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  • Public Health, Complex Systems, and Design

    Community, Industrial Design

    On May 30th - June 1st I had the opportunity to attend a symposium that linked together the concerns of public health professionals and those who study and model complex systems. The symposium was hosted by the <a href="http://www.sph.umich.edu/cseph/">Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health </a>and the <a href="http://www.cscs.umich.edu/">Center for the Study of Complex Systems</a> here at the University of Michigan. The meeting brought together a very diverse groups of individuals. This provided me the opportunity to have substantive discussions with a range of individuals working in public health policy and implementation. <a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://sitemaker.umich.edu/complexsystemspopulationhealth/files/imageforwebsite.jpg"><img style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 220px;" src="http://sitemaker.umich.edu/complexsystemspopulationhealth/files/imageforwebsite.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></a>These interactions helped me gain a recognition for the scale (and complexity) that individuals and organizations face when attempting to solve problems on local and global scales. Among my many encounters, I was able to converse and share ideas with a Professor from Brown University that studies nursing home policy, a graduate student from John Hopkins that has spent the last eight years developing and directing humanitarian relief missions in places ranging from Bolivia to Tajikistan, and a public health practitioner responsible for implementing relief programs for children in Ethiopia. I was genuinely surprised at the potential that exists to merge the interests of those working in these areas with those of art and design. I'll try to articulate a few.

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