Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Advancing the Global Good through Partnerships – Usha Balakrishnan

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to steal a few hours of Usha Balakrishnan’s time. I first saw Usha at the Global Health Council meeting in 2006 and was both wowed and inspired – she is a global health mover and shaker with strong business, technology and non-profit experience (read her bio here). She is now devoting her life to a broad range of global health issues. I am writing about our conversation here just to introduce Usha and her new non-profit, CARTHA. We had a refreshing dialogue about a wide variety topics and also about challenges in global health. For example while there has been a very recent surge of interest in global health as a field or major at the university level, we wondered where all the new trainees where going to go and whether there was adequate infrastructure to support smart placements of students eager to give back.

The panel I saw Usha lead at GHC was “The Role of the Private Sector” which had a great line up. As a “founder of the Technology Managers for Global Health (TMGH) group within the Association of University Technology Managers, Usha has introduced global health-related academic technology transfer sessions at key conferences, and has spurred dialog and seminars on a number of campuses in the US and abroad”.

Usha has recently formed her own non-profit – CARTHA which “provides education, training, and professional development programs to inspire Collaborative Doers…—who leverage academic practitioner collaborations to enhance the positive impact of technological and social innovations. CARTHA aims to inspire, link, and help mobilize resources for Collaborative Doers in Academic-Public-Private Technology Transfer Partnerships, Global Health and Corporate Social Responsibility.”

“Global health challenges demand that thinkers and doers from multiple disciplines, sectors, and regions—be linked in new multisectoral collaborations to generate innovative, pragmatic, culturally-appropriate and sustainable solutions. Who will design and build the bridges to connect, activate, and leverage the stores of institutional resources, human capital, and scientific and technological prowess to advance global health causes?”

I encourage you to look into CARTHA and TMGH more, we certainly need more people like Usha who are using their considerable experience to contribute to a global goods “market” and who are enabling others to do the same. We will try to do an interview with Usha in a few months with more detailed advice, perspective and information.


Written by Aman

May 22, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Global Health

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