Young on Board has a say about health

How do we gain healthy years of life in vulnerable neighborhoods through better nutrition, more exercise, information and system change? The members of Young on Board recently addressed this question from a member of the Amsterdam Economic Board.

During the triptych sessions of Young on Board, game changers, experts and Board members discuss a central topic. Nupur Kohli, Maartje Nelissen and Syro Ronda look back on the triptych about Health. What do they take with them and what lingers?

What was the main question during the triptych session on Health and how did you go about it?

How can we promote healthy years of life in vulnerable neighborhoods? We wanted to talk about that. We immediately wished to approach as diverse a group of speakers as possible and to hear different angles. From government to the corporate world, doctors and teachers. That has brought in very cool perspectives during the various sessions.

There are major challenges in this problem definition. The problem itself is very complex. Because what is healthy living and is there an unambiguous answer to that? Ownership is also diffuse. This creates a lack of clarity about who is responsible or who will take ownership. Moreover, there is an enormous gap between behavior and effect and between knowledge of the system and the neighborhoods themselves. Collaboration between multinationals and society is necessary, but it must also be properly designed.

What is the best question asked and why?

By far the question that came back the most is how we can make the problem part of the solution. One of the major challenges we see is that there is little or no revenue model for making and keeping people healthy. At present, the commercial interests of healthcare are still enormous, but there is a lack of (financial) incentive on the side of prevention. How could we stimulate this as a society, but also in the business world? Furthermore, the phrase ‘Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act’ was used, an important quote by Albert Einstein, which challenges us all to do what we can for ourselves.

What is the biggest challenge you see?

Every week, we increase in age by a weekend. The number of over-90s has increased by 200% in 25 years. The number of single seniors doubles to 2 million. This, in relation to increasing pressure on healthcare and staff shortages, will be an enormous challenge. Partly due to increasing pressure on healthcare costs, healthcare institutions are also facing an increasingly difficult financial situation.

What example has inspired you or brought you new insights?

Cool examples came along, especially by Corona such as The Food Assembly and the popular app Ommetje that gets people walking in an accessible way. Also the deployment of gamification is an exciting development. Neighborhoods can challenge each other and encourage others to be, become and stay healthier. For example, by deploying local ambassadors who work from the neighborhoods and who connect informal and formal care and receive strong guidance and tools. Ownership of local, playful projects that arise from immediate needs.

What do you grant or hope for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area on this subject?

More connection, especially with the immediate disadvantaged neighborhoods and the target groups themselves. What do the people from the neighborhood want, where are major needs and ideas? Tap into those and then give bottom-up initiatives a place can be a good starting point.

What gives a fresh, new or inspiring view on this topic?

The book Brilliant business models in healthcare by Jeroen Kemperman (and others) is a must!

18 May 2021

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