ParisWHO was founded in 2014 by public health students from the École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique (EHESP). Their ambition was to create an event that would equip participants with skills in diplomacy, 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 in 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 including 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 enjoy speeches from leaders in the field and develop their own professional network Ultimately, we wish to create a platform that brings together diverse voices and inspires work on the most challenging and pertinent global health problems.