Planetary Health Café

On Wednesday, February 14th 2024, at 16:30-17:15 at Fellmannia.

Planetary Health Café is a meeting place for all conference participants that are interested in sharing their thoughts, and synthesizing the scientific and practical knowledge into planetary health actions and new ideas. Conversations will be arranged at tables on various topics related to the café theme.

Each table has a facilitator(s), and participants can choose to stay at a table or visit different tables.

The accumulated knowledge will be later shared with the conference participants. We intend to incorporate some key points to a synthesis of the conference outcomes alongside with relevant literature and practices in an article format, including practice and research recommendations.

The café will serve:

  • Drinks (tbc) and snacks on the café tables for the price of participating
  • Discussion on “Creativity Sprint: Using imagination to amplify biodiversity in urban areas”
  • Discussion on "Nature and health research in Finland: state-of-the-art and future perspectives"
  • Discussion on "Linking biodiversity to Human Health: research evidence and future directions”
  • Discussion on "Discovering the urban environment’s impact on health with the Healthy Cities Generator”
  • Discussion on "Key components of national level action plans to advance planetary health"
  • Discussion on "Building bridges, breaking barriers: mainstreaming intersectionality for just and inclusive nature-based solutions"
  • Discussion on "Creative workshop on crafting innovative, interdisciplinary Planetary Health narratives"
  • Discussion on "Political astuteness for planetary health: why, how, when, where?"
Participation in workshops and discussions

Please express your interest in participating through the link below. 

We are collecting information on numbers to help facilitators prepare.

House rules for the Planetary Health Café

This is an open space of dialogue; participate to the discussion and contribute to the knowledge created. 

Facilitators will fill a very brief session report post-fact, contributing to the synthesis and post-event impact. 

If you don’t feel like you’re adding to the discussion, feel free to move around. Participation is the price you pay for your drinks and snacks.

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!

Discussions in detail

Creativity Sprint: Using imagination to amplify biodiversity in urban areas

Facilitators: Ashby Lavelle Sachs, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, and Sofia Aivalioti, Bax & Company, One Health 4 Cities & Biodiverse Cities 

There is great interest in using nature-based solutions to increase urban biodiversity to cool urban areas, slow stormwater, and to support human and non-human wellbeing. Yet, cities are challenging environments for plants and animals to thrive. What innovative solutions can we imagine to increase species richness in cities for planetary wellbeing? We invite all participants to join this co-creative sprint and develop novel biodiverse nature-based solutions that can provide food and shelter to key species and support small-scale natural ecosystems in densely built urban environments. Will you take part in this challenge? The winning solutions will be shared with the whole conference and with cities working on these challenges all around Europe.


Nature and health research in Finland: state-of-the-art and future perspectives

Facilitators: Silviya Korpilo (Helsinki University), Nora Fagerhom (University of Turku), the Finnish Nature and Health Research Network (LuontoTerVe). 

The health effects of contact with natural environments are being investigated in many different scientific fields, organisations, and from various angles. To date, however, there hasn’t been a forum for meeting and sharing information between researchers in Finland. To tackle this challenge, the Finnish Nature & Health Research Network (LuontoTerVe) was recently established. The aim of the new network is to connect, support and share research insights in the Finnish context not only within but also outside the network. This workshop will introduce the network and its ongoing activities. We will discuss about current nature and health research in Finland and potential future directions. We promote an open discussion and we warmly welcome new members to join our network. We also aim to foster international collaboration and we are interested if similar networks exist in other countries, potentially sharing experiences and best practices. 


Linking biodiversity to Human Health: research evidence and future directions

Facilitators: Mario Balzan, Ecostack Innovations,Tadhg MacIntyre, Maynooth University, Kalyn Potter, Maynooth University, and Mark Mansoldo, Ecostack Innovations  

Biodiversity underpins the ecosystem services necessary for human health and well-being but is declining at an unprecedented rate, while ecosystem services and benefits are not equally shared within communities, leading to concerns about social-environmental justice. Simultaneously, relatively few studies have looked at the direct and indirect pathways of biodiversity impacts on the different components of human health. These studies have also considered different aspects of actual and perceived biodiversity, and including variables relating to ecosystem or habitat condition and extent, and species abundance and community diversity for different taxonomic groups, including plants, birds, insects and mammals. Given the diversity of approaches and results, the development of a theoretical framework that enables a better understanding of the impacts of biodiversity on health and wellbeing is considered as a research priority.  Through the presentation of case-study data of nature-based solutions implementation in six cultivating cities from the Horizon 2020 GoGreenRoutes project, we evaluate how different biodiversity variables can be link to mental and physical health, and wellbeing.  By building on these perspectives, the workshop aims to foster a discussion on the causal pathways linking biodiversity to health and well-being, and share best practices on how cities can assess the impacts of policy and planning decisions on biodiversity, and human health and well-being.


Discovering the urban environment’s impact on health with the Healthy Cities Generator 

Facilitator: Amber De La Haye, Healthy Cities (Healthy Cities Generator) 

Using the Healthy Cities Generator healthy urban planning tool, we will analyse the health impact of the urban environment surrounding the University of Helsinki. Together we will identify the urban environment’s health needs, suggest potential actions to address these needs, and use the Healthy Cities Generator to assess the health impact of those proposed actions.


Key components of national level action plans to advance planetary health

Facilitator: Elina Drakvik, Senior Lead, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

The aim of this session is to brainstorm and co-develop, by using the world café method, main components of an action plan to move the planetary health agenda forward. The focus of the discussion will be on national level actions and sharing of good examples. The target group is all stakeholders interested in planetary health, from researchers and experts to policymakers, practitioners, businesses, and civil society advocates.

The participants of the session will be actively involved in the co-development process and each table will choose a facilitator among the participants. Each table has a facilitator(s), and participants can choose to stay at a table or visit different tables. The discussion topics will include 1) vision for the future (& action plan) 2) transdisciplinary education and research, 3) cross-sectoral and sectoral focus areas and policy measures 4) governance mechanisms and coordination as well as 5) funding and resources, 6) open space – topics to be decided by participants.

The outcome includes a summary of components for development of a national level roadmap and key points to be included in the synthesis article following the conference.


Building bridges, breaking barriers: mainstreaming intersectionality for just and inclusive nature-based solutions

Facilitators: Federica Risi, Senior Policy and Project Officer, European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) and Martin Grisel, Director, European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN)

Click here for full details

The aim of this world café discussion is to critically reflect on the conditions, approaches, and actions that can help practitioners “build bridges” and “break barriers” for creating just and inclusive urban environments via the implemention of nature-based solutions (NBS).


Creative workshop on crafting innovative, interdisciplinary Planetary Health narratives

Facilitator: Dr Cale Lawlor, Independent Environmental Health Consultant

Click here for full details

This workshop will look to create diverse interdisciplinary groups, at random, to work through an iterative creative process to develop novel, innovative Planetary Health narratives. The sequence will be based around a creative process devised by Damien Rudd, a climate change communication researcher in Brussels, Belgium, 2023, and will use a number of visual and tactile cues to stimulate each table to come up with an iterative, changing narrative through each round of the World Café. The purpose is to illustrate the potential for creativity in scientists and researchers in Planetary Health and inspire to potential to create narratives through various formats.


Political astuteness for planetary health: why, how, when, where?

Facilitator: Enrique Castro-Sanchez, Brunel University London

Planetary health requires movement building and systems change. Proficient engagement with the policy- and political-making process are therefore essential. The Café will encourage attendees to reflect and discuss where best and how to equip the planetary health community with political astuteness and competencies.