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Healthy Societies Narratives and Visions: regional perspectives

Healthy societies and healthy populations


Reference number


In partnership with the Government of Sweden and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO.

This is the second part in a series of dialogues which will focus on bringing together participants to identify steps to build healthy futures, through multisectoral approaches to sustainable health and well-being. Building on previous dialogues, this series will develop policy actions to ensure health is at the centre of building an equitable greener economic recovery post COVID-19. Ahead of a global dialogue in June, several smaller regional discussions will explore the visions and narratives for healthy societies.

Whilst people in many countries are living longer, they are not necessarily living healthier lives. Changes in societies have contributed to improved health but have also caused many challenges and risks to people’s health and well-being. Creating healthy societies requires collective action across different sectors and disciplines. In February 2020, Wilton Park and partners held a dialogue to explore the social, economic and environmental determinants of healthy societies, the promotion of cross-sectoral approaches for better health and the prioritization of health in other sectoral policies and settings.

In April 2021, Wilton Park, in partnership with the Government of Sweden and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO held the first in a new series of dialogues. The event reconvened the group from the February 2020 dialogue while bringing new voices to the table. The April discussion focused on the lessons we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, the setbacks and opportunities for change and how we can transform our institutions, systems and ways of working and living to achieve healthy, greener, more resilient societies.

An emerging theme during April’s dialogue was the need to further define the vision and narrative for healthy societies. Multisectoral collective action must be driven by a vision and narrative for healthy societies that is applicable to a wide range of stakeholder and can be easily communicated and understood. Ahead of the second series dialogue in June, Wilton Park and partners will hold small regional discussions around the narrative and vison for healthy societies in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and North America. These discussions will explore the plurality of ideas about healthy societies and understand the similarities and differences between and within regions and across perspectives and sectors. The regional meetings will support the overall series objectives identifying tangible and concrete outputs that can be taken forward in the second and third events.

The second series dialogue in June will draw on the perspectives and ideas shared during the regional discussions, with a focus on identifying the key areas of convergence and divergence in the narrative and vision across regions, sectors (health, food, climate) and perspectives (public, private, civil society, youth). The dialogue will also centre around how the healthy societies narrative can be embedded within existing sectoral agendas, how the activities of different sectors align or conflict with achieving healthy society and what need to change moving forward.


Wilton Park reference number: WP1948V

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