The 2018 edition: our 27th!

Courses | Plenaries | Networking activities

At the Lugano Summer School public health professionals, researchers and graduate students learn together through mutual exchange in a stimulating and beautiful environment. The Lugano Summer School places health, disease, and health systems thinking under one common framework of coherent concepts and practical implications. The focus on public health policy, economics and management combined with the diversity of students and facilitators has provided for a rich learning environment for over 2 decades so far. The insights gained and networks created serve as an opportunity to reduce and prevent the gap between public health theory and practice.

We have two pricing structures; one for participants from low income countries and another for those from middle and high income countries. All can benefit from early bird rates. Discounts are available for those enrolling in two 3-day courses and for SSPH+ students.


Two 6-day courses & eleven 3-day courses from 27 August – 1 September

6 day course =  2 ECTS. 3 day course = 1 ECTS.
To earn credit, participants must attend courses &  plenaries and pass the final assessment.

6 Day Courses: Monday-Saturday

3 Day Courses: Monday – Wednesday

3 Day Courses: Thursday – Saturday


9-10:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Four mornings start with plenary sessions in the auditorium.  These consist of two experts and a moderator who discuss a pressing topic in public health today.

Attendance is required for students. These plenaries are open to the public.

Monday: What is a healthy diet today? From a global to a personalized nutrition perspective

Moderator: Karin Gross, Health Policy Advisor, Global Programme Health, SDC


  • Dr. Francesco Branca (Director of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization)
  • Prof. Dr. Hannelore Daniel (Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan für Ernährung, Landnutzung und Umwelt, Technische Universität München)


What is a healthy diet today? Looking at the media there seems not to be an easy answer on this question. The plenary therefore aims to provide an overview of the existing debate by including two different perspectives.
On the one hand, the global normative perspective would be presented by WHO; the responsible for international normative guidelines. For WHO “a diversified, balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on the individual needs (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. But basic principles of what constitute a healthy diet remain the same”. In this sense WHO guidelines are based on the principles of breastfeeding, the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a moderate consumption of products containing sugar, fat and salt.
On the other hand, there are increasing trends towards a personalized nutrition with nutrition recommendations based on a person’s unique biology, metabolism and personal goals with the aim to enhance a healthy living. A specialist in nutrigenomics will illustrate current trends and challenges there.

Questions to be addressed through the plenary will turn around the definition of a healthy diet today.

  • Who has the normative “say” today (is it really WHO)?
  • What’s the role and influence of the private sector?
  • How do individuals orient themselves in the “jungle” of recommendations?

Tuesday: Health systems at the crossroad between sustainability, value creation and affordable care for all.

In memory of Prof. Gianfranco Domenighetti

Moderator: Prof. Luca Crivelli SUPSI, USI, SSPH+


  • Ligia Paina, Assistant Professor, Department of International Health, Division of Health Systems, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • To be confirmed


information coming soon

Thursday: Vaccination: What do people really think about it? Social media captures public opinion

Moderator: L. Suzanne Suggs, Università della Svizzera italiana and SSPH+



Vaccines may be the next best thing to clean water. Yet, most countries leave it up to individuals to decide if they immunize. Challenges to vaccination uptake vary by vaccine and by country, but they are often related to acceptance issues or sub-optimal policies.

What does the analysis of vaccination and immunization communication taking place on social media tell us about the public opinion about vaccination? What does it tell us about hesitancy? about support for mandates? and does this vary by groups?

How can this information be useful for designing effective communications, programs, and policies that serve the interest of the public’s health?

This session includes speakers who have vast expertise in social media analysis and in vaccination.


Information coming soon

Description coming soon

Networking events

9-10:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Participants are encouraged to enjoy and further exchange during the morning coffee/snack break each day (10:30-11:00) and outings on Monday and Thursday evenings.

These provide a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences, bulid networks, and enjoy the sights in Lugano.

Every morning: 10:30-11:00

Coffee & Snacks in the outdoor space

Monday: 18:00

Apero at the shore of Lake Lugano

Thursday: 18:00

Apero and guided tour at the LAC