IMPACT joins the United Nations General Assembly Science Summit

After years of closed borders and virtual meetings, experts from around the world were finally able to meet face-to-face in New York City for the Science Summit at the 77th United Nations General Assembly last month. 

Global experts joined together in recognition of the importance of enhancing international collaboration in the domain of research, innovation, policy and economics being key for effectively addressing today’s societal challenges and improving the brain health and wellbeing of people across the world. 

Director of IMPACT, Professor Michael Berk and Adjunct Professor, Dr Harris Eyre attended to represent Deakin University on the global stage.  

Dr Harris Eyre and Professor Michael Berk with the Science Summit participants

The group gathered in the Experience Room, 55 Hudson Yards, Manhattan, which was generously provided by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. 

The official hosts of the event were the European Brain Council. Co-hosts included Cohen Veterans Bioscience, the Brain Capital Alliance, Novartis, the OECD Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative and the European Brain Research Area. 

Brain Capital: a dangerous idea to align and embolden the brain science community  

World leaders in neuroscience connected at the Global Partnerships in Brain Research event to highlight existing global partnerships and explore exciting collaborations for the future.  

Key partners at the event discussed brain capital as a key framework for future directions, with Dr Harris Eyre sharing his unique research into brain capital. Eyre is the lead of the Brain Capital Alliance and co-lead of the OECD Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative.  

Lundbeck, a major central nervous system pharmaceutical company, recently noted in their brain health position statement, ‘The world is increasingly relying on brain capital, where a premium is put on brain skills and brain health (e.g. individual’s cognitive, emotional, and social brain resources).’ 

The World Health Organisation also released a position statement last month and noted ‘Investing in building brain capital is fundamental to meet modern societal challenges and to drive innovation.’. 

‘Brain capital assumes that our brains are our greatest asset and provides an approach to define brain issues, quantify them, and track them. Brain Capital can be driven into policies and investments. Our new Brain Capital Alliance is a public-private-people partnership.’ says Dr Eyre. 

Brain capital was also recently included in reports by PwC and the United Nations Development Programme. 

Dr Harris Eyre presenting Brain Capital: emboldening the brain science community

Where next? 

Exciting investments are on the horizon since the Brain Capital Alliance was formed.  

William Hynes DPhil was a featured speaker at the launch of the WHO brain health position statement. He has been a key driver of brain capital work. Hynes is head of the New Approaches to Economics theme at Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, senior advisor to the OECD Secretary General and co-lead of the OECD Neuroscience-inspired Policy Initiative (NIPI). Hynes commented on the evolution of brain capital 

“Brain capital is a powerful platform for change. It is a holistic approach to understanding and promoting the role of the brain, brain skills and brain health” 

IMPACT is the Brain Capital Hub for Australasia, involved in leading, influencing and learning from global brain capital activities.  

The brain capital work will also be showcased by Eyre at the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November of this year. There he and colleagues will discuss linkages between the brain and climate change, such as ecoanxiety and the challenges of climate misinformation.   

Explore our series on Brain Capital, online here.