Ten years ago, in the British Medical Journal, Machteld Huber, André Knottnerus, Henk Smid, Alex Jadad and many others published a new concept of health in which resilience and self-reliance are central. In the Netherlands this concept has been further developed into Positive Health’ by Machteld Huber and in Canada, into Trusted networks by Alex Jadad. How has this concept changed our health care systems? How can this concept develop even further? And how can you use it personally?

The Conference 10 years ‘Health as the ability to adapt and self-manage
Towards a resilient society

On 11 November, the Institute for Positive Health (iPH), the Dutch organisation for health research and care innovation (ZonMw) and the Health Council of the Netherlands (GR) are organising  a festive conference to reflect together on the 10 years of applying this dynamic vision on health and to explore possible routes towards a resilient society.

What are the next steps we need to take together to make Positive Health and Trusted Networks add value in all domains, so health inequalities become smaller, we age more vitally, and we can have a more open dialogue about social issues? What impact would this have, and how can we keep healthcare affordable?

We have designed  a special online programme for our international participants. to join in the English livestream. There are online session as well as prerecorded videos and you can participate in live workshops and Q&A sessions.


We promise an inspiring programme with words of welcome by Karolien van den Brekel and Barbara Piper-Roelofs. There will be a short overview what has been going on in relation to Positive Health over the past years and you will learn more about Trusted Networks by Alex Jadad.

For whom is interested we will share a presentation about Positive Health by Karolien van den Brekel and she will answer questions in a live Q&A session together with Alex Jadad.

In the afternoon you can join the interactive workshop:

Working with Positive Health, broad perspective of health, patient empowerment, various international experiences. With input from:

Iceland: with Gudjon Hauksson HAS, East Iceland, Elinborg Bardardottir, from Primary Care perspective, Gígja Gunnarsdóttir, Health promoting Community Iceland & Jorlaug Heimisdóttir from Iceland‘s Development Centre for Primary Health. Iceland‘s health-promoting communities, and the implementation of the Positive Health in primary health care.

Danmark: Lars Münter, Danish Committee for Health Education
The Danish self-care initiative and its links to the principles of Positive Health

Spain, Andalusia: Pablo García-Cubillana & Francisco Ruiz Domínguez , Regional Ministry of Health and Families
The Andalusian Strategy Promoting Health Living in Andalusia, built on the principles of Positive Health, health equity, Health in All Policies, and health at the local level.

UK: David Somekh, European Health Futures Forum & a colleague ,  the European Centre for Empowering Patients and Communities (CEmPaC)
Introduction to CEmPaC’s key activities and goals, training plans in the UK, and how Positive Health fits into that picture

Vitality for Future, Stephan Hermsen and a speaker from the EU primary Care Network

At the end of the conference we will launch the international English speaking online training program: “Working with Positive Health”. We will finish at 15.30 hrs.

For whom?

The conference is interesting for a wide audience that is interested in Positive Health:

  • Scientists
  • Policy makers
  • People working in health care, social care, education, etc., who work, or want to work, with Positive Health and other aspects of ‘Ability to adapt…’.


Karolien van den Brekel

General Practitioner and consultant prevention/positive health on local, regional and (inter)national level and author "Handboek Positieve Gezondheid in huisartspraktijk, samenwerken aan betekenisvolle zorg"

Barbara Piper-Roelofs

Senior Advisor Education & International Programs Positive Health

Machteld Huber

Founder and strategic advisor iPH

Alex Jadad

Founder, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada

Caroline Costongs

Director at EuroHealthNet and expert in public health and health promotion