Belgium-Netherlands, Education, 2018

Healthy Life – Healthy Workplace

20th August 2018

Ideation workshop in Rotterdam focused improving health outcomes in the workplace

On 7 and 8 November, EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands organised the second of three EIT Health Ideation Workshops in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Ideation Workshop focused on the Focus Areas “Employer leadership in improving health outcomes in the workplace” and “Foster healthy lives by introducing behavioural change.” With over 80 participants from all over Europe, these two days were packed with inspirational encounters and knowledge sharing between creative and innovative people and enterprising scientists.

Keynote – Mental illness is the disease of youth:

After a warm welcome by EIT Health’s CEO Jan-Philipp Beck and Menno Kok (director of EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands), professor Witte Hoogendijk, Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Department of Psychiatry of the Erasmus MC, explained the interventions for behavioural and emotional risk reduction in youth through a prediction, prevention, personalised and participatory approach.

Mental illness is the disease of youth. This is very alarming to see and we need to develop effective interventions to prevent mental diseases at this early stage: “We must tackle burn-out before they start working and need to ask them what would you like to do to release stress.”

How to ideate & develop new project ideas?

It can be very challenging to be able to come up with new project ideas. Ideation is all about diverging and then converging. First, challenges we face were explored and followed by a generation of as many ideas as possible.


At the end of day one, more than 450 ideas were recorded! Day two was about developing a feasible and compelling concept and all groups pitched one project idea at the end of the day. These project ideas will be transformed into project proposals by the groups in the upcoming weeks in the WeDaVinci platform.

Utilize Campus opportunities:

On day one, Dr. Ursula Mühle, Director of Education of EIT Health, explained the EIT Health Campus Portfolio and how Campus empowers Europe’s top talent, leaders and citizens with new opportunities and resources.

“Through the rapid growth in the health workforce demand, new skills on providing high quality are needed.”

There is an evolution going on from the past with a focus on treating illnesses, to the future with a focus on prevention and wellness – where health and wellness is much more integrated into every day life. To be able to keep up with this evolution, new skills and a new mindsets are needed to empower citizens to manage their own health.

Rapidly aging population:

We gain a weekend every week!

Before the group work started on day two, Jeroen Kemperman, Senior Manager of Strategy & Business Development, Zilveren Kruis, took the stage to tell us all about changing business models in healthcare: “There is a need for brilliant business models which are able to improve healthcare on the workplace and in daily life. But take your time! The creation and construction of a new and brilliant business model requires years, if not decades!”

Lessons learned:

  • Rapidly aging population – we gain a weekend every week
  • 1/3 of the population has a chronic disease
  • There are increasing demands and expectations from consumers in services and healthcare
  • Productivity in healthcare is not truly rising and it still remains labor intensive
  • A big challenge exists in ensuring that daily life overtakes healthcare instead of the other way around

Something to think about:

The focus areas looked at breakthroughs OUTSIDE HEALTH(CARE) to IMPROVE HEALTH.

Rethink the following with this changed perspective in mind:

“Employer leadership in improving health outcomes in the workplace” – “From workplace to health place” – EIT Health will deliver improved healthcare to employees and consequently financial benefits to employers, by going beyond the traditional expectation of employer responsibility for health in the workplace.


“Foster healthy lives by introducing behavioral change” – “From dealing with disease & disability to healthy lives” – EIT Health will supply tools and incentives to citizens to modify their way of life, to prevent the early onset of ageing, disease and disability, and to profit from more years in health and wellbeing.

EIT Health will focus on providing opportunities especially to children, and other vulnerable or marginalised groups.

From ideation to action:

At the end of the meeting, Patrick van Luijk, Owner of Biocheck and former Olympic sportsman, showed us some moves which are important for staying healthy and vital during working periods as well. Shoes off and keep on moving (and laughing)!

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