Intended for healthcare professionals

Global health disruptors

With global governance and global health at a turning point, it seems apt to use the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute to look back at global health disruptors of the past two decades and to look forward at what will shape global health in the future.

This collection of articles looks at major disruptions that have shaped global health to make it the field it is today, before moving on to look at major disruptions under way at present that are radically changing the face of contemporary global health. Each piece pinpoints the nature, immediate effects, and long term impact of each disruption.

Global health is beginning to experience the effect of a world that is more multipolar, less multilateralist, and more ideological. Any one of these issues has the potential to be a disruptive force for global health, let alone all of them together. The challenge ahead lies in accepting these disruptions as being collective problems that require solidarity and a global response, and ensuring for the future that the UN and other multilateral institutions are prepared to deal with interconnected challenges and systematic breakdowns. These disruptions—and not viruses or diseases—are the threats that should keep us awake at night.

Editorial introduction:

Disruptions that shape global health
Ilona Kickbusch and Andrew Cassels introduce this collection of global health disruptors

Disruptors that have shaped global health governance, making it what it is today:

The AIDS movement changed everything - or did it, ask Kent Buse, Sheila Tlou, and Nana Poku

The end of the cold war
A new paradigm is unfolding in resourcing development assistance, says Francis Omaswa

Global health partnerships
They've shaped global health governance, now should global health partnerships broaden their influence, asks Andrew Cassels

Millennium development goals
The millennium development goal framework is a blueprint for current and future policy, says Robert Marten

2008 financial crisis
We don't have the money to deliver the sustainable development goals, says Ronald Labonte

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Gian Luca Burci discusses this breakthrough treaty that continues to stand alone

DOHA declaration
Power imbalances threaten access to medicines for all countries, says Sharon Friel

The rise of civil society
Civil society organisations have had profound influence on global governance, say Nanoot Mathurapote and Weerasak Putthasri

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Gates Foundation has expanded the power of philanthropic organisations, say Marlee Tichenor and Devi Sridhar

SARS and Ebola
SARS and Ebola redefined the World Health Organization but didn't resolve its funding problems, says Suerie Moon

Disruptors radically shaping the future of global health governance:

Decay of the postwar multilateral Western order
Global health is a product of the Western postwar liberal international order - an order that is today besieged, says Stephen Morrison

The global healthcare market
Thinking differently about how to harness health markets could provide more health for more people, says Jeffrey L Sturchio

Research and development
Edward Whiting outlines the changes needed for research and development to realise its potential

The Belt and Road initiative
Haik Nikogosian asks whether China's infrastructure strategy will reshape global health

Fourth industrial revolution
We must ensure a digital future that is safe and inclusive for all, say Flavia Bustreo, Siddhartha Jha, and Stefan Germann

The urban planet
The solution to badly planned and unhealthy cities lies in local public and private engagement, says Evelyne de Leeuw

How can we ensure the health of migrants, asks Michaela Told

Non-communicable diseases
Tackling non-communicable diseases will require new technologies and societal change, says Sania Nishtar

Climate change
Reducing our use of fossil fuels will lead to a healthier society, says Jonathan A Patz

These articles are part of a series commissioned by The BMJ based on ideas discussed with members of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute. The BMJ retained full editorial control over external peer review, editing, and publication. Article handling fees (including printing, distribution, and open access fees) were funded by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute.

The series was launched at a meeting hosted by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute in December 2018, celebrating the first 10 years of the Global Health Centre since its creation in 2008.

All articles in this supplement are published as Open Access, and distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial.