ParisWHO was first founded on December 1, 2014 by a group of public health students from the École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique (EHESP). Their goal was to create an event that would equip participants with skills in conflict resolution, problem solving, and leadership while simultaneously allowing them to develop innovative solutions to complex global health problems by engaging with the local, international, political, and social forces that affect health decisions. By bringing together individuals from different countries and disciplines, they sought to cultivate global perspectives and strengthen professional skills to train and build future leaders. Their hard work resulted in the development of the first ParisWHO simulation, which followed the configuration of a traditional World Health Assembly meeting. More than 100 participants from all over the world gathered on September 2015 to play the roles of WHO Member States, Non-Governmental Organizations, Pharmaceutical companies, and the Media. By representing these roles, they were able to discuss, debate, co-operate, and negotiate with other stakeholders in order to produce resolution papers that could be sent to the World Health Organization for consideration. Since then, the event has been held annually in the city of Paris with the support of EHESP faculty and has covered themes such as health innovation, health and migration, and environmental health.
We believe that the ever-growing ParisWHO simulation offers a groundbreaking experience that goes far beyond any classroom teaching, and exceptionally creates a toolbox of skills that are important in any global actor's careers. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for participants to forge new friendships while having a fun time enacting and taking on the character of a state or non- state actor. Ultimately, we wish to create a platform that brings together different intellectual voices and inspires engagement and motivation to solve what may seem to be impossible and protracted global health problems.