Access to affordable, quality healthcare for all, promoting healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

A global overview

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being is important to building prosperous societies. Most countries, especially poor countries, have
insufficient health facilities, medical supplies and health care workers for the surge in demand. Concerted efforts are required to achieve universal health coverage and sustainable financing for health; address the growing burden of zoonotic and non-communicable diseases, tackle antimicrobial resistance and environmental factors contributing to ill health.

A global perspective on health from the UN Sustainability Development goals

Currently, the world is facing a global health crisis unlike any other — COVID-19 is spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy and upending the lives of billions of people around the globe. 

Before the pandemic, major progress was made in improving the health of millions of people. Significant strides were made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality.

But the world is off-track to achieve the health-related SDGs. Progress has been uneven, both between and within countries. There’s a 31-year gap between the countries with the shortest and longest life expectancies. And while some countries have made impressive gains, national averages hide that many are being left behind. Multisectoral, rights-based and gender-sensitive approaches are essential to address inequalities and to build good health for all.

How is digital tech relevant to health?

Areas of tension

These are the issues, negative impacts and concerns collectively raised by the attendees from our pilot workshops.

For the digital tech workforce
  • A focus on speed and ‘go fast and break things ethos’ leaves people feeling overworked, which can lead to:
    • Burnout
    • Insufficient time for self care and family care
    • Lack of meaningful human connection
    • Stress and other mental health issues
  • A potential for mental health issues because of what the industry does and doesn’t value, such as:
    • Short term gains vs long-term results
    • Tech-bro culture vs equality
    • Gatekeeping vs inclusive knowledge-sharing & empowerment
  • Working in an office can encourage sendatary lifestyles.
  • A poor desk set-up can cause muscular and skeletal problems such as bad backs and repetitive strain injuries.
For the global population
  • Toxic environments such as air pollution or contaminated land/water where resources are mined or electronics are built.
  • Smartphone addictions mean people are always connected and receiving info, making it hard to detach and rest.
    • We might think of this as ‘stealing time’ from people.
    • Even apps designed to improve health and wellbeing cause this.

How can we nudge these tensions for the better?

Grounds for hope

These are visions and ideas for change collectively raised by the attendees from our pilot workshops.

For the digital tech workforce
  • 4-day work week.
  • Social norms that allow disconnecting from tech/social media.
  • Healthy balanced relationship using tech in our lives.

For the global population

  • Focus on basic needs instead of creating ‘needs’.
  • Move away from attention based goals to results based.
  • Commitment to health of our planet and ourselves integrated into all design and decision-making in digital tech.

Keen to learn more?

If you’d like to explore these issues yourself, either as an individual or with your work colleagues, why not run your own workshop?

Our workshop methodology is open source and available for anyone to use for free. Alternatively you can hire trusted professionals to facilitate the process on your behalf.