The Novartis Foundation and NewCities designed AI4HealthyCities Dialogues to accelerate collaborations between governments on digital innovations and health.

Data and digital solutions have the potential to greatly improve the health of populations.  However, many governments, industry, legislators, technology experts and advocates everywhere seek to better understand, facilitate, and implement innovative technologies. Their benefits for urban population health must be balanced with responsible practices and implemented with ethics and accountability at the core.

Local solutions and creative ways to overcome obstacles in creating an AI ecosystem can — and should — be shared with other regions.

Through AI4HealthyCities Dialogues, the Novartis Foundation and the NewCities Foundation catalyze exchanges between global leaders in AI-driven urban health to identify those challenges and find common solutions. The first series of dialogues was pioneered by the Governments of Québec, Canada and São Paulo, Brazil. Together, they participated in a series of workshops to map priorities and challenges, using the findings to consolidate a set of practical recommendations and present a policy report for cities.

The AI4HealthyCities pioneers Québec & São Paulo

Both governments inspired the dialogues by sharing their breadth of knowledge and innovative solutions. They have been designing policies, assessing regulatory frameworks, and addressing the sociocultural impact of these technologies for many years, and therefore have broad experience in using data, digital, and AI driven initiatives to improve the health of their urban populations.

The AI4HealthyCities initiative has been a fantastic opportunity for us and the State of São Paulo to deepen our collaboration through an exchange of our expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Life Sciences, which are areas of excellence common to our two territories. We are convinced that this initiative will greatly benefit other states and cities and contribute to the pooling of our knowledge to better tackle, together, the health and wellbeing of urban populations.

Jason Naud

Government of Quebec | Director of the Québec Office in São Paulo

The State of São Paulo values innovation and entrepreneurship and is strongly committed to a sustainability-led investment strategy, with urban health and public policies to ensure a better quality of life for its nearly 46 million population. Both governments have a strong relationship and a long history of cooperation, and AI4HealthyCities contributed to new collaborations, discussing best practices to accelerate the implementation of public policies.

Torquato Jardim

Executive Vice-President of InvestSP.

The Novartis Foundation

The Novartis Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. For over 40 years, we have helped improve the health of low-income populations, initially supporting disease elimination strategies in areas such as leprosy and malaria. Now, we help cities tackle the burning issues of our time, cardiovascular disease and health inequity. Cardiovascular disease takes almost 18 million lives each year, and its emergence as a key risk factor for COVID-19 complications brings added urgency to addressing it at a whole-of-population level.

We take a population health approach, which means widening the lens from a narrow focus on healthcare delivery to a panoramic vision of improving health in the population at large, ensuring access to healthy lives for all. 

Our population health approach brings together disconnected data to create insights that help authorities understand the root causes of unequal health outcomes and find the best ways and best partners to remediate those. This empowers governments to re-engineer reactive care systems into true health systems that keep people healthy.


NewCities is an international non-profit organization based in Canada dedicated to making cities more resilient, connected, inclusive, and healthy. Focusing on people, places, and policies, its mission is to bring communities together to enable transformative processes and positive impact through tailored events, engagement opportunities, actionable research, and editorial features. The team currently concentrates on housing, transportation, and building resilience.