ISGlobal | Barcelona Institute for GlobalHealth

Seminar: Building a Global Health Social Contract for the 21st Century

ISGlobal International Seminar in Collaboration with Open Society Foundations

Seminar: Building a Global Health Social Contract for the 21st Century



Hora: 9:00 - 18:00

Lugar: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) (Montalegre, 5) Barcelona


Download the preliminary programme.


Despite undeniable differences in both the quality of their health care systems and the legal protection they enjoy, the populations of developing, emerging and developed countries are all now experiencing an increase in health inequities and facing a fundamental threat to their right to health. The current policy context offers a unique opportunity and obliges us to address these inequities and to define the rights we should respect and the rules we should adhere to in both the national and global community.

The purpose of this seminar is to highlight these threats, to explore the concept of a global "social contract", and to outline the minimum conditions that would guarantee the right to health for all. In line with the different international groups currently considering similar issues—such as The Lancet commissions on Global Governance and Investing in Health and the Chatham House working group on sustainable financing for health—our aim is to gather information about and discuss the work and ideas of concerned communities and experts in both developing and developed countries. The seminar will focus on some of the key areas of this debate, including the social determinants of health, medical innovation, access to medicines, equitable governance systems, and models of financing. Most particularly, we want to address these issues from the perspective of regions that increasingly share a common agenda: the emerging economies and the countries of Southern Europe.

Using a dynamic methodology that combines provocative introductions, lively debates, and inspiring ideas, the seminar is structured around four sections, which are detailed below. The intention of this dialogue is not to reach a prescriptive consensus on policy proposals, but rather to make a contribution to the political and ethical fundamentals of this debate. In order to consider the broader context of the health debate, we have deliberately set out to bring together an improbable group of partners, including scientists, academics, representatives of the private sector, government, and civil society, as well as individuals not strictly related to the health debate, such as tax justice campaigners.


The opening and closing sessions of the seminar will be streamed live on the following address: