In October, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Global Wellness Summit in Singapore. This was an exciting event for me and also one I went into with some lack of knowledge of what to expect! I wasn’t disappointed.
A big influence on my decision to attend was an invitation to Vice Chair the initiative on Wellness Coaching. In case you are wondering what that means, (as was I) The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) supports a variety of industry Initiatives, furthering the international conversation about wellness in its many and varied forms. Each GWI Initiative is led by an Initiative Chair, who is a renowned thought-leader in his or her particular area of focus. I felt honoured and privileged to be approached to Vice Chair this particular project. For more information on this take a look at their website:
I am in very good company.
Over four days I listened to some incredible sessions presented by leaders in their field who covered the latest in research, thinking, science, and anything related to improving global wellness. Asia featured prominently due to the location of the summit this year which made it very relevant to Australians who attended due to our close proximity. In prior years it has been held in places like New York, Switzerland, Italy, Morocco, Mexico, Australia and in 2020 the venue will be Tel Aviv (Truly global.). There was a great representation of our country with over 40 attendees who filled the stage for Australia’s photo!
It would be impossible to document everything I learnt and suffice to say the following topics were a few touched on during the four day agenda:
- Mental Wellness
- Wellness retail
- Rejuvenation and anti aging
- How people are aging – baby boomers
- Artificial intelligence
- Wellness in the workplace
- Solutions for jet lag (!)
- Asia’s growing place in the wellness industry
- The business of Purpose (corporate and individual)
- Evolution of the spa and retreat industry
- Energy medicine
- Physical activity trends in the world
- The role of nature in wellness
- Value of CBD oil
- Wellness Tourism
Here are a few random facts that piqued my interest in no particular order:
- $109b is being spend on Fitness, $230b on sports and active recreation, 29b on Mindful movement
- Baby boomers describe themselves as more optimistic, personally gratified, idealistic, loyal, driven and able to cope with technological change than either Gen X or Millenials describe themselves.
- A comment on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – surely mental health should be included as a basic need?
- Energy medicine – our hearts send more signals to our brains than the brain sends to our hearts (multiple neurons are found in the heart and gut – not just the brain).
- Getting rid of used textiles creates massive amounts of landfill and are a huge problem to the environment (recycle clothes).
- Drugs and natural substances exist that have been shown to have anti-aging benefits (metaformin, fisetin, nicoltinamide, hGH were a few that were mentioned). Spas will become the plae where rejuvetation procedures will be delivered.
- 69% of all deaths globally each year are a result of preventable diseases
- Wellness in the workplace is about culture not programs!
- Poverty will be decreased enormously – by the education of women
- Digital and face to face wellness programs will sit side by side. One will not replace the other. Instead they will cater for different things, but both will meet some need.
- Amplification of community – social accountability ensures a behaviour becomes a habit
- If you want to help a community, don’t impose from the outside, enrol the people themselves
- If we underestimated the power of Asia, consider this. They have 60% of world population, 50% of world’s middle class, 50% of global GDP by 2040!
- Some very creative solutions to getting the world moving include: Plaza Dancing in China 100 million people (including the elderly) are dancing choreographed dance in plazas
- Having open streets (traffic free) in America-Caribbean is driving exercise
- Australia has the highest life expectancy in the world – at 83.
- A robotic dog called “Albo” is helping improve the quality of life in aged care homes by engaging the resident and improving the communication of preschool kids.
You might wonder what all this fascinating information had to do with my profession and background?! I was lucky enough to host a table on Wellness coaching and enjoyed some interactive discussions with a group of people who chose to attend. Throughout the summit, I recognised multiple opportunities for wellness coaching to support projects and yet also realised that there is still a lot of misinformation about our work (Several times the term was used in conjunction with the word “advice”.) Yet we are getting the attention that our work deserves. By staying in touch with wonderful organisations such as the GWI, I can only hope that we will gain traction and credibility and people will come to understand exactly what we do. The journey continues!
The Australian attendees at the 2019 Global Wellness Summit
*Photo Credits: The Global Wellness Institute; Global Wellness Summit and Fiona Cosgrove.