Giving Compass’ Take:
• The UK-based organization Wellcome discusses its work addressing health challenges and why it is trying to inspire far-reaching change by instituting a global mindset through public engagement.
• What can organizations in the US learn from Wellcome’s example? How might we build greater impact by thinking big?
The issues we care most about — like drug-resistant infections, vaccines and planetary health — tackle health burdens that are inherently international, even though much of the research we fund is led by teams based in the UK.
This creates a challenge for public engagement. Our goal is to involve the public in Wellcome’s work — not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it helps us achieve our mission of improving health. But who should we involve? Where are the people we need to engage?
There is a case for focusing on the UK. It is where our biggest public engagement assets are — the institutions and the researchers we support. And it’s also where we’ve invested the most in infrastructure — the artistic and academic institutions that live and breathe public engagement, as well as the local knowledge that makes it work.
But the brightest minds are scattered across the globe — many of them outside academia — and if we want the best ideas, we must include them in our work. Also, we can’t hope to understand health inequality — let alone reduce it — if we don’t work with the people it harms the most.
Read the full article about why Wellcome is supporting public engagement beyond the UK by Georgia Bladon at Wellcome.
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