In 2013, three students were supported to travel and attend the Global Health and Innovation Conference. The Global Health & Innovation Conference (#GHIC) is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, which convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship representing more than 50 countries.
“Innovation and inspiration — two words that embody the atmosphere of this conference. Being part of an event which brought together leaders in global health and social enterprise from all 50 states and more than 50 countries across the globe was in itself unforgettable. The event brought my public health coursework to life, giving me the opportunity to literally shake hands with innovators whose paper I debated in the classroom. The event was a true testament to the power of the individual, and has filled me with such vigor to be a leader as my own generation takes the reins in the field of global health.”
-- Alexis Chaet, CLAS 2016
Attending the Unite for Sight Global Health & Innovation Conference could not have come at a better time in my undergraduate education. Curious and passionate about a variety of global public health causes, I attended this conference not looking to seek out specialist over another, but to bathe my mind in the cleansing, creative intellect of the diverse speakers, students, and professionals who would be there. I will admit, I expected to be inspired and I expected to learn a lot, but I was not prepared to be so deeply moved. There is something very powerful about being in a place with so many like-minded people: people united by a common belief healthcare is a basic human right and that our collective innovation has the potential to solve the most devastating of global health issues.
I left Connecticut that weekend completely convicted that devoting my education (and beyond) to public health would be a hugely meaningful way to celebrate all the resources UVa has to offer, simultaneously feeling incredibly grateful that as a student at this University, I can work to catalyze change in the public health sector.
-- Claire Constance, CLAS 2016
To have found my passion for public health has been wonderful, and to be in te presence of those that share my same passion is a privlege. I am thankful to have had. While the obstacles the industry and its practitioners (myself and my peers, one day, hopefully) face can be daunting; seeing the sheer potential, spirit and hope from those at the Unite for Sight Global Health & Innovation Conferencce prove to be inspirational and enlightening. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend such a conference and cannot wait for other such events.
-- Nour Alamiri, CLAS 2015
All photographs related to this feature taken by C. Constance, A. Chaet and N. Alamiri