30 Jan 2023

AI drug discovery

Joanna Shields

Climate change is an existential risk to health and wellbeing globally, but we still lack a localised and evidence-based toolbox of adaptation and mitigation strategies. How can digital transformation in this sector catalyse action, at scale, in service of the communities most vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change?

Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI, joined the Wellcome Trust Panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2023 to discuss opportunities for data and digital innovation to combat climate change and its effects on global health.

Speaking alongside Alan Dangour, Director Climate & Health at the Wellcome Trust, Raj Kumar, President & Editor-in-Chief at Devex, Carl Brinton, Managing Director Strategy for the Rockefeller Foundation, and Tolullah Oni, Public Health Physician Scientist at the University of Cambridge, the panel discussed how we might harness data and technology to solve the many challenges caused by the linked environmental and health crises.

“The most important thing is how do we scale solutions [...] We have to organise for action. One of the things I’ve found that works really well is coming up with a model national response to a problem, and making sure that there are contributions from everybody in the data community, the technology community to bring their solutions to bear on that particular problem in a model national response that can be scaled out to everyone [...] We need to share the load.” — Joanna Shields

“We hear a lot about the polycrisis [...] We see it in climate, we see it in health, we see it in war, we see it in food; what we have not heard about yet is the polysolution [...] We need integrated solutions, we need to be applying data solutions to climate in the context of health, we then need to be bringing food into it, we need to finance the whole thing, and then we need to collaborate.” — Carl Brinton

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