Each ISUH member is an urban health influencer. Our goal is 1000 members by the end of 2019.
In this closing episode, Dr. Yonette Thomas and Host Mark Sylvester talk about the 11 amazing conversations for Season 1. It is a sampling of what it is to come. Season 1 began with a historical overview of the organization and the progressed into what the ISUH can do and will do going forward. Dr. David Vlahov, the founding president gave this historical perspective, his ideas for the sustainability of the organization, and his excitement for the future. The organization has evolved, the energy has evolved, and there is a feeling revitalized interest, energy, and engagement.
Yonette sees the “ARC” as her guiding principle for revitalizing membership and realigning the work of the ISUH. The intent with the ARC is that we begin before the conference with discussions and activities that lead into the conference in the forms of presentations, panels, and workshops. Post conference we continue those conversations so that members develop papers for publication and ideas for the next conference. The goal is to keep members interested and engaged – creating dynamic activity. Members must see the ISUH at the one organization they want to be involved in and engaged with. Each member is an urban health influencer.
We heard that ISUH should focus on the next generation of urban health influencers who will be at the forefront of engaging other actors in other sectors. ISUH can create opportunities for partners and sponsors to partner with members and for partnerships between members, creating multiple nodes and tentacles of urban health action at the local, national, and global levels. For example, around SDG alignment with organizations such as the General Assembly of Partners. We heard, too, about the need for regional discussions opportunities.
There is great interest in increasing membership engagement – bringing new and emerging urban health influencers into the fold. These conversations have confirmed and intensified the interest in the things in the ISUH Virtual Collaboratory. ISUH-Connect will provide an important opportunity for members to network and collaborate. We will learn what members are interested in discussing and connecting on and we can use that information to feed the virtual discussions. The ISUH-Perspectives blog provides an opportunity for written points-of-view. The ISUH Conversations podcast will become an annual event. The Virtual Panel Discussions will create an additional opportunity for thematic discussions at a regional, subnational, national level.
There is a lot of opportunity for growth. We will be evaluating how this works and looking to members to give us feedback and ideas for developing this further – ideas on who to interview for podcasts, themes for virtual panels, points-of-view for the blog. The goal here, as the only organization focused on urban health, is to maintain cross-disciplinary connections between stakeholders in Urban Health.
Our goal is 1000 members by the end of 2019. We are off to the races!
Dr. Yonette F. Thomas is Executive Director of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) and Senior Research Advisor to the Association of American Geographers (AAG). She is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) and a faculty affiliate in the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) at the University of Maryland College Park. She was formerly the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance at Howard University. Previously she served as the Chief of the Epidemiology Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. She has held faculty appointments in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Pharmacy at Howard University. She is a member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her primary research and publications have focused on the epidemiology of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and the link with geography, including edited volumes: Geography and Drug Addiction; Crime, HIV, and Health: intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns; Trajectories of Drug Use Among Minority Youth.
In 2003, Mark Sylvester helped create the first social network for the TED Conference. He has created hundreds of Communities that include global organizations who want to make a cultural change in how they connect with their audiences. The introNetworks platform is the underlying technology for ISUH Connect.
Mark’s been on the leading edge of software development for more than thirty years. As a co-founder of Wavefront Technologies, Mark helped develop software known as Maya, that revolutionized the way the world is entertained.
Working with major studios, he introduced the world to computer-generated animation and received many accolades - including several Sci-Tech awards and an Oscar.
Mark is also the Ambassador for the 805connect project, an economic vitality network that was awarded the California Small Business of the Year Award.
As a TEDx podcaster and Producer of TEDxSantaBarbara, Mark is constantly looking for 'Ideas Worth Spreading' and believes that helping people make smarter connections is definitely one of those ideas.