IBRO Presidential Panel at IBRO 2023 

Brain health in times of global challenges 

We are currently facing a global crisis in brain health. The impact of political instability and international and regional health and social challenges, following the devastation from the pandemic, as well as the current stress regarding climate change has led to a growing brain health emergency that is disproportionally affecting vulnerable communities in under-resourced countries around the globe. As neuroscientists, we focus on basic and clinical research to design and develop new approaches to diseases. It is important to also ensure that there is a conversation and engagement with the communities that are most impacted, as many of our colleagues in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia and Eastern Europe lack resources and research funding. The IBRO World Congress will provide a venue where we meet each other, share ideas, and develop collaborations that elevate all of neuroscience research and training.

Moderated by IBRO President, Tracy L. Bale, the IBRO Presidential Panel at the IBRO 2023 World Congress will provide unique perspectives from world experts, including Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee, and the former Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr, both of whom have a global voice and vision for health equity and women’s rights advocacy. In addition, George Mpanga, or George the Poet, a Peabody award-winning spoken-word artist will also present his perspective on social and political issues impacting our brain health. 

This exciting panel discussion will be followed by curated questions from the audience. 

Learn more about the speakers:

Epsy Campbell Barr (Member of the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on People of African Descent)

A former Vice-President of Costa Rica (2018-2022), former Minister of Foreign Affairs  (2018), two times Congresswoman (2002-2006 and 2014-2018), and current president of the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, Epsy Campbell Barr chairs PAHO/WHO’s High-level Commission on Mental Health. Dr. Barr is a robust mental health and health equity advocate and researcher with dozens of publications on democracy, inclusion, women’s rights, the environment, people of African descent, racism, and racial discrimination.

Learn more about her.

Leymah Gbowee (2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate)

A Liberian peace activist, social worker, and women’s rights advocate, Leymah Gbowee is Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, which, based in Monrovia, Liberia, provides educational and leadership development opportunities for women, girls, and youth. Leymah Gbowee has spoken about “The Open Mind Challenge,” – making conscious efforts to cross borders of fears, tearing down the invisible walls that lead us to peace rather than divisions – which is of particular relevance given the current global brain health climate.

Learn more about her.

George Mpanga (aka George the Poet)

George the Poet is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage. His innovative brand of musical poetry has won him critical acclaim both as a recording artist and social commentator and seen his work broadcast to billions of people worldwide. In 2019, his audio offering ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’ won a prestigious Peabody Award and 5 Gold British Podcast Awards, including the highly coveted Podcast of the Year. More accolades followed in the years to come, including an NME Award, two Gold ARIAS, three New York Festival Awards and more. In 2021, The University of London presented George with an honorary doctorate in literature. George is now embarking on a PhD at UCL’S Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, under the supervision of the institute’s founder, Mariana Mazzucato, and Reader in Educational Leadership at UCL’s Institute Of Education, Dr. Karen Edge. His research focuses on the socio-economic potential of black music.

Learn more about him.

  Tracy L. Bale – IBRO president (moderator)

Where: Auditorio Lorca, Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Paseo del Violón, Granada, Spain

When: Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 17:45 – 19:15

The IBRO Presidential Panel is supported by Elsevier.