"Beijing Forum 2023: One Health and Innovative Ecosystem"

Stanford Center, Peking University

The 20th Beijing Forum:One Health and Innovative Ecosystem was held at Stanford Center, Peking University, November 4, 2023. The 2023 Forum was coorganized by Beijing Forum, Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development (GHD) and the R&D-Based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC). At the Forum, many leading scholars and global leaders from academia and public as well private sectors shared their views and insights concerning on human health and medical innovation in the context of one health and innovative ecosystem development.


Fig.1 A panoramic view of the forum site

The Forum started with the first Session on  "One Health and Innovative Ecosystem", moderated by Prof. Qin Xuezheng, Associate Dean of the School of Economics at Peking University and Associate Dean of Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development. The opening remarks were delivered by Prof. Gordon G. Liu, Dean of Peking University Institute for Global Health Development and elected member of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and Prof. Lei Xiaoyan, Academic Chair of Peking University National School of Development, PKU BOYA Distinguished Professor and the Director of PKU Center for Healthy Aging and Development Studies.


Fig.2 Opening remark by Prof. Gordon G.Liu


Fig.3 Opening remark by Prof. Lei Xiaoyan


Fig.4 Moderated by Prof.Qin Xuezheng

Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Gene Block delivered a keynote speech, stating that higher education researchers need to focus on three important aspects in promoting global health development: interdisciplinary and international cooperation, advocating community participation, and combining global experiences and local characteristics. He emphasized that researchers around the world should be free to share information and resources when addressing major health challenges.


Fig.5 Keynote speech by Chancellor Gene Block

Professor Holden Thorp, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science, delivered a keynote speech titled "Getting Health Information Out Accurately: Why International Collaboration is More Important Than Ever". In his presentation, he emphasized the paramount significance of scientific collaboration. Professor Thorp underscored that scientists had the responsibility to demonstrate the existence of a self-correcting system capable of overcoming human biases. This system should facilitate mutual oversight and self-monitoring among scientists in a manner that ultimately leads to a consensus, thereby strengthening public trust in the scientists.


Fig.6 Keynote speech by Prof. Holden Thorp (online)

Dr. Jean-Christophe Pointeau, President of Pfizer China and Chairman of RDPAC Executive Committee, delivered his keynote speech on "Key Factors and Prospects for Promoting the Development of Pharmaceutical Innovations in China". He pointed out that the development of precise medicine drugs can help to make cancer a chronic disease, and also extend life expectancy of patients. China has already become the second largest market for pharma innovation, and the shortening of the approval time for new drugs and the improvement of the medical insurance reimbursement system in recent years have further stimulated the market potential in China.


Fig.7 Keynote speech by Dr. Jean-Christophe Pointeau

During the roundtable discussion, Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer, former Chef de Cabinet of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, emphasized that "planetary health" is a concept that integrates the life and the health of a civilization with the natural systems on which it depends, and he called for more research to optimize the way policymakers make decisions.

Professor Joseph C. Kolars, Senior Associate Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School and Director of the University of Michigan Center for Global Health, stated that international cooperation facilitates the linking of leadership with the actual practitioners who were able tocreate new knowledge, and he shared the relevant valuable collaborative practices and outcomes.

Ms. Kang Wei, Executive Advisor of RDPAC, believed that accelerating innovation, increasing investment, and attracting talents to invest in basic research are very important for the innovation ecosystem domestically and globally. Dr. Yu Xuefeng, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of CanSino Biologics Inc., pointed out that any global problem had to be solved globally, with scientists, governments, and all efforts coordinated. Dr. Gu Chengming, Country Medical Lead of Sanofi Greater China, shared his views on how the innovations in digital transformation had driven the changes in ecosystem from a perspective from the corporate practices.


Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer


Dr. Yu Xuefeng


Ms. Kang Wei  


Prof. Joseph C. Kolars


Dr. Gu Chengming

Session II tackled on the theme of "Digital Technology in Medical Innovation", moderated by Prof. Huang Cheng, Professor of Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development. First, Professor Richard Hobbs, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Director of Institute of Digital Health, delivered a keynote speech on  "Exemplifying Precision Medicine through Digital Health Applications." He introduced digital health applications and the realization of precision medicine, emphasizing that the analysis of clinical electronic health record data can not only contribute to the development of digital drugs, diagnostic advancements, and achievement of integrated clinical pathways supported by digital health but also enable monitoring and tracking of respiratory diseases, calculation of the population disease burden, realization of disease prognosis and risk estimation, as well as guiding changes in system, physician, and patient behavior.


Fig.9 Keynote speech by Prof. Richard Hobbs

Dr. Brian Miller, the Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Intuitive Surgical, delivered a keynote speech titled "Helping advance care with data, insights, and actions". He stressed the importance of data in robotic surgery and highlighted the potential for enhancing clinical outcomes, facilitating personalized learning for surgeons, and continually refining surgical procedures by integrating data, insights, and actions in a positive feedback loop. This approach enables a greater focus on surgical skills and education for more surgeons, the establishment of efficient workflows, and the enhancement of overall efficiency.


Fig.10 Keynote speech by Dr.Brian Miller


Fig.11 Moderated by Prof. Huang Cheng

During the roundtable discussion, on behalf of Professor Liu Rong, his colleague Dr. Zhang Xuan, Associate Chief Physician of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital, shared Liu Rong's insights on how digital technology could play a key role in healthcare innovation, taking the development of surgical robotics in China as an example. Prof. Chen Xi, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Economics at Yale University and Adjunct Professor at Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development, emphasized the importance of ensuring access to clinical trials at the outset of drug innovation, where the downstream companies could benefit. Mr. Zhang Lee Ligang, Founder, Chairman & CEO, iKangHealthcare Group, elaborated on how artificial intelligence and technological innovation could effectively promote population health, and analyzed the future direction of the healthcare system with case studies. Mr. David Shi, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Digital Health China Technologies, considered that "small model, big application" was more valuable, and that quick and short-term prediction could better meet the actual clinical needs.


Deputy Director Zhang Xuan


Prof. Chen Xi


Mr. Zhang Lee Ligang


Mr. David Shi

In the closing remark, Prof. Xu Ming, Director of the Department of Global Health at Peking University School of Public Health and Associate Dean of Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development, summarized the connotation of health innovation as the development and delivery of new and optimized health policies, systems, products, technologies, and services that could improve people's health based on the discussions at the forum. He then explained his understanding of "One Health" from the perspective of Chinese philosophy, which was not only about the way we behave, but also about the integration of man and nature. Finally, he advocated that all parties should join together to proactively engage in health innovation and work together to create an enabling environment for more innovation.


Fig.13 Closing Remark by Prof. Xu Ming

A Brief Overview of the Beijing Forum

Since 2004, the Beijing Forum has been held annually. It is sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Government and is overseen by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Peking University, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, and Chey Institute for Advanced Studies co-sponsor the Beijing Forum, an international academic event.

Beijing Forum prides itself on three distinctive characteristics: its being international, academic, and with far-reaching impact. For the past 20 years, more than 7000 distinguished dignatories and scholars from around the world have convened in Beijing for the Forum, demonstrating its importance and significance.

The theme chosen for the first Beijing Forum, in 2004, “The Harmony of Civilizations and Prosperity for All,” has been retained as the overarching theme for each succeeding forum--a testament to the event's unwavering advocacy of harmony and prosperity for all members of the global community. To supplement and refine the discussion, a sub- theme related to the overall concept of global peace and prosperity is chosen each year.

A Brief Overview of PKU Global Health and Development Forum

Health is a fundamental goal pursued by human beings and an indispensable human capital for the creation of economic wealth; the various burdens brought about by health problems are an important impediment to economic and social development. At the same time, development helps to improve the social determinants of health and promotes health through resource security; however, the problems brought about by development can also affect the social determinants of health, thus hindering the attainment of health. The intertwined relationship between health and development is an overarching issue that cuts across national boundaries and is shared by all of humanity.

Since its establishment on December 22, 2020, Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development holds an annual forum on global health and development, inviting global leaders and scholars to share their wisdoms and policy recommendations aiming to promote human health, innovative environment, and inclusive development from the global perspective of one health.

Written by:Huitong Zhao, Ziting Wu,Meng Liu, Huyang Zhang, Nan Xiao,Yin Shi