The Whole-of-Society (WoS) Model of Health and Economic Convergence
This research examines the causes and solutions at the nexus of health, disease, and their many dynamic and interdependent agro-ecological, social, industrial, and economic determinants. These factors operate on multiple scales, such as; households, regional, province/state, country and international. This line of work aims to harness the full capacity of digital technologies, Big Data and computational systems sciences to establish much needed information bridges to guide sectoral and cross-sectoral practices, policies, system design, and innovation.
The WoS framework recognizes that most of the policy and innovation levers for the prevention and control of obesity, NCDs, and diet-related health conditions lie outside the formal health system in sectors such as agriculture, food, transportation, education and media. As a result, sophisticated strategies involving agricultural and trade policies, supply/value chain management, education and the health systems are needed to develop change.
Brain-to-Society Choice Model for Physical and Mental Health
Despite progress made in understanding the interactions between environment and genetics to define the level of risk of neurobehavioral diseases, there is a need to better understand the nature of choice and behaviour related to their prevention and treatment.
Recent neuroscience research has generated detailed models of the brain circuits involved in reward processing, decision-making and self-control in humans that are highly relevant to understanding maladaptive, motivated behaviours. Neuroscience has typically considered individual components of behaviour one at a time, divorced from the complexity of the social and physical environment that is obviously important in real life. Thus, there are important gaps in what we know, and what we need to know to move from the laboratory to real world behavior.
The overarching goal of the Brain-to-Society (BtS) research program at MCCHE is to develop and articulate a transdisciplinary and translational framework, anchored into decision neuroscience and behavioral economics, to improve what individuals and society can do to achieve better physical and mental health.
The Complex Collaboration Model of Business Engagement and Cross-Sector Partnership
Our Complex Collaboration model begins with a firm understanding that operating practices in the private sector are designed to enhance competitiveness and economic conditions of business. Change in health behaviors by this sector must account for these motivations. Solving societal challenges requires collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and involves diverse groups and societal sectors. The process is not well understood and requires new ways of organization and research to solve stubborn society-wide health problems.
The focus of this research pillar is on the interfaces between business with community, governments and other actors in agriculture, food, health, and healthcare systems. Research examines design, management and governance processes of this complex collaboration that impact the economic sustainability of these sectors and our ability to prevent and control nutrition and health problems in both the general population and in the most underserved communities.