset is it? How do you manage just transitions? On a society level, how do we address inequalities?

On behalf of a smaller group, one participant emphasized the importance of environmental capital, indicating environmental quality remains an important dimension of people’s wellbeing and a driver of people’s health.

As the opening conversation concluded, one participant said they accepted many businesses didn’t care about health, but this program represented an opportunity to bring together professionals with different perspectives, which could help identify new solutions to this problem. This work will continue on Tuesday morning.


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.