Political Origins of Health Inequities: Technology in the Digital Age

The second annual conference of the Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health will take place in New York (USA), and is co-organized by the Centre for Development and the Environment (University of Oslo) and the The Julien. J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs (The New School).

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About the Conference

Emerging technologies in the realms of artificial intelligence or digital worlds have a considerable transformative potential to address global health problems. However, these innovations are not neutral in their social impacts and raise a number of challenges, including reproducing and deepening inequalities. Whether technological innovations produce opportunities or constraints depends fundamentally on what technology is developed, for whom, by whom, and for what purposes.

This conference seeks to examine the global governance challenges to harness digital innovation for the public good, avoid harmful consequences and address the political origins of health inequity.

It will bring together researchers, policy makers and activists from around the world who are engaged in cutting edge work on issues related to the theme of the conference.

The conference on social media

Join the debate on Twitter using the #Tek4HealthEquity and #GlobalHealthPolitics. It will also be a way to engage people following the conference on live streaming!

Conference Programme

Please note that each session has a dedicated page with more information on speakers and their talk - click on the sessions for more full program!

1 November

09:00 - 09:15  Welcome

  • Mary Watson, Executive Dean, The New School
  • Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (video message), Director General, World Health Organization
  • Katerini Storeng, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

09:15 - 10:00 Keynote address: Human Rights and the Digital Welfare State

  • Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, NYU Law School

10:00 - 11:15 Session 1 - Roundtable on key themes of the conference

Chaired by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor, The New School

  • Kelley Lee, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Simon Fraser University
  • Manjari Mahajan, Associate Professor, The New School
  • Mickey Chopra, Global Solutions Lead for Service Delivery in Health, Population and Nutrition, The World Bank

Discussant: Antoine de Bengy Puyvallée, PhD Fellow, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

11:15 - 11:30  Coffee break

11:30 - 13:00  Session 2: Artificial Intelligence as social practice: ideology, ethics and human rights

Chaired by Desmond McNeill, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

  • Elizabeth Gibbons, Senior Fellow, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights

  • Xi Lin, Associate Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Fudan University

  • Kadija Ferryman, Assistant Professor, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University

Discussant: Peter Asaro, Professor, the New School

13:00 - 14:00  Lunch break

14:00 - 15:30  Session 3: Digital technology and technology for the poor: infrastructure, access, inequality

Chaired by Anne Emanuelle Birn, Professor, University of Toronto

  • Marine Al Dahdah, Permanent researcher at CNRS-CEMS, Paris.
  • Rajiv Mishra, Researcher, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Nora Kenworthy, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Washington Bothell

Discussant: Jashodhara Dasgupta, Executive Director, National Foundation for India

15:30 - 16:00  Coffee break

16:00 - 17:30 Session 4: Data & knowledge: ownership; public-private; knowledge; who gathers, owns, uses data; algorithms and treatment of data; market expansion and commercialization

Chaired by Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

  • Susan Erikson, Professor of Global Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • Mary Ebeling, Associate Professor and Director, Women's and Gender Studies, Drexel University
  • Sridhar Venkatapuram, Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Discussant: Sonja Kittelsen, Senior researcher, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

End of the conference - day 1


17.30-18.00 For speakers - Discussion on a special issue

2 November

09:00 - 10:30 Session 5: Financing new technologies: actors, geographies, financialization of global health

Chaired by Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Khazanah Research Institute

  • Megan Zweig, Director of Research, Rock Health
  • Susan Sell, Professor, School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University

Discussant: Ayanda Ntsaluba, Executive Director, Discovery Holdings

10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break

10:45 - 12:15 Session 6: Governance: public goods and private ownership, regulation and incentives, international cooperation and solidarity

Chaired by Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor, The New School

  • Peter Asaro, Associate Professor of Media Studies, The New School
  • Elizabeth Kaziunas, Researcher, AI Now, New York University
  • Padmashree Gehl Sampath, The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

  • Christiaan van Veen, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law

Discussant: Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Khazanah Research Institute

12:15- 13:00  Closing: Political determinants of health inequities: technology in the digital age – for whom, by whom and for what?

Chaired by Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo

  • Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of the Health Group, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme support
  • Kelley Lee, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Simon Fraser University


Register here for conference attendance

The conference will also be live streamed!

Live stream

Last year's #UHCpolitics conference

In November 2018, we invited researchers from all over the world to meet in Oslo for the conference #UHCpolitics: "The Political Origins of Health Inequities and Universal Health Coverage".

Check out the program, presentations and videos from the 2018 conference.

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Tags: Global Health, Global governance, political determinants, SDGs
Published Sep. 6, 2019 2:46 PM - Last modified Nov. 13, 2019 1:44 PM