I am excited to report that on July 15, Ogilvy’s Social Marketing Group will be hosting an important and timely panel discussion entitled, “How Social Change Happens in the 21st Century.” Social change happens across multiple levels – among individuals and their networks, within social and economic environments, and through social policy. Our panel will explore the following questions: As marketing and communications professionals, how can we bring stakeholders together from all levels (e.g., communities, policy-makers, corporations) to inspire action and create programs that have a lasting effect? What are the most significant challenges and opportunities professionals face in bringing about change today?
We have brought together some of the nation’s leading experts to discuss these issues. Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Hospital, as well as author and contributor to The New York Times, will address the complexities around why individuals make certain health decisions, and the implications those decisions have on our health care system. Bill Novelli, professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, will discuss how the intersection of social marketing and policy affects change, and the need to put new policies in place that change how we live and plan our communities. Debbie Witchey, executive vice president of the Health Leadership Council, will address the implications of health care reform and the importance of cultivating public-private partnerships and increasing collaborations among government, community, policy, industry, and academic organizations.
Dr. Jauhar’s latest opinion piece was featured in the Health and Science section of The Times. Dr. Jauhar asks one of the toughest questions we are grappling with today: who should pay for bad health habits? He weighs the value of punitive measures to force healthy behavior versus incentives for good behavior, and says the proof so far is that neither work. Instead, social marketing offers the best solution: “Healthy living should be encouraged, but punishing patients who make poor health choices clearly oversimplifies a very complex issue. We should be focusing on public health campaigns: Encouraging exercise, smoking cessation and so on. Of course, this will require a change in how we live, how we plan our communities.”
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing additional insights from our panelists and other leading experts on this topic. I will also post some key insights shared by panelists and the audience on July 15. Stay tuned!