Director’s corner

Peter Friberg.
Peter Friberg, Director SIGHT

I am both proud and happy to be able to send this very first SIGHT Newsletter to you. Our aim is to publish a SIGHT Newsletter four times a year, highlighting global health efforts from this corner of the world. We hope both global health professionals and al people interested in global issues will learn from each other, enabling ideas for international collaboration.

SIGHT was established in January 2017 at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm thanks to a generous grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The overarching purpose of SIGHT is to provide and strengthen an interdisciplinary approach, to strengthen and bridge Swedish research and education while providing a scientific bases for national and transnational collaborative policy work in global health. Importantly, SIGHT’s work is in in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and in the process of developing stronger partnerships with Swedish universities. Developing interdisciplinary activities for students and researchers are a priority for SIGHT, demonstrated by SIGHT Student Organisations Network and SIGHT Fellows Programme.

Having just commemorated 100-years since the end of World War I world leaders gathered recently in Paris. During the last 100 years the world has experienced atrocities at an unprecedented scale. The big challenge today is that strong and immediate efforts must be taken to tackle rising global temperature, environmental threats, loss of biodiversity and to secure a peaceful, equitable and healthy society for the future. In order to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda the need for more collaboration and disruptive thinking is crucial. Having participated in the 2018 November meeting of the UNESCO organisation “International Association of Universities” it is clear that the universities have to meet the demands of the 2030 Agenda. Universities are crucial societal institutions in facing novel and complex challenges, and need to provide knowledge and wisdom for students, deeply established in ethics and social justice.

Given the huge challenges of our planet and its people education, science and action are needed on multiple levels. There are promising examples of partners working together for global health. One such example is the fight against polio, where joint global efforts have pushed polio close to eradication.