Mark Bellis

Public Health Wales, UK

Professor Mark Bellis is Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being in Public Health Wales and is also Professor of Public Health at Bangor University.

Mark has undertaken substantive work in the fields of violence, alcohol, drugs and sexual health. He has published over 180 academic papers and more than 250 applied public health reports. Professor Bellis is a member of the WHO global expert advisory panel on violence prevention. Over two decades ago Mark was one of the co-founders of Club Health. The Club Health initiative and international conferences were created to help facilitate exciting, entertaining and critically safer nightlife through multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approaches. Mark’s presentation at Club Health 2019 will explore the development and delivery of those ambitions since Club Health was last hosted in Amsterdam – back in 1999.

Shamiro van der Geld

Night Mayor Amsterdam, Netherlands

Shamiro is the current Night Mayor of Amsterdam.

His background is as an MC, producer, TV host and long time participant in the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Shamiro has pledged to focus his tenure on empowering DIY scenes, improving diversity and representation, and propagating nightlife education, values and ideas that challenge out-dated perceptions.

Ton Nabben

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ton Nabben is a drug researcher/criminologist at the Bonger Institute of Criminology at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands

For the last 30 years focused his research on drug use in youth cultures, drug markets and policy. As a researcher on 'hidden populations' he often navigates along the raw outskirts of cities and towns.

Since the 1990s, Ton has co-authored the yearly Amsterdam drug monitor, Antenne that publishes trends in alcohol, tobacco and drugs by young Amsterdammers. The drug monitor is an important tool for Jellinek Prevention and the City of Amsterdam to follow new developments and is a crucial source for informing policy, prevention and harm reduction interventions. The arrival of a 'new chemical generation' and subsequent (drug) trends are central themes in his doctoral thesis: 'High Amsterdam: rhythm, rush and rules in nightlife' (2010). In his presentation, 25 years of drug monitoring in Amsterdam Nightlife, Ton will describe wave like trends of drug use and drug markets from various perspectives (drug, set and setting) within the trendsetting and fluid nightlife scene.

Gjalt-Jorn Peters

Dutch Open University, Netherlands

Gjalt-Jorn is a behavior change researcher at the Dutch Open University. Since his PhD research on the determinants of ecstasy use and related harm reduction strategies, he has retained a special interest in nightlife-related risk behaviors. Gjalt-Jorn is a specialist in Intervention Mapping, a systematic approach to the development of effective behavior change interventions, which involves developing innovative methods that facilitate both studying why people do what they do and how to target those determinants most effectively.

Gjalt-Jorn is a member of the advisory board for Dutch peer education initiative Unity and a project group member of the Celebrate Safe campaign, where he is responsible for the Party Panel study. In the Party Panel study, every year, the determinants of a different nightlife-related risk behavior are mapped. The results then inform interventions in Dutch nightlife settings, such as the "Are you OK?" campaign launched in 2018 by Rutgers.

In his presentation, Gjalt-Jorn will present the Party Panel project and give an overview of the results of the first four waves. These results will be used as examples of a systematic approach to developing effective behavior change interventions.

Alison Ritter

University of New South Wales, Australia

Professor Alison Ritter is an internationally recognised drug policy scholar and the Director of the Drug Policy Modelling Program at the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow leading a multi-disciplinary program of research on drug policy. The goal of the work is to advance drug policy through improving the evidence-base, translating research and studying policy processes.

One of her current research interests is examining ways to engage citizens in drug policy deliberations. At a time of when ‘evidence-based policy’ is reaching its limits, her work takes a multi-disciplinary approach to participation, and how to effect humane, effective policies that reduce drug-related harm. Alison will present on nightlife policy and citizen engagement in a time of fake news.

Andreina Seijas J

Harvard University Graduate School of Design, USHarvard University Graduate School of Design, US

Andreina is a Venezuelan communications professional and policy consultant currently specialising in nighttime planning and policy as part of her doctoral degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously, Andreina was the Information Manager for the Mayor’s Office of the Chacao municipality in Caracas, worked as Policy Associate at Americas Society/ Council of the Americas.

Andreina studies how cities can become safer, more inclusive and productive by creating quality spaces for work and leisure after dark.  Her research looks at how policy and planning can accommodate more elastic and efficient uses of urban spaces throughout the day and analyses the relevance of new forms of urban governance—such as the emerging role of ‘night mayors’—as mechanisms to facilitate conflict resolution at night. As part of her research, in 2017 she published a guide with Sound Diplomacy that gathers 11 case studies from cities that are innovating in the way they plan and manage their night scenes. Andreina co-curates Nocturnal Cities, the first Latin American Conference on Night-Time Planning that took place in Bogota, Colombia in November 2018.

Andreina’s presentation will focus on what's shaping nightlife and how to balance economic and cultural impacts with public health.

Susan Sherman

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Behavior and Society, US

Dr. Susan Sherman is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Behavior and Society.

She is a social scientist whose focuses on the documenting and intervening on structural drivers of HIV/STIs and violence among people who use drugs and engage in sex work. She has conducted extensive research in the US, India, Thailand, and Pakistan examining the role of microeconomics and peer influence on reducing HIV risk among people who use drugs and women who sell sex. 

Susan is the Co-Director of the Baltimore HIV Collaboratory as well as the Addiction and Overdose focus area of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.  She recently completed a study examining the role of the police on the STI/HIV risk environment of street-based sex workers, which includes one of the first cohort of sex workers in the US. She has recently examined the validity, acceptability, and implementation of several fentanyl-testing technologies, which has directly informed the decriminalization of drug checking in several states in the U.S. She also studies the impact of a structural level intervention on HIV risk among female sex workers in Baltimore, which has created a full service, harm reduction women’s drop-in center.  

Susan will examine the thin line between nightlife and daylife among street-based people who use drugs and other marginalised and socially disadvantaged groups in Baltimore. She will focus on the structural vulnerabilities (e.g., unstable housing, food insecurity, violence, work exploitation) that elevate their overdose risk in the context of an extensive fentanyl epidemic that has fueled an unprecedented overdoses epidemic.

Mireia Ventura

ABD-Energy Control, Spain

Mireia is a pharmacist PhD.

She has worked as a director of the Drug Checking service of Energy Control-ABD since 2007. Mireia is a collaborator of IMIM (Instituto Municipal de Investigaciones Médicas), which is directly involved with the scientific diffusion of Novel Psychoactive Substances. 

Mireia is also the Network Manager of TEDI. Established in 2011, the Trans European Drug Information project (TEDI) is a network of European fieldwork Drug Checking services that share their expertise and data within a European monitoring and information system.


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