Programme

You can find the programme of the upcoming winter term Planetary Health Academy here. All lectures will be held in English and online via Zoom. You can find more information in our FAQs and in our privacy policy. Register here for the second edition of the Planetary Health Academy.

Lectures from the first series can be found here. This winter’s course will provide new insights for all participants of the first lecture cycle, while being a stand-alone course for new participants.

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18.11.2020, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Introduction to Planetary Health – Science and Social Movement

Samuel Myers (Principal Research Scientist, Planetary Health, Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; Director, Planetary Health Alliance)
Martin Herrmann (Chair, German Climate Change and Health Alliance)
Melvine Otieno (Founder, Planetary Health Eastern Africa Hub)

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Planetary Health is a scientific discipline, a philosophy for living and a social movement. The first lecture will give an introduction to key aspects, latest developments and emerging solutions. Dr. Samuel Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, will focus on planetary health as a scientific discipline as well as emerging solutions. Melvine Otieno, initiator of the planetary health hub in Eastern Africa,  will talk about the situation in Kenya and eastern Africa. Martin Herrmann, chair of the German Climate Change and Health Alliance, will point to the highly dynamic and fastly growing planetary health movement in the German speaking countries. The movement has its focus on converting knowledge into transformative action.

Samuel Myers
Director of the Planetary Health Alliance

Samuel Myers is the Director of the Planetary Health Alliance and works at the intersection of human health and global environmental change. He holds a BA from Harvard College and a MD from Yale Medical School. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Principle Research Scientist, Planetary Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as well as Director of the Planetary Health Alliance.

Martin Hermann
German Climate Change and Health Alliance (KLUG)

Founder and chair of the German Climate Change and Health Alliance – KLUG.  Martin Herrmann has accompanied transformational change processes in global health and commercial contexts for more than 30 years. A doctor by training, he soon started to advise companies and NGOs, creating new concepts for organizational development. Today he teaches at international business schools and universities. He is especially passionate about   linking complexity science and  Hannah Arendt political philosophy to the transformational challenges of our time.

Melvine Otieno
Planetary Health Hub Eastern Africa

Melvine Otieno is the founder of the Planetary Health Eastern Africa Hub and an associate member of Women Leaders for Planetary Health. She is in her final year pursuing MSc in Environmental Health at the University of Eldoret. Melvine’s current work focuses on the establishment of the Planetary Health Network and development of short-term, mid-term and long-term corona virus recovery measures in Eastern Africa which takes into account Planetary Health perspectives.


02.12.2020, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Planetary Health Dimensions

Gary Belkin (Founder, Billion Minds Institute; Former Deputy Health Commissioner for New York City)
Nosiku Munyinda (Lecturer, University of Zambia)
Sonja Schönberg (Research Associate, Bern University of Applied Sciences)

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In the second lecture, we will elaborate on some of the core dimensions of planetary health. In the first lecture series, we focused on the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss on health. This time we will have a closer look at environmental pollution as a consequence of human behaviour and mental health impacts related to climate and environmental change.

Gary Belkin
Founder, Billion Minds Institute; Former Deputy Health Commissioner for New York City

Gary is Founder and President, Billion Minds Institute, and Visiting Scientist, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. A psychiatrist who approaches mental health as a building block of social policy and progress, he recently founded Billion Minds as a non-profit policy and “think-action tank.” 
Gary is the former Executive Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Before joining city government, he was Medical Director for Behavioral Health across the Health and Hospitals Corporation of the City of New York. 
A graduate of Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Gary earned his MPH at Harvard School of Public Health and a doctorate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

Nosiku Munyinda
University of Zambia School of Public Health

Nosiku Munyinda is a Lecturer and Researcher responsible for the Environmental Pollution and Toxicology Unit in the Department of Environmental Health- School of Public Health at the University of Zambia. She has a background in Environmental Science and Management with specific expertise in Natural Resources Management and Environmental Engineering.  Her PhD Study looked at “Recent Exposure to DDT and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children of selected communities in Zambia”. Her research interests lie in the interactions of the environment with human health and generally the impact of Climate Change, economic development and pollution on health. 

Sonja Schönberg
Research Associate, Bern University of Applied Sciences

Sonja Schönberg is teacher and researcher at Bern University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health Professions, Department Nutrition and Dietetics. She is head of the working groups “Diets 4 Planetary Health” and “Sustainable development for health professions”. She is also head of the “Swiss dietician’s expert group on sustainable diets”. She holds a MSc Food, Nutrition & Health and is Dietician, BSc.


16.12.2020, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Planetary Health Ethics

Teddie Potter (Clinical Professor, Director of Planetary Health, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota)
Kai Spiekermann (Professor of Political Philosophy, Doctoral Programme Director, Department of Government, London School of Economics)
Jennifer Cole (Research Fellow, Royal Holloway University of London)
Katharina Wabnitz (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge)

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Recognising the planetary health emergency radically changes the perspective on how we live, act and think. This implies critically reviewing existing ethical and philosophical concepts while we engage in transformative action at the same time. 

How do we understand our relationship to the natural agents and dynamics that we are part of? 

How do we work together in the face of the evolving emergency? How do we deal with the enormous injustice becoming apparent?

Teddie Potter
Clinical Professor, Director of Planetary Health, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota

Dr. Potter is deeply committed to climate change education including co-founding Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, membership in the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and membership on the American Academy of Nursing Environment and Public Health Expert Panel. She is a member of the Coordinating Committee of Columbia University’s Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education and a Fellow in the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. She chairs Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Planetary Health Alliance at Harvard.

At the University of Minnesota, Dr. Potter designed and co-teaches an interdisciplinary course titled “The Global Climate Challenge: Creating an Empowered Movement for Change”. In addition, she co-leads a Health Sciences initiative titled, “Climate Change and Health: An Interprofessional Response.” In 2019, Dr. Potter was appointed the first Director of Planetary Health for the School of Nursing.

Kai Spiekermann
Professor of Political Philosophy, Doctoral Programme Director, Department of Government, London School of Economics

Kai Spiekermann is Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He works on democratic theory and the philosophy of the social sciences. Among his research interests are group decisions, social epistemology (and especially epistemic justifications of democracy), the ethics of environmental change, and the methodology of political theory and political science. His latest book (with Robert E. Goodin) is An Epistemic Theory of Democracy. You can find more information about Kai at www.kaispiekermann.net

Jennifer Cole
Research Fellow, Royal Holloway University of London

Katharina Wabnitz
German Climate Change and Health Alliance (KLUG)

Katharina is a medical doctor and currently works as a Research Associate for The Lancet-Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19 as well as for the working group Evidence-based Public Health at the Pettenkofer School of Public Health, Munich. She is expecting her MSc degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (cohort 2019/2020). In her recently published comment in The Lancet A pledge for planetary health to unite health professionals in the Anthropocene”, she and her co-authors propose an update to what is best known as the Hippocratic Oath for Physicians – a pledge which reflects the ethos and role of health professionals facing current and future challenges for heal.


13.01.2021, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Gender and Global South Perspective

Courtney Howard (Emergency Physician; Clinical Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary; Leadership Candidate, Green Party of Canada)
Vanessa Nakate (TBC)
Women Leaders for Planetary Health (TBC)

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We will deepen our understanding of  Planetary Health Ethics through focusing on two key themes related to justice: the gender perspective and the Global South perspective.

Courtney Howard
Emergency Physician; Clinical Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary; Leadership Candidate, Green Party of Canada

Dr Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Canada’s subarctic, and the first female President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). She led the 2017-2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers and was the 2018 International Policy Director for the Lancet Countdown.Dr Howard has researched menstrual cups and wildfires, and led policy work and advocacy regarding ecoanxiety, movement-building, active transport, plant-rich diets, divestment, carbon pricing, coal phase-out, and hydraulic fracturing. She sits on the board of the Canadian Medical Association, the Editorial Advisory Board of the LancetPlanetary Health and the steering committee of the Planetary Health Alliance. As chair of the advocacy subcommittee of the WHO-Civil Society Working Group on Climate Change and Health, she helped launch the Healthy Recovery initiative which gained the support of two-thirds of the world’s healthcare professionals—then ran for the leadership of Canada’s Green Party, finishing third. Onwards!


27.01.2021, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Urban Development and Planetary Health

Anna Dyson (Hines Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale)
Olga Sarmiento (TBC, Professor of the Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes)
Björna Althoff (TBC, Medical Doctor, City Council Representative, Krefeld)

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Cities can be drivers of enormous power for the required transformative changes. Therefore, innovative urban development presents major opportunities to improve population health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for health risks exacerbated by climate change. Unlocking their transformative power, cities are key settings for the implementation of a diverse set of interventions to address major planetary health challenges. Lecturers will highlight key facets of transdisciplinary and transformative  urban development for a healthy and good life in cities. They will present the situation and stories of  two cities, one in the south, one in the north.


10.02.2021, 5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Examples of transformation

If you would like to present your local transformation project in this lecture, please contact us at info@planetary-health-academy.de.

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Knowledge needs to be put into action. And here we go! In our last lecture we will give you the space to present your project for a healthy planet. By inspiring each other we will bring our work to the next level.



Scientific director of the Planetary Health Vorlesungsreihe: Dr. Martin Herrmann


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