Lifestyle + Wellness

CEO of global wellness institute, Susie Ellis shares her crystal ball for 2020.

During the planning of the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) 2020 Singapore, I learned from Nancy Davis, our extraordinary executive director and chief creative officer, who curated much of the 2019 Summit agenda, that I would have 20 minutes onstage to deliver my opening remarks. I was excited to have time to share my thoughts with the many delegates who attended the GWS and wanted to use it well.     

Memory Lane

I spent a fair amount of time over the summer preparing my remarks, which I titled, “Mission Accomplished: Wellness Is a Global Force…What’s Next?” First, I outlined what we have accomplished together over the past 13 years. Then, I shared my vision and predictions for the future.

I won’t repeat what I said in Singapore because my presentation is available—along with the PowerPoint slides—at this link.

But since this is the season of trends and predictions—in fact, we will release the GWS 2020 Global Wellness Trend Report on January 28, at the Hearst Tower in New York, which has become a highly anticipated media event—I am going to take a look into my crystal ball and give you my eight personal predictions for the business of wellness for 2020. 

Crystal Ball

  1. Wellness Is in the Driver’s Seat. You wouldn’t believe the amount of interest we are fielding from countries, companies, individuals and investors. The World Economic Forum has a new platform, “Accelerating Health and Wellbeing,” and I was invited to participate. And at meetings in Amsterdam and New York, I learned that the companies around the table (many of them Fortune 500) were all talking about wellness in their board rooms. We have a lot to teach the rest of the world. Let’s seize the opportunities. 
  2. M&A, IPO, OMG! There is big business taking place in all of the 10 sectors of the wellness economy, as identified by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). In fact, we are just at the tip of the iceberg. One example: Peloton innovated a subscription model where people workout with others without leaving their living room. More companies are now following suit…minus the controversial marketing campaign. ????
  3. Wellness for People and Planet. 
    We need to broaden our thinking and adjust our businesses so that we are not just talking about wellness for people, but also wellness for our planet.Global economist Thierry Malleret warns that “Wellness businesses that are not giving enough attention and significance to this are going to be punished.”I would also caution that we want to be careful about swinging that pendulum so far in this direction that we lose our foundation of focusing on people.
  4. Wellness for All.
    We need to increasingly incorporate wellness for all into our business models, even while serving our more traditional target market. Let’s get involved in some additional ways to make sure we are moving toward this important goal.
  5. The Wellness “Do Tank.”
    The Global Wellness Institute and the Global Wellness Summit have spent a great deal of time in think tank endeavors this last decade, forming a credible wellness economy and organizing, defining, strategizing and releasing groundbreaking research. Now, it’s time to trumpet results. The future should be filled with tangible examples of impact.
  6. Wellness AND Wellbeing: Not One or the Other  
    Semantics continue to be debated. I spent some time exploring this conundrum myself, doing historical research, gathering anecdotal information, and speaking to industry experts, all of which led me to conclude that it’s both. Both words are important, even as they develop in slightly different directions. I suggest we be smart and keep all the terminology in play as things evolve.
  7. Truth be Told: Science, Evidence, Research.
    Move to be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity” research from the Global Wellness Institute is a 130-page report with much valuable data. Look for physical activity to play a greater role in the wellness economy going forward. With a general movement from healthcare to self-care, evidence for medical and wellness modalities will become even more important.
  8. Face to Face.
    The feedback from the 2019 GWS in Singapore has been extremely positive. People appreciated being in Asia, learning what is happening in that part of the world and how it impacts the global wellness arena. Holding the Summit in a different location every year is about expanding our thinking and establishing relationships. That only happens when we show up.

And I hope you will show up for the2020 Summit in Tel Aviv, November 10–13. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this Summit, having finished the book “Start-up Nation,” which I wholeheartedly recommend. When we are face to face in Tel Aviv, we’ll explore the booming technology landscape, multicultural spirituality, healthcare that works, sustainability, entrepreneurship, the formidable food scene and more. We are also planning extraordinary pre- and post-summit excursions. Stay tuned. 

As we begin a new decade, we begin a new chapter in our journey together. I want to thank each of you for being part of the collaborative culture our industry has fostered. The feedback I cherish most is that the work we do—both at the GWS and GWI—is appreciated and enjoyed. That is what inspires and encourages me deep in my soul. While we have made great strides, there is much more work to do, and we will continue to make progress and have an increasing impact as we work together toward even more ambitious goals in this new decade.   

Cheers to 2020, and wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

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