EHFF (The European Health Futures Forum) was constituted in March 2013 following a period in shadow form as the ESQH Lisbon Office for Health Futures.
The organisation is dedicated to improve the health of the citizens of Europe through a transformative collaborative process.
The key strategic goals of EHFF are:
- To create an open, interactive Forum built as a network of networks
- To use the Forum as a resource for knowledge exchange on the future of health and healthcare
- To promote the active employment of futures methodologies
- To enable transformational change through holistic multi stakeholder collaboration
- To create a virtual intergenerational community of healthcare innovators
The European contextual environment continues to become inexorably more turbulent, with rapid change and increasing uncertainty about the future. The European contextual environment continues to become inexorably more turbulent, with rapid change and increasing uncertainty about the future.
- Volatile world economic systems
- Societal insecurity and perception of threat
- Widespread availability of new communication platforms
- Growing population with people living longer and the proportion of those over 65 is increasing.
Despite various initiatives and commitments within health and healthcare many challenges persist and there is real concern that current health systems are unsustainable. In spite of this, there is very limited consideration of transformative alternative scenarios. The founders of EHFF, having worked in the quality improvement field during the last ten years are motivated by the disparity between the slow pace of policy implementation and this rapidly changing environment.
EHFF Operational Objectives for 2014
The objective is to expand the existing community with a particular focus on making contacts with those working in the futures field in different countries, in making alliances in the education and business communities and finally in creating a virtual community through the interactive web portal.
EHFF sees this network expansion as an essential part of the platform which the forum represents and a means whereby a strategic conversation can be initiated that is well informed by a multitude of contributors to enrich the process of policy development.
In order to carry out its ambitious programme EHFF will require significant funding to provide a robust basis for its activities over the coming years. Key activities will therefore focus on developing working relationships in appropriate targeted sectors. EHFF will also act as a partner in European Commission projects.
Develop EHFF Visibility through Activities and Projects
The Web Portal has a crucial role as an interactive and growing knowledge repository in the context of EHFF strategic direction. EHFF is committed to creating an interactive mechanism which will both provide information but also engage users and invite their contribution. Sophisticated monitoring of activity will be built into the portal but the best and least predictable measure will be the degree of contribution that users make.
Developing the EHFF Brand
The EHFF brand will be developed through a range of complementary activities, which include:
- Activity within the web portal and in particular linkage to other websites with the expectation of mutual exchange of users;
- Presence in the EC Policy arena promoting in particular, patient empowerment, health literacy, and innovation in healthcare delivery and in health;
- Formal projects which put into practice the holistic view of health within society generated by stakeholders from inside and outside of the healthcare community working together to improve the lives of citizens;
- Public speaking where Directors promote the philosophy of EHFF.
European Commission Projects
Visibility of EHFF will also be developed by involvement in policy related activities which in turn EHFF can promote through its networks
- EIP for Active and Healthy Ageing. EHHF has responded to the call for a second round of commitments by putting together a large consortium of organisations with an interest in patient empowerment and self-management;
- JA on workforce planning. EHFF has been invited by the leader of the work package on horizon scanning to join as a collaborating partner;
- Tender on Self-Management in Chronic Diseases. In relation to this element of the EC 2013 Work Programme, EHFF has facilitated the coming together of the consortium and is actively engaged with the potential tender leaders on the configuration of the bid;
- Second tender on self-management. This is an occasional grant via the European Parliament that DGSANCO is likely to offer for tender after the summer of 2013;
- FP7 bid on application of ICT to mining social media data on health.
EHFF Home grown projects require external independent sponsorship but it is planned to initiate two at relatively modest cost.
- EVY Project: European young visionaries in healthcare innovation. This project seeks to create a community of young health professionals formed in teams within different countries who would seek out examples of innovation, share them and exchange knowledge across country boundaries;
- Health Professional Education Community of Practice: This project aims to bring together a core group representing the leading edge of innovation in the teaching health professionals. The concept is to invite them to an event and to assess their willingness to work together as a pressure group or source of disruptive innovation.
New Product development
There are four major areas here for exploration of opportunities for the latter part of 2014 and for 2015.
- European Institute for Innovation and Technology. For the second wave of Knowledge and Innovation Centres (KICs) the EIT has signalled that Health will be one of the topics. This is a real opportunity to put into practice multi-stakeholder engagement and two threads that will be followed; firstly researching the progress of the first wave KICs on green energy etc. and secondly testing the possibilities of creating a collaborative based on regional projects in inspirational holistic approaches. Sites in the Netherlands and Scotland have already been visited and a third site in Sweden is being sought;
- Opportunities arising from the Health for Growth programme;
- Cross disciplinary collaboration arising from the FP7 programme or its successor;
- Stakeholder based Scenario Planning: A novel project has been in preparation for some time but has awaited the development of funding streams and the establishment of EHFF as a legal entity. It consists of the initiation of a major scenario planning exercise across Europe involving a wide range of stakeholders (previous scenario exercises have tended to be country based or to be confined to the views of a panel of ‘international experts’ rather than trawling the views of a wide range of actors in the health setting.
Finally there will be on-going projects from the previous year which may give rise to further opportunities.