Speaker and Session Descriptions

Day 1: Thursday September 5th, 2019


Restructuring Universities to Support University Health

Landau Economics Building, Room 140, 579 Serra Mall

Since planetary health problems are complex system problems, the most productive approaches are likely to arise from a deep understanding of underlying mechanisms, an understanding that emerges from mastery of methods and perspectives at the leading edge of disciplinary expertise. Engaging creative, highly skilled students to apply their insights to the great planetary health challenges of our time, requires exposing them to these complex system problems and engaging them on interdisciplinary teams. This requires a university structure that supports both deep disciplinary excellence and broad interdisciplinary collaboration. Complicating this structural tension, the largest funders of university research prioritize focus on narrow questions engaging one or two disciplines. This panel will discuss innovative approaches universities have taken to integrate planetary health in the classroom and into research groups. The panel will also discuss strategies for altering the funding landscape to encourage much needed research.

Led by Steve Luby (Stanford)
Moderated by Jonathan Patz (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Rebekah Brown (Monash University)
Patricia Conrad (UC Davis)
Ann Kurth (Yale)
Lucy Shapiro (Stanford)

System Acupuncture: Addressing the Complexity in Planetary Wellbeing

Encina Hall, Oksenberg Room, 616 Serra Mall

Planetary wellbeing is a systemic challenge of unprecedented scale, complexity, and urgency. It demands questioning conventional wisdom and seeking unprecedented levels of innovation and action. Brute force actions are not an option, while piecemeal efforts are unlikely to yield systemic outcomes. System Acupuncture – developed by Banny Banerjee, founder and director of Stanford ChangeLabs – is a trans-disciplinary methodology designed to craft interventions that would bring about deep system wide transformations in our most pressing global challenges. This hands-on workshop will be an introduction to Systems Acupuncture and Systems Leadership.

Led by Banny Banerjee (Stanford)

Rock Your Interview, Nail Your Pitch: Communications for Change in Planetary Health

Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, McCaw Hall, 326 Galvez St

Planetary health has a far-reaching vision for a healthier society. Achieving our goals will require using evidence generated by researchers to inform policy targets, then leveraging the power of the health voice to influence decision-makers. This workshop will provide participants with practical skills in storytelling, policy target selection, pitch-making and media basics, using examples of where change has already been made in service of improved planetary health. Media and communications professional will provide feedback to participants.

Led by Courtney Howard (CAPE)
Jeni Miller (Global Climate and Health Alliance)
Jonathan Jennings (Health In Harmony)
Melissa Lem (CBC)
Seema Yasmin (Stanford)

With media communicators including:
Patralekha Chatterjee (journalist)
James Fahn (Earth Journalism Network)
Denesha Brar (Wellcome Trust)
Ramesh Bhushal (Internews)
Hannah Nash (Clinicians for Planetary Health, PHA)
Stefano Simonetto (GMMB)

Becoming a Planetary Health Professional: Theory to Practice

Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall, 616 Serra Mall

Growing evidence reveals that humans have severely disrupted the planet’s ecosystem and, barring change, the existence of human civilization may be severely threatened. How can we rapidly shift current practice to a sustainability-affirming model? While we need planetary health professionals in every discipline, this workshop focuses on shifting the paradigm for human health care. Thought leaders will spark conversation with leading-edge models of human health theory, education, and practice. The audience will contribute additional insights through dialog and thought exercises. The goal is to initiate a practice template that other fields can use to foster transition toward the practice of planetary health.

Led and moderated by Teddie Potter (University of Minnesota)
Paul Auerbach (Stanford)
Enrique Barros (World Organization of Family Doctors)
Erika Veidis (Harvard)
Nathaniel Uchtmann (UCSF)
Donald Warne (University of North Dakota)

Meet Google Earth Engine: An Introduction to Spatial Data Analysis at Scale

SIEPR, Doll Conference Room 320, 366 Galvez St

Google Earth Engine combines a multi-petabyte catalog of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets with planetary-scale analysis capabilities and makes it available for users to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on Earth’s surface. It is being used in applications as diverse as predicting malaria outbreaks to assessing food security at a regional and global scale. The Earth Engine API (application programming interface) provides the ability to create your own algorithms to process raster and vector imagery. This session is geared toward those who would like to analyze satellite and vector data and will include a brief discussion of current spatial technologies. This session will be hands-on, using the Earth Engine JavaScript code editor. The class will focus on accessing imagery, creating composites, and running analyses over stacks of images. The instructor heads Stanford’s Geospatial Center, which provides support, instruction, and infrastructure for those wishing to leverage spatial data and geographic tools in research and teaching.

Led by Stace Maples (Stanford)

*PREREQUISITES: Familiarity with at least one software language, or at least not be afraid of learning as we go.
*NOTE: Participants must bring a laptop and sign up for an account at!/ prior to the session.

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