As 60 million people move into cities each year in developing countries, London- and New York-based architect, social entrepreneur and humanitarian Peter Williams showed in this inspiring talk why our planet’s rapid urbanization requires us to think in an entirely new way about design, development and disease. Using stunning visuals and personal stories, Williams took the audience on a tour of the globe from Nigeria to India, Cameroon to Jamaica — and points in between — as he explored this 21st century challenge in a way that refuses to consider living conditions and human health separately, arguing instead for a systemic approach and showing how a greater appreciation of architecture’s role in human well-being could transform the world.

Williams is executive director and founder of Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments (ARCHIVE), an international charity focused on designing and building housing that prevents illness and provides care to the world’s poor.