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Systems thinking for global health and strategic sustainable development 

Systems thinking for global health and strategic sustainable development
Systems thinking for global health and strategic sustainable development

Karl-Henrik Robèrt

, Michael T. Hernke

, Luke Fortney

, and Rian J. Podein

Page of

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date: 19 September 2020

Population health can be considered the ultimate goal of sustainability. The planetary system, with its boundaries and constraints for civilization, is the necessary starting point for a systems perspective sufficiently broad to operationalize sustainability and advance global health. Both detailed scientific information and the basic aetiology of unsustainability are needed to inform specific strategies, and tools, to resolve current and potentially unrecognized nature–health problems. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) operationalizes sustainable development from a long-term, global perspective. It provides a thorough understanding of humans’ dependence on sustainable development, and utilizes scientifically robust, operational principles of social and ecological sustainability. The principles address the fundamental mechanisms that underpin health, enabling a backcasting approach—that is, ‘looking back’ from a robust idea of sustainability in the future, and then innovating smart transition routes to systematically pursue global health.

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