Organized every two years since 2006, the Geneva Health Forum (GHF) was created by the Geneva University Hospitals and the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva University. Held at the International Conference Center of Geneva (CICG), it has become, in a decade, the flagship event for global health. Working on the Steering Committee, NicoleRosset, Deputy Director, External Affairs Directorate, Geneva University Hospitals, explains why Geneva can be considered the Global Health Capital and what makes it – together with the CICG – a great conference destination.
Every other year in the spring, the Geneva Health Forum (GHF) combines plenary and parallel sessions and attracts hundreds of participants, with a large international exhibition area. Geneva University Hospitals, along with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva and Swiss and international organizations active in the field of health have joined their talents and resources to organize the Forum. Nicole Rosset explains: “The success of the Geneva Health Forum is primarily based on its original format. Through interactive approaches, the GHF aims to create a space for dialogue between professionals in the field of health services, policy makers, academics, the media, civil society and the private sector. As the cradle of international dialogue and the global capital of health policies, Geneva provides a strategic location to do so.”
The Lake Geneva region, often described as the ‘Health Valley’, presents a unique concentration of healthcare and academic institutions, and is blossoming with many innovative biotech, medtech, and engineering start-ups, as well as larger companies in the health sector. Nicole Rosset even calls it a ‘unique ecosystem’: “In Geneva, there are international organizations with a global health agenda – WHO, UNAIDS or UNITAIDS just to name a few – NGOs like Doctors Without Borders, permanent missions to the UN of more than 140 countries, private public partnerships working on research to eradicate AIDS or malaria, philanthropic foundations… where else would it make sense to debate over and make health policy decisions on a global scale?”
And not only does Geneva provide the software so that the world can meet in ideal conditions, but the hardware is also a draw. Geneva’s location in the heart of Europe, its stability on an economic, political and social level, its easiness of access both by plane and train make it an association’s favorite. “I would add the beauty of its landscape of course,”says Nicole Rosset“but also its human size, which makes it easy to navigate. In terms of conference infrastructure, besides the abundant accommodation options, you can hardly beat the CICG, a multi-purpose, very flexible facility which meets all the requirements you can expect from such a venue. The teams working there are both very friendly and professional, and they can show great adaptability when necessary.”
In this regard, conferences like the Geneva Health Forum are instrumental in profiling Geneva on the world scene. ‘That’s one of the definite impacts of the Forum actually,” Nicole Rosset concludes. “It positions a small metropolis like Geneva like a global village.”
This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé (firstname.lastname@example.org).