What Inspires Us?
We are driven by the belief that the University of Toronto has a unique opportunity to harness the power of its highly diverse “braintrust” in collaboration with partners from the community, the non-profit, corporate and civil society sectors, and other academic institutions, to generate meaningful solutions to the most complex problems we face today as a global society. We are inspired by this belief, and the idea that humans worldwide are becoming an urban species plagued by non-communicable diseases (incurable by definition), financial crises, social disparities, global warming and ineffectual polarized political structures that are threatening the sustainability of the species, and the planet.
We believe in our unparalleled ability to generate novel approaches that improve health and redress inequality through the rigorous, creative, bold and purposeful use of knowledge by talented people. Through its activities, IGHEI will promote health equity through social innovation that seeks to eradicate differences in health that can be traced to unequal economic and social conditions and are systemic and avoidable.
Our strategic objectives transcend archaic assumptions and traditional ways of working in health, locally and globally.
Often, health initiatives are grounded in benevolent, but misguided worldviews based either on a medicalized view of health, or on approaches to health efforts across national boundaries that tend to perpetuate the “North/South” “Developed/Developing” divide; with interventions propagated under the auspices of ‘development relief’, ‘humanitarian aid’ or ‘capacity-building.’
We believe that this antiquated narrative, although filled with utopian ideals, is, in fact, rife with colonial ideologies of inferiority and inequity that have often led to deep mistrust.
Instead, IGHEI proposes more respectful, generous, inclusive, collaborative, solution-oriented, sustainable, policy relevant, scalable approaches to improve health at all levels, from the individual through the community to the planetary.
To enable the next generation of global citizens to question, challenge and redress the structures of power and privilege underlying health inequities.
To forge, incubate and accelerate scalable, sustainable interventions that eradicate differences in health status that can be traced to unequal conditions that are systemic and avoidable.
To catalyze collaborations across traditional boundaries that improve health equitably worldwide.
To develop a pool of resources that is accessible to support community driven social innovation aimed at the intersection with health and equity.
To provide a space that legitimizes the “unasked” questions, the “elephants in the room”, the taboos, the contradictions and the tensions that exacerbate inequities.
How do we do, what we do?