The Conversation with Silvia Gold
In our blog series, “The Conversation”, we discuss how we can co-create agile and impactful interventions for a healthier world.
Meet Silvia Gold. A WHO Foundation’s founding board member, she is a biochemist and a founder of 45 years, together with her husband Hugo Sigman, of the pharmaceutical company Insud Pharma. She is the president of Mundo Sano Foundation, which was founded by her father 30 years ago, and that she has been running for 25 years. They primarily support transnational research that contributes to public health policy. Together, we discussed what drives her constant commitment to philanthropy and global health.
What values drive your philanthropy?
We are really committed to equity. We are part of a world where we want to live together. Equity is the main driver of imagining the kind of world we want to live in. And health is a human right. We are committed to justice. Philanthropy means realizing that we need each other in order to live well and have the opportunity to live in a comfortable world.
Why did you choose to give to the WHO Foundation?
WHO is the leader in global health governance. For us, WHO is the supreme example of who we look to for solving the big health challenges in the world. When the WHO Foundation was created, I thought it was an excellent idea because we need WHO at its strongest, but it is limited in its financing. I decided to become a founding donor to the WHO Foundation because I believe it can help bring resources to WHO’s mission. I thought it was the greatest idea and was very eager to support it.
Why do you think unrestricted funding is important?
I believe that in order to do a professional job, you need a professional team. So we were ready, motivated, and honored to be among the first donors to help fund the startup of the Foundation, in which we believe so much.
Today there are so many organizations that need support, but there’s a lot of fragmentation. For us, it’s best to concentrate our giving on where the technical knowledge and decision-makers are. WHO has the power, but not enough capacity. That is why we support the Foundation; to increase the capacity and impact of WHO.
How do you see your role as a WHO Foundation board member?
It was really an honor to be invited to the board and I hope I am contributing in that capacity. I come from the private sector, but I am also really committed to responding to global health needs. Because I understand the world of public health as well as the private sector, I think I can help link these worlds. We won’t solve big global problems like the COVID-19 pandemic if we don’t have real cooperation and increase our emergency preparedness by having public health systems supported by the private sector.
It’s nice to be part of a community and contribute, and I love being part of the WHO Foundation family. There is a lot of respect, kindness, and an overall focus on wellbeing. We can all come together with the Foundation and contribute to health for all, as a way to happiness.
To get more information, and to join the WHO Foundation efforts, visit our website.