I am just setting off for Seattle, Washington to attend the Conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.  The theme of this years meeting will be, “Transforming Global health:  The Interdisciplinary Power of Universities.”  My colleagues and  and I will be presenting a poster poster entitled “Interdisciplinary Global Health Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: Unique Responsibilities and Contributions of the Public Land Grant University.”  I will also be reporting back to faculty and students through this “real time” blog so that they can follow the meeting and contribute comments from campus.   If you want to see the program, which includes a number of webcast sessions, visit http://www.cugh.org/.  Our poster is entitled “Interdisciplinary Global Health Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: Unique Responsibilities and Contributions of the Public Land Grant University.”

While the CUGH meets about Global Health in Seattle, the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals will be held in New York.  That meeting includes six sessions with statements from almost every country, and also concurrent roundtables on 1) poverty, hunger and gender equity, 2) health and education, 3) sustainable development, 4) emerging issues,  5)  the needs of the most vulnerable populations and 6) widening and strengthening partnerships.  You can read background papers, country statements, and sign up for notification of webcasts at  http://www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/ … I am not suggesting that you pad your resume by pretending that you were invited to a UN Summit, but you can follow on line so well that no one would ever know you were not there!

Wait …there’s more.  The Gates Foundation TedxChange is also hosting a global web-based event which is on Monday, September 20th on the MDGs.  They will ask the questions “What has worked?” and  “How can move forward?”  This event is going to be webcast live at http://www.gatesfoundation.org/tedxchange/Pages/default.aspx on Monday from 10 to 11:30am  CDT.  They also sponsored a video contest which includes several hundred 5 minute videos about the MDGs from all around the world.  You can check them out at http://www.viewchange.org/.  There are over 50 on health care alone, not to mention important health related topics like food, water, and the environment.  The winners are going to be announced on the 20th at 2:00pm CDT.

I know this might seem like too much information…that’s why I am going to cover all three events on this blog!  I am going to attend CUGH meetings live, monitor UN webcasts and country statements as they are posted, and I can’t resist the TedxChange… I have already watched at least 15 of the video shorts on the MDGs.

While this all sounds busy, I am hoping it can be a time for synthesis and discernment for me personally.  There is so much need, so much potential, so much information, so many directions we could take… What is the best way to act on my values and identity as a woman, mother, sister, friend, public health professional, blogger (confession: this is my first blog post ever) and member of the UW community.   I will be reflecting on the global health education that we offer, the kinds of field work our students do, and I hope that some students and colleagues will explore these events with us and post their comments and insights as well.

This entry was posted on September 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm at the CUGH Conference