The mission of the WLSA is to remove barriers to bring together the most committed organizations and thought leaders from all sectors of the community.
For the past 50 years, lives have been extended in industrialized societies but in the past 20 years rates of obesity and certain chronic diseases have skyrocketed in rich and poor countries. The prime culprit seems to be behavior-driven damage to our own bodies. Starting with the discovery of antibiotics, vaccines and antivirals, medical technology has saved millions of lives. We seem to have a collective mindset that technology will save us from the consequences of our own behavior. This assumption threatens our lives, our pocketbooks and our social contract.
Citizens cannot assume that someone else, or some technology, will take care of their own health. We must embrace the responsibility and demand the policies, tools and the institutional transparency that are needed to discharge it. This is not easy. It is difficult to change personal habits and the public’s mindset about health and healthcare. Entrenched bureaucracies, professions and institutions will fight to maintain their positions. However, technology and the knowledge that it is creating make it possible to identify and implement the changes that are necessary to achieving our societal goals.
The mission of the WLSA is to remove those barriers and we will do so by continuing to bring together the most committed organizations and thought leaders from all sectors of the community. This involves our continued promotion of technology-enabled disruption of inefficient markets, as happened to retail and entertainment. Equally important is the organization of individuals, as happened with the environmental movement. Combining the power of technology with empowered consumers will allow us to achieve our societal goals for human achievement.