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Creating a Social Movement for Health

RSA Event


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Communities
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Public services


In its recent ‘Five Year Forward View’, the NHS set out a bold new vision for its future. In the face of ever growing pressure on services, the report argues the need for large-scale transformation and new models of care if we are to maintain a sustainable and universal health service.

A particular focus of interest is on the potential of social movements to organize and lead change, as opposed to traditional top-down programmes. Social movement theory offers a grass-roots model of healthcare, one which mobilises communities and empowers patients and citizens to manage their own health.

What exactly are social movements, however, and what does it take to start one? How can innovative local ideas be scaled up? How can we measure whether this model really does make services more effective and efficient? In short, does it work?

Join us at the RSA for a discussion between Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer, Horizons Team, NHS England; Jos de Blok, founder and CEO, Buurtzorg; Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham Council and Halima Khan, Executive Director of HealthLab, Nesta.

As part of this programme, and in partnership with NEF and Nesta, the RSA will be running a private seminar earlier in the day exploring these themes with key health leaders, community activists and health practitioners. Attendees will learn about Nesta’s new report on health, and be able to attend a masterclass with RSA Albert Award Winner Jos de Blok.

If you are interested in finding out more about the seminar, please contact:

Read the report Health as a Social Movement: the power of people in movements - a new report from Nesta

Find out more about the wider programme of work on Health as a Social Movement.


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Related events

  • Creating a Social Movement for Health

    Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

    Healthcare innovators Helen Bevan and Jos de Blok join our expert panel to explore the potential of social movements to organize and lead service transformation.