Meet our keynote speakers


Keynote speaker - Monday

Prof. Evelyne de Leeuw

Everything behaves in health

There is increasing recognition that both individual and population health are determined by complex and dynamic sets of nested ‘determinants’. In the 1980s the further upstream (also known as ‘distal’) ones were lumped together as ‘social determinants of health’. Those in the know identified ten groups of these: the social gradient; stress; early life; social exclusion; work; unemployment; social support; addiction; food; and transport.

With advancing insights in the dynamics of creating and promoting health, preventing disease and disability, and prolonging healthy years of life, it became clear that there is more to addressing these determinants than just efforts at lifestyle and behaviour change.

This presentation will do a few things: (1) illustrate the development of ‘determinants thinking’ and particularly focuses on reducing inequities in health; (2) frame the current state of play from a WHO Health Promotion perspective, which grounds itself in Planetary Health and the Wellbeing Economy; (3) identify the current health and behaviour challenges (including pandemic preparedness; climate change; and donut economics; and (4) attempt to transcend the rhetoric and suggest concrete ways to deal with individual and institutional behaviour change through organisational and policy development.

Keynote speaker - Tuesday

Prof. Gera Nagelhout

Building bridges to reduce socioeconomic differences in health

People living in a lower socioeconomic position face significant health inequalities. In the Netherlands, individuals with higher educational levels live, on average, five years longer and enjoy approximately fourteen more years of good health compared to those with lower educational levels. Similarly, the top 20 percent income earners live, on average, eight years longer and experience 24 more years of good health than the bottom 20 percent income earners. What can we do about this? If we liken healthy living to climbing a very steep mountain, it’s not enough to simply train people’s leg muscles; we must also work to make the mountain less steep. However, despite this understanding, reducing socioeconomic disparities in health remains challenging. One reason for this challenge is the underrepresentation of individuals with a lower socioeconomic position in research. There exists a gap between individuals in lower socioeconomic positions and academic researchers that must be bridged to make health research more relevant to their lives. We need to build bridges to reduce socioeconomic differences in health, and as researchers, we must cross them.

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