Young Leaders for Health e.V.
non-profit organisation | gemeinnütziger Verein | Berlin, Germany
IBAN: DE33 8306 5408 0004 8767 09 | 

Young Leaders for Health Conference 2017
Health in the Sustainable Development Goals

17th - 20th August 2017, Berlin

In August 2017, Berlin will become the hotspot for aspiring and future global health scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs. Are you one of them?

Are you interested in various interdisciplinary approaches to global health challenges, politics and diplomacy?


At the second edition of the Young Leaders for Health Conference, you will have the chance to contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a special focus on good health and well-being for all. The conference combines a comprehensive workshop and lecture programme with a simulation of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the major decision-making body of the World Health Organisation. In order to put an emphasis on the need for innovation, this year’s edition will hold a design thinking lab so as to give participants the opportunity to develop concrete solutions to real-world global health challenges.


This Year's Conference Theme: Health in the SDGs

The transition from MDGs to SDGs represents major shifts in the mindset of global development. Whereas the MDG Agenda was basic needs driven, the Agenda 2030 takes a holistic approach. With the aim of being universal, integrated and inclusive, the agenda encompasses a global vision of progress, the activation of synergies among various sectors and addresses the problem of increasing inequity and social division. Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) is a precondition for and an outcome of sustainable development.

The identified approach to realise SDG 3 is rooted in the overarching health goal of Universal Health Coverage and the understanding that the interdependencies of development can only be addressed in a successful manner when additionally focusing on cross-cutting issues relevant to all SDGs.

Focus of the Conference

The instrument of change:  Universal Health Coverage

The MDGs focused on programs tailored to specific health conditions. The benefits of whole health systems were mainly neglected. Whereas the emphasis on UHC is not an alternative to the disease control programs of the previous era the shift to a systems approach poses new challenges that request attention. Providing full access to and coverage of health services with financial risk protection is the overarching Goal of SDG 3. Additionally, the need for integration among the different components of Goal 3 is as important as intersectoral action across all the Sustainable Development Goals. The question of what bottlenecks in regards to achieving UHC exist and how to overcome them will lie and the heart of the conference.


Cross-cutting issues and enabling factors:


Equity &
Human Rights



Monitoring &

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Intersectoral Action

As identified during the MDG era placing health in all sectors of policy-making is crucial in order to achieve sustainable development and the Agenda 2030 presents a major opportunity to do so. The responsibility for health extends well beyond the health sector and combining the strengths of multiple stakeholders will be a key catalyst throughout all SDGs. But integrated policy-making and implementation require major coordination efforts, capacity building and governance reforms. How to address this will be one of the main aspects of the workshop and lecture program.


Respect for equity and human rights

Apart from being inefficient at the population level, inequity denies the principle of health for all. Not having received the necessary attention during the MDG era equity is an enabling factor and an objective in its own right. With equity directly referring to the SDG theme “leaving no one behind” ways have to be found to translate the discourse into action. In regards to the fact that perceptions of injustice are the main driver of state fragility equity and human rights could play a key role in human security. In order to not focus on a rights-based discourse but actually move ahead, the program will focus on how to deliver equitably.


Sustainable financing

With financing playing a key role in delivering UHC, the need for attracting additional sources of funding to achieve the Agenda 2030 and the instability of the global financial system finding solutions in regards to this topic could yield far-reaching results. The current resource dependency of a majority of Low- and Middle-Income-Countries leads to highly fluctuating national budgets. Publicly funded health systems that capture 10%-15% of national budgets can not function under such circumstances and alternatives are needed.



As shown by the organization of the 24h Social Entrepreneurship in April 2017 and the decision to entertain a Design Thinking Lab at the Young Leaders for Health Conference 2017, YLH puts a strong emphasis on innovation. With young minds being a major force to forge new solutions the workshop and lecture program aims to include innovative approaches as much as possible. In global health, these range from policy innovations to IT and entail far more than merely medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Measure what you treasure. The MDG era has shown the potential of strong evaluation tools to deliver health outcomes. The SDGs are set out to build on this achievement but the huge scope of the Agenda and the aim of accounting for the numerous inter-dependencies make this an endeavour of a wholly different nature. The political discussion underlying the issue and the ICT innovations such as Big Data and open source shaping it will be covered throughout the workshop and lecture program.

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While these objectives provide overall guidance, the specific actions to be taken and political decisions to be made remain unknown. However, the world needs a prescription for sustainable development now.


YLH 2017 - The Activities

Plenary & Regional Meetings: World Health Assembly Simulation

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the supreme decision-making body of the WHO (World Health Organisation). Delegations from all 194 Member States meet once a year in Geneva to determine the policies of the organisation. In the simulation process, you will assume the role of either a member state delegate, media representative or non-governmental organisation. As a delegate to the WHA, you have a lot to know. You need to be familiar with the rules of procedure, ‘Health in the SDGs’ and your country context. In order to do so, you will be provided with comprehensive guidance material regarding the formalities of the simulation procedure and content about the conference theme

You will understand the obstacles of global decision-making and learn how to overcome them in small and big settings. We organise both a plenary and smaller regional meetings.

Workshops & Lectures: Learn from Global Health Experts

There will be four keynote lectures and around 15 - 20 different workshops during the conference. Each participant will have the chance to attend the keynote lectures and participants not part of the Design Thinking Lab may choose three of the possible workshops.


The keynote lectures will provide general information from leading global health experts about the conference theme. The workshops are conducted in an interactive manner and give the chance to really engage with the speakers and other participants.

The workshop and lecture programme will enable you to gain a deep understanding of the challenge of good health and well-being for all. You will get an insight into the numerous subtopics relating to the SDGs and will be able to test your knowledge whilst discussing your own views on the matter with peers and global health experts alike. These lectures and interactive workshops will give participants the chance to find and work on practical solutions to the most pressing health issues worldwide.

The Design-Thinking-Lab: Mastering rapid Innovation

Design Thinking has become one of the leading methodologies to problem-solving and finding new approaches worldwide. Design Thinking is a rapid innovation method because it forces designers to rapidly move through the design phases, prototype their ideas, ‘test’ them and re-innovate and if necessary iterate instead of remaining for a long time in each design phase.

The Design Thinking Lab will give you the chance to ideate new global health solutions. Being presented with a real-world challenge you will be grouped with three other participants and conduct rapid innovation. This human-centred, prototype-driven process for innovation can be applied to a product, service, and business design.  


At the Young Leaders for Health Conference 2017, participants will get the chance to learn this solution finding method and directly apply it to a real-world global health challenge. Moderators and trainers will guide you through the process, but you must make the innovations. Become a Design-Thinker and come up with a solution to a major global health challenge.

This conference is organized by a unique team of Global Health enthusiasts, who are determined to make this conference a success

Participant Ressources

Conference Program
Delegate Handbook