Plenary lecture series

Monday – Friday
9:00-10:00 and 17:00-18:00

Open to the public, free of charge.

Live on zoom: @
& streamed on YouTube @

Monday 24 August


COVID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Erika Placella, (SDC) Direzione dello sviluppo e della cooperazione, DFAE. (CH)

Tuesday 25 August


Systems analytics and health policy, economics, & management decisions. Data-driven decision making, made easy.

Prof. Jo-An Atkinson, Associate Professor and Head of Systems Modelling & Simulation, Brain and Mind Centre, Faculty of Medicine & Health, The University of Sydney


Covid and primary health level and health system response

Prof. Benedetto Saraceno


Wednesday 26 August


Air pollution and COVID-19

Prof. Dr. Nino Kuenzli, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+)


In the early phase of the COVID pandemic, a very fast spread of the virus was observed in regions also known for their high ambient air pollution, e.g. Wuhan in China or Northern Italy. Thus, discussions about the role of ambient air pollution in this pandemic emerged early on, in a variety of channels and settings (e.g., social media and academia). Moreover, the identification of so-called “COVID-19-risk groups” such as people with a range of chronic diseases also raised the questions of the relevance of air pollution given its known effects on some of these same diseases. Last but not least, the societal actions taken to flatten the COVID-19-epidemic also affected air quality, thus public health. The lecture will present the potential pathways linking ambient air pollution and the pandemic. The state of evidence and open questions will be discussed.


Community engagement

Dr. Amalia Pesantes, CRONICAS, Lima Peru


Thursday 27 August


The Design of Health Care Environments – Examples of Evidence-Based Design

Prof. Dr. des. Minou Afzali & Prof. Dr. Arne Scheuermann

Health Care Communication Design (HCCD) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH and  Swiss Center for Design and Health


The fields of design, architecture and communication are all playing an evermore important role in the healthcare sector. If we are to attain a comprehensive understanding of “health”, we need processes, tools, and infrastructures to enable us to utilise these fields actively and to cater for the special needs of people in the healthcare sector.

Evidence-based design takes psychological, social and physical aspects into account when designing healthcare facilities. This reduces patient stress, promotes well-being and supports the healing process. In addition, relatives and employees of healthcare facilities also benefit from such an environment.

In this plenary, participants will gain an insight into evidence-based design in the healthcare sector. In the first part, members of the interdisciplinary working group Health Care Communication Design (HCCD) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH and the newly founded Swiss Center for Design and Helath, will provide participants with some theoretical background. In the second part of their presentation, they use concrete examples to show what effects design measures can have in the context of healthcare. This will be followed by an open discussion.


Public Private Partnerships and Business Models for Public Health

Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager &

Kalpana Beesabathun, Global Lead, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

Sight and Life

Friday 28 August


Creating demand for public health goods and services: A focus on nutrition

Dr Rowena Merritt, Senior Advisor on Consumer Insights and Social Marketing, Sight and Life


Eat more vegetables and fruit. Drink more water. Wear your seat belt. Quit smoking. These are the kinds of actions that can improve an individual’s health and benefit an entire community. But if these things are ever going to happen, individuals must change their behaviour and human behaviour is complex and often unpredictable.  In this lecture, international examples will be presented, exploring how behavioural science and social marketing is being used to address such public health outcomes and create demand for healthier products and behaviours.


Economics, Public health, and COVID

Prof. Fabrizio Mazzonna, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Università delle Svizzera italiana


Institute of Public Health and Institute of Communication and Public Policy