On 18 November the Innovation Incubator showcased the wide variety of activities and concepts which NCDFREE has developed and championed since 2013, specifically focusing on the diverse communication and advocacy tools used to engage young professionals and students in the topics of NCDs and Global Health. The over 70 attendees gained innovative thinking, advocacy and leadership skills through interactive presentations, skill sharing and design-oriented exercises. In her keynote Ghada Mostafa Khalafallah from the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt introduced effective methods to use communication as a tool for organizing awareness campaigns. The event ultimately connected a diverse group of next generation thinkers and leaders with NCDs, NCDFREE and Global Health through stimulating and exciting activities.
On 19 November the Long Lunch attracted 35 young and established leaders within different health fields focusing on cancer. The programme framed the issue of cancer in the MENA Region, where the largest increase in cancer incidence in the next 15 years is likely to be in, taking into account the trends for all related risk factors. The event explored successful and innovative ways of decreasing the risk factors by tapping into health and non-health related topics such as smoking, nutrition, physical activity, environmental health and the built environment. Over a healthy three-course meal outstanding keynotes were delivered by Dr Asmus Hammerich Director for NCDs and mental health in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO), Prof Dr Dina Husseiny Salama, Chief Scientific investigator of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Prof Dr Malak Shaheen, Paediatrician and active advocate for NCDs in children (NCD Child) and Ms Enas Mohamed, corporate communications manager. During the event the participants gained a different perspective on the issue of cancer, as well as innovative thinking, advocacy and leadership skills.