HUMANS AND NATURE

Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most challenging problems that the world as a whole is and will be facing for decades to come. Crucially, there are strong regional differences both in terms of the contribution to the causes of climate change and in the extent to which it will affect the region. This is the case when the UK and Latin America are compared, with the former focusing more on climate mitigation, and the latter on climate adaption.

 

As climate change is a global phenomenon, this duality requires dialogue and discussion across borders -- especially between regions with very disparate situations in this arena, such as the UK and Latin America. Shaping Horizons will provide a platform to discuss how the two problems can be tackled coherently and efficiently.

Biodiversity

The term biodiversity refers to the variety of all forms of life on Earth, from plants and animals to all the ecosystems of the planet, including areas as diverse as farms, croplands, rainforests and coral reefs. The complex and delicate balance between all living organisms has direct impact on resources as crucial to our wellbeing as potable water, fertile soils, or breathable air. The massive loss of biodiversity that we are experiencing could potentially have as dramatic an effect as climate change, although the topic has so far attracted fewer headlines.

 

Again, there are important regional differences on how to deal with the issue, and therefore the platform provided by Shaping Horizons, which will include some of the world’s leading experts in this topic, will be ideal for triggering new ideas that can guide the future steps to save the equilibrium of life on Earth.  

Biomedical Innovation

Biomedical research is one of the fastest developing areas in science nowadays and its importance is highlighted by its direct impact on the clinic. Innovation in this field is the foundation underlying great advancements in understanding human health and disease. Biomedical breakthroughs make the development of tools and systems to support human health and well-being possible. Fundamental discoveries in the past century, like antibiotics and the structure of DNA, have revolutionized the way we think about disease and treatment and have had a profound impact on our everyday lives by increasing lifespan, health span and the quality of life.

 

Nonetheless, the growing ageing population and the increased burden of chronic diseases still pose challenges for biomedical science. Advancements in genomics for the development of gene therapy, in stem cell technology for regenerative medicine and in structural and molecular biology for target drug delivery are all pivotal for the future of basic bio-science, as well as for bringing solutions to the clinic. We will bring renowned leaders to discuss some of these milestones and future directions in these areas.

Future of Healthcare

Recent developments in biomedical research and technology have the potential of changing dramatically the traditional healthcare paradigm. The availability of large amounts of data and the advent of wearables may pave the way to the implementation of artificial intelligence in the clinic, and the advent of telemedicine.

 

One of the main questions that we face is how we will make sure that these innovations add value to the current system, making it more accessible to everyone and sustainable in the long term. In parallel, we are also facing one of the most critical challenges in the recent history of healthcare, that of antibiotic resistance. We will have some of the leading worldwide experts in this area, who will engage in discussions on how we should deal with these matters.