global Health AND social


for health care

Professionals & Students


Some of the most exceptional examples of social innovation are found in India’s health sector.

Global Health and Social Innovation is not a typical medical mission or class. Rather it is a rigorous global health program focused on teaching medical and health care professionals and students, innovation and design tools that challenge assumptions and help them craft healthcare solutions that meet the real needs of people in developing countries.


For:  Medical and health care professionals or graduate level students in health care fields: medicine, public administration, nursing, hospital administration, etc.

Location: India

dates: TBD

Duration: TBD

CosTs: TBD

size: TBD


Possible academic or CEU credits available through partner for some participants.  

InnovatiVE Health

During this two week program, medical, nursing and public health professionals and graduate students explore challenges of health care delivery as well as innovative approaches to detect, treat, and manage disease for India's most vulnerable and poorest people.


In expert-led workshops, participants learn best practice innovation and design tools which they apply during field exercises and while working on consulting projects in the health sector. 

Global Health and Social Innovation emphasizes peer-learning on collaborative projects with Indian students and health professionals that bring fresh ideas, address constraints, and trouble-shoot problems in order to improve health care to the poor and those living in remote villages and slums. 



The program sets India’s development context through experiences and exercises that delve into the health care needs of patients from the lowest echelons of society as well as reasons behind the failure to provide adequate health care services. Public health and medical professionals and students learn about how poor infrastructure such as inadequate roads, limited or non-existent power, and the lack of reasonable access to safe drinking water, exacerbates health problems and complicate care delivery. Participants also examine systemic problems like poor education and transportation along with more insidious issues of discrimination, policy, and cultural practices that perpetuate the cycle of disease and poverty as well as pose immense challenges to delivering health care. 

Problem Analysis

& empathy

To be able to craft an effective solution to a social problem, participants must gain a deep understanding of the problem which cannot be taught in a classroom, but must be learned through experience.  While participants learn and practice primary market research and social problem analysis techniques in the program, most importantly, they learn the art of listening to those affected by these problems. Through living and working in rural villages and urban slums, participants get a rare, intimate firsthand view that enables them to understand health-related problems caused and perpetuated by poverty. As well, they develop a sense of empathy for the people affected by them.


Participants  explore their own vision of social innovation in their work and aspirations for the future. They  receive peer and instructor feedback on realizing this vision in their home community and craft a plan to achieve it. 


Global Health and Social Innovation participants examine a range of innovative models, practices, processes, and inventions that tackle some of India’s most pressing health problems and reach and serve the health care needs of the country’s most vulnerable and poorest people—those living on less than $2.00 per day. Through a combination of site visits, field work, workshops and consulting projects, health professionals and students explore several types of innovative approaches in India’s health sector:

  • The use of tele-medicine; high and appropriate technology products to aid treatment or manage health outcomes in rural areas.

  • Emergency services and urgent care rendered in remote villages and urban slums.

  • The provision of affordable specialty medicine and surgery.

  • Child and maternal healthcare for the very poor.

  • Management of chronic disease among poor, rural, and uneducated populations.


Solutions Design

In expert-led workshops on innovation and prototyping sessions, this program introduces best practice social innovation design frameworks, such as Design Thinking, Human Centered Design and Pro-Poor design. Participants test frameworks in field exercises and then refine them according to the on-the-ground realities they encounter. Participants practice design concepts through workshop simulations and prototyping exercises to craft a new process, invention, model or tool aimed at improving approaches to healthcare or introducing new ones to help prevent, detect, treat, and manage disease among the most vulnerable. 


Innovation Project

Participants team with Indian health sector colleagues to apply health innovation design methods, and other lessons learned during a short consulting assignment at a hospital, clinic, nonprofit, or social enterprise.


Host health sector organizations identify a crucial problem or constraint for consulting teams to work on and innovate solutions for. Consulting is an opportunity for participants to apply their health care skills in a developing country context through projects that address clinical, managerial, systems issues in access to healthcare, cost, appropriateness and delivery. It is also an opportunity for peer learning and collaborative team work. 

Expert Instructors
Learn technical aspects of designing innovation and creating impact in health sector from leading experts.
Health Innovation Tools 
Learn new frameworks, tools and approaches to apply to impact work & social innovation during the program and at home.
Development Experience
Gain credible global health experience in developing country.  Learn about strategies to effect change. 
Work with local peers in health sector on collaborative projects and benefit from multiple and multicultural perspectives. 
Teach and mentor others working in health while receiving master personal and professional coaching. 
Apply your skills and experience to create impact by helping to build capacity of a local health organization, mentoring health workers or conducting clinical work. 
Meet and connect with like minded  people.  Make friends for life as well as new job contacts. 
New Perspectives
 Gain empathy and insights from peers, participants, and experience at large. Incorporate in personal and professional plans.

health innovation 


Consulting projects come to us from our health sector partners based on their needs. We match participants to projects by experience and interest.

Projects are diverse; below is a just a sample of areas in which  participants can work:

  • Pre-, neo- and post natal care

  • Affordable & accessible care for the poor

  • Child maternal health

  • Chronic disease management

  • Rural health delivery

  • Palliative & hospice care 

  • Worker health and safety

  • Waste management

  • Organ donation 

  • Early disease detection 

  • Technology in healthcare

  • Disease prevention

  • Public health education

  • Specialty care and surgery: cardiatric, kidney, etc. 

  • Preventative health care

  • More...


“Having the opportunity to work in the field with Indian health care professionals was such a valuable experience for learning to navigate the complexities of the Indian health system."

— Ali Mondragon, RN, MIM

What costs are included


  • Pre-consulting training.

  • Professionally led workshops, lectures and training.

  • Site visits to social ventures and field projects.

  • Faculty, subject matter experts and social entrepreneurs.

  • Project placement and mentoring support. 

  • In-country travel - all transportation including airport pickup and drop off, field visits and excursions. 

  • All lodging. 

  • Meals during pre-consulting training and program workshops.

  • All educational materials and supplies.

What's  not includeD


  • Round trip international airfare to / from India.

  • Visa and vaccines. 

  • Tourism and travel outside of regular program.  

  • Indian mobile phone/cell charges in India.

  • Souvenirs, gifts and personal items.  

Social Innovation in Health Examples


Mission: to elimate needless blindness

World class social enterprise, Aravind Eye Hospital, grew significantly after its Founder, Dr. Venkataswamy (Dr.V) took a trip to the US and found inspiration in the efficient operations of McDonald's hamburger franchise.  Upon his return to India Dr. V. decided to replicate the chain’s management practices of assembly-line, strict quality norms, brand recognition, standardization, consistency, ruthless cost control and above all, volume in his 11 bed eye clinic. Today, Aravind Eye Hospital is the world’s most efficient eye hospital. In 2015 alone, Aravind conducted 92,816 eye surgeries with over 60% rendered free of charge to the poor.

Franchise model of affordable maturnity care

Nearly 2 million babies die in India every year; many die during child birth or in their first month of life. Especially effected are the poor who often have their babies at home in unsafe conditions. Life Springs Hospitals is a maturity hospital franchise that offers high quality and low cost maternity services to low income families. Life Spring Hospitals works overcome cultural barriers to healthcare access educate family and community members about the benefits of giving birth in a hospital.

Mission: to deliver better health care within walking distance everywhere

World Health Partners (WHP) provides health services in low-income countries by harnessing local market forces to work for the poor. Leveraging existing social and economic infrastructure, they use the latest advances in communication, diagnostic, and medical technology to establish large scale, cost-effective health service networks. WHP’s market-based approach focuses on making change on a large scale by building on existing human and physical resources, combined with appropriate use of low-cost technologies, to improve access and quality of care.

Embrace is a social enterprise that aims to help millions of vulnerable babies through a low cost infant warmer, designed for a resource constrained area with limited or no electricity. The Embrace Infant Warmer costs a fraction of the price of current equipment used for keeping babies warm. The long term vision of the company is to develop a line of affordable healthcare technologies.

mDhil Health is India’s largest online health community, which has massive outreach through its creative use of technology.  mDhil Health creates and disseminate basic healthcare information to Indians via text messaging, mobile web, and interactive digital content.

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