Students in the MSc GH program hosted the inaugural Intersections in Global Health conference on March 12, 2016 at McMaster’s University Club. The purpose of the conference, which the organizers are planning to make an annual event, was to highlight the complex, interdisciplinary nature of the global health field and to stimulate thought-provoking discussions between attendees and experts from different backgrounds.
"On one level, ’intersections’ refers to the interdisciplinary nature of global health, while on another level it refers to the need within global health for inter-sectorial communication and collaboration," says Marina Atalla, one of the conference organizers, explaining the concept behind the event. "At the same time, ‘intersections’ emphasizes that global health must encourage knowledge-sharing between experts, young professionals and students," she explains.
Through panel discussions focusing on a specific theme, participants could engage with speakers from diverse fields including law, medicine, history, business, political science, and more. Then, expert-led workshops provided an opportunity for groups to explore in detail various topics in which panelists specialized.
"We wanted to showcase the knowledge and experience of experts from diverse fields and allow for a valuable exchange of ideas," says Atalla. "And we were thrilled with the result and the turnout — it was a good mix of current students, alumni, and people who are passionate about tackling emerging global health issues," she says.