In a message to both the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) and the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) networks, Susie Ellis, chairman & CEO, Global Wellness Institute, wrote: “After this challenging and unprecedented year, I’m noting a few personal and professional highs and lows – but, most of all, I want to express my confidence in opportunities for the New Year. Together, we can make 2021 a year in which we continue “Resetting the World with Wellness” by making wellness a priority both personally and professionally—wherever we work or live.”
Ellis offered a review of 2020 and took a look ahead at what 2021might look like:
Memory Lane 2020
- January 2020 began with optimism for what looked to be a robust year.
- A rousing GWS/GWI joint press event took place in New York with the media giant Hearst in January.
- My last big trip of the year was a visit to Bhutan in February. Here, I learned that while being the country that first introduced the idea of measuring gross national happiness (GNH) as an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP), Bhutan actually rates around #88 on the UN’s World Happiness Index (which came much later). That explains why, this year, they decided to pull out of the UN rankings. Their intention was never to compare themselves to others and claim to be the happiest country, but to continually work on increasing the happiness of their people. An important commitment to admire and one I have found that few understand.
- Then came the COVID-19 thunderbolt in March!
- GWS immediately introduced weekly Wellness Master Class Zoom meetings and Wellness Sector Zoom Gatherings. Hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, participated each week.
- GWS introduced bi-weekly virtual brunches with team members to share personal struggles and triumphs (no business discussed).
- Then we announced a pivot: the 2020 Global Wellness Summit would move from Tel Aviv, Israel to The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida.
- I was deeply moved – as was the world – by George Floyd’s death and the fight against systemic racism. We re-committed to diversity and equality and started recognizing where we needed change.
- GWI grew to include 35 wellness initiatives and we added Initiative Zoom calls to our monthly mix.
- The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease grew to include 954 companies and individuals, inspiring over 6,000,000 participants by end of the year.
- Because the moon is full everywhere in the world on the same night, it was possible to launch GWI monthly Full Moon Celebration Zoom calls with wellness leaders around the world. These gatherings serve as a universal reminder of the importance of prevention and wellness.
- Then another pivot: The Global Wellness Summit scheduled for November in Palm Beach becomes a hybrid (in-person and virtual) event attracting participants from around the world. There was tremendous creativity – including exercycles, stability balls and ellipticals interspersed between chairs during sessions – and it was a resourceful technical accomplishment.
- The hybrid Summit is a huge success and the model of a safe Summit gets widespread media attention.
- GWS 2020 marks the launch of the first Tech Innovation Pavilion
- A post-Summit visit to Serenbe, GA focuses on the success of the wellness real estate sector. Serenbe’s business has never been better.
- The GWI introduces landmark research, Defining the Mental Wellness Economy – auspicious timing, as this was planned a couple of years ago.
- Physically, I am running again and making sleep a priority. I have become more committed to my spiritual practices.
- Silver linings become obvious…wellness and prevention have never been more important, and the medical world is welcoming the idea of healthcare and self-care. Connection, community, and collaboration brought us through and will carry us forward.
- Indeed, our tag lines: GWS, “Joining together, Shaping the Future” and GWI, “Empowering Wellness Worldwide” are spot on and continue to lead us forward.
- I am profoundly grateful to those who made it possible for us to forge ahead this year…our team, our boards and especially our GWS sponsors and GWI contributors.
Crystal Ball 2021
- There is new optimism about vaccines and a renewed collaborative spirit for global wellness.
- The annual GWS/GWI Press Event introducing top Wellness Trends and GWI research is scheduled for January 26. For the first time ever, this highly anticipated annual event will be open to more than just the hundreds of press who have attended in the past. The three-hour event, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET will be accessible around the world.
- The 2021 GWI research will focus on updating the Global Wellness Economy figures that will help us all see how 2020 impacted various wellness sectors.
- The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease launches the exciting 2021 calendar with stunning graphics. Adoption of The Wellness Moonshot by countries, regions and companies is expanding. It’s now possible to “customize” The Wellness Moonshot calendar with a particular focus that aligns with a business or geographical strategy.
- Wellness Master Classes via Zoom begin again Wednesday, January 13 and Wellness Sector Spotlights on Tuesday, January 12. This year there is an opportunity to sponsor these and give visibility to quality companies.
- Monthly Full Moon Celebration Zoom calls will begin January 28. Our goal is to eventually have 1,000 wellness leaders engaged on each call!
- A Wellness Real Estate Symposium is in the works. A Wellness Technology Symposium is also in the works. More to come!
- The popular reverse-elevator-pitch innovation sessions, which were introduced at the 2020 Summit, are planned at least quarterly, bringing together investors and innovators at the intersection of wellness and technology.
- The 2021 Global Wellness Summit will take place November 15 in Tel Aviv. With a huge Tech Innovation Pavilion and a wellness technology competition, everyone will learn why Israel is known as the “Start Up Nation.”
- Pre-and post-Summit trips will allow for exploration in Israel and some will likely want to connect with the spiritual roots for so many religions.
- New in 2021! Opportunities to host a Satellite Global Wellness Summit in your country or at your company concurrently with the Tel Aviv Global Wellness Summit in November. Get ready to lead the evolution of wellness around the world.
Go to www.globalwellnessinstitute.org for more.