Global Learning II: A Week of Learning, Self-Reflection and Developing Leadership for Health Equity Skills in Boston

Global Learning II: A Week of Learning, Self-Reflection and Developing Leadership for Health Equity Skills in Boston

“There’s no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – a quote from Margaret Wheatley, shared by Prof Hugh O’Doherty at the Adaptive Leadership session. 

Building from the insights gained in New Zealand, our 2024 Fellows reconvened in Boston, USA for their second and final Global Learning event exploring health equity as well as historical, cultural and diversity perspectives outside of Asia. From 7 to 15 June 2024, an enriching experience left our Fellows poised for the next stage of their Fellowship journey.

A crucial objective of Global Learning II was to develop a deeper understanding of health equity, unpack ongoing global development dynamics and trends, and learn key approaches for health equity actions. With the support of experts in the field discussing subjects such as Working Poor with Prof. Marty Chen and An Approach to Health System Thinking with Prof. Michael Reich, our Fellows made full use of every opportunity to dive deep and ask insightful questions. 

At the same time, being in a new city was also a perfect opportunity to experience innovative ways in which changemakers are addressing health inequities in different communities. Through visits hosted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Global Health Institute, J-PAL Poverty Lab Team and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), every day added a layer of understanding to the interconnected nature of health equity with issues like poverty, decolonization, education, environment, politics, human rights and food security.

With all of the new information and experiences, it was just as important for our Fellows to build their leadership skills and competencies needed to navigate their own unique and complex contexts. Interactive workshops including Negotiating the Impossible with Prof. Rand Wentworth, Adaptive Leadership with Dr. Hugh O’Doherty and Public Narrative and Community Organizing with Prof. Marshall Ganz – a personal highlight for many Fellows including Janu from Indonesia & Suan from Malaysia - were instrumental in reinforcing for Fellows that leadership is something that we can each continue to grow and improve.

Fellows also explored the city together through Harvard & MIT Guided Tours, Boston Duck Tour, and a visit to historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where they had time to continue to bond as a cohort. Fellows also took turns to facilitate daily debriefs to reflect on and make sense of each day’s experiences and learnings. As Due (2024 Fellow, Vietnam) shared, abstract values like equity, leadership, inclusion, diversity, and courage previously understood only in theory came to life through the practical examples and discussions explored. Having now gone through three Learning Events together, the 2024 Fellows cohort has built strong friendships that will set the foundation for subsequent events and collaborations to come.

The week of learning came to a joyous end with a dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club, where US-based CMB staff and special guests were invited to join our Fellows to celebrate the end of the Global Learning event. As each Fellow returned home brimming with ideas and inspiration, love and hope, we look forward to continuing our journey - this time in the region with the Asia Trek learning event scheduled for August in the Philippines.


“I walked this morning to a ‘place of healing’
Grasped a beautiful story from a ‘place of dignity’
I feel so loved
In a ‘place of hope.’"

Poem by Yusridar ‘Angie’ Mustafa, 2024 Fellow from Indonesia reflecting on her time during Global Learning II