As we continue to highlight the 2021 inVIVO Planetary Health conference, we are thrilled to share this 8-minute presentation from Lord Nigel Crisp, independent crossbench member of the House of Lords, co-chair of Nursing Now, and Chief Executive of the NHS in England from 2000-2006.
In “Human-flourishing in a health-creating society,” Lord Crisp shares a quote that inspired him (and led him to publish a similarly titled book) by professor Francis Omaswa, former clinical director of the Ugandan health system: “Health is made at home, hospitals are for repairs.”
If we think about the notion of creating health, he wonders — who are the “health creators”? What makes them successful, and how can they help us think about health in the future?
“Health creators” are not the government, or health systems, but can be parents, teachers, employers — people who create the conditions that enable others to be healthy and to flourish.
In looking at some examples of projects that successfully increased well-being in communities and individuals, what these health creators had in common included: they started with relationships; they set out with a vision but not a preconceived plan (they were purpose-driven, not plan-driven); and they let the people “being helped” be in control.
Lord Crisp advises us that we all need to work better together to help individuals, communities, and our planet flourish — this means bringing the health creators together with those we think of as traditional “health providers,” such as the government and health care systems.
We hope you will enjoy this terrific talk as well as a recent Prospect piece, What Aristotle can teach us about building a better society, that builds on Lord Crisp’s inspiring perspective and how “our health as individuals is intimately connected to the health of our communities, the health of wider society and, ultimately, the health of the planet.”
Learn more about Lord Nigel Crisp’s newly updated and extensively re-written book, Turning the World Upside Down Again, which argues that Western medicine must adapt and evolve to cope with the demands of the 21st century—including drawing upon the insights and experiences of lower income countries and disempowered communities.
Read our previous blog post featuring highlights from inVIVO Planetary Health’s 10th annual conference. With a theme of “From Healing to Flourishing,” the conference treated participants to more than 160 inspiring talks from scholars, artists, activists, scientists, researchers, health professionals, children, and more (see the program and bios here).