The patterning of hope

Autumn 2014
Margaret Hannah

Deputy Director of Public Health, NHS Fife; Member of International Futures Forum.
I have worked in public health for more than two decades. During this time I have explored fresh thinking in order to respond to our current and anticipated health challenges more effectively. I am indebted to people in NHS Fife, International Futures Forum, and many others in helping to shape these ideas into practical action.


Our current ways of solving problems are unable to turn the tide on an accumulation of the evident health challenges that are emerging in the 21st century.A simple framework called Three Horizons can be helpful in opening up different perspectives and generating useful insights to support innovations which offer a more promising future.This paper describes three such examples from public health, care of older people and developing children’s psychological literacy.

First Paragraph

For many people of my generation in public health, John Ashton and Howard Seymour’s book, The New Public Health was an inspiration (Ashton and Seymour 1988). It plotted a path of public health from its Victorian roots to the 1980s. Many people I speak to who have read the book are particularly impressed by a series of photos from a class of schoolchildren in Liverpool going back 100 years. From stunted, adenoidal faces in the late 19th century to the smiling, white-toothed, well-looking children of the 1970s the pictures are a graphic account of the progress made in health gain over that time.