Global Wellness Summit 2018

[Image: Courtesy of Global Wellness Summit]


One of the beneficial aspects of having the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) in a new location each year is the opportunity to mine the local culture and traditions for interesting and relevant stories. This continued on Days 2 and 3, with keynotes by Andrea Illy, chairman of Illycaffe, who shared his story of “Coffee and Happiness – The Virtuous Circle,” and Matteo Thun, the architect behind the incredible new Davines Wellness Village. Day 2 also introduced the finalists in the “Shark Tank of Wellness” Global Student Competition; the three finalists, from Switzerland, Turkey and the U.S., presented a brief video of their wellness lifestyle concepts to the delegation and then were questioned by a panel of judges. The winner, Maria Mu from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, shared her concept for a mobile made of light that hangs over your bed and connects via an app to your breath, providing a visual guide to use breathwork to transition into restful sleep. $10,000 in prize money was awarded among the three, who were among 100+ students who submitted nominations.

KPMG’s global chairman for infrastructure, Mark Britnell, gave a powerful presentation, “In Search of the Perfect Health System,” reviewing various countries and highlighting what arrangements work and what don’t; end story, no place is perfect. But his sobering perspective that the global healthcare industry dwarfs our own lends credence to his viewpoint that “the wellness industry has to get its data straight in order to be taken seriously.”

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The number of compelling breakouts and roundtables made it a challenge to decide what to attend, and luckily the GWS will make everything available through its website. Some notables were panels on Wellness Architecture, Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate, Health and Wellness Technologies, and Where Fitness Meets Wellness. Individual presentations were also delivered by Well & Good’s Melisse Gelula, Skift CEO Rafat Ali, University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, and University of Oxford’s Jan-Emmanuel De Neve. That evening, a gala dinner was held at the Grand Hotel Rimini, featuring a Fashion Runway Show by BuDhaGirl and an auction of trips to wellness destinations, raising money for continued research.

The final morning consisted of an engaging on-stage interview of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) CEO Mindy Grossman by Mia Kyricos, and keynotes on food and nutrition by Neil Grimmer, CEO of personalized nutrition company Habit; David Bosshart of think tank Gottlieb Duttweiler; and a panel lead by the inimitable Mary Tabacchi. Following these presentations, Global Wellness awards were presented to these worthy recipients:

• Leader in Innovation: Nerio Alessandri, CEO of Technogym
• Leader in Sustainability: Clodagh Design
• Leading Woman in Wellness: Sheila McCann
• Leader in Workplace Wellness: Denise Bober, The Breaker’s
• Debra Simon Award for Furthering Mental Wellness: John Stewart, Kamalaya
• Leader in Social Impact: Pierre Louis Delapalme and Rupert Schmid, Biologique Recherche

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Global Wellness Institute Board Member Cathy Feliciano-Chon gave us a primer on “The Impact of China on Wellness,” a market that does nothing but continue to grow. As it turns out, the issue is more relevant than expected, as the conference closed with the reveal of the 2019 location: Hong Kong!

Until then, arrividerci!

– by Lisa Starr

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