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Global Wellness Summit Day One


Once again we started the Summit with an incredible visual art display from Louie Schwartzberg highlighting the therapeutic benefits of mushrooms. Yes, the magic kind!

The Global Wellness Summit is now in its 11th year, having started in New York in 2006. The range of industries represented now include spa, hospitality, tourism, medical, architecture, technology among others.

Held this year at The Breakers, West Palm Beach. This family owned and operated hotel has been wellness-focused for its guests for over 12 years.

Susie Ellis reviewed highlights from the previous year’s summits held around the globe.

Dr. Richard Carmona talked about effecting sustainable change and disrupting the status quo to encourage people to live well and reduces preventable disease.

When Dr. Carmona finished his 4 year term the US spent 16% of GDP on healthcare (or better described as sick care!). The US now spends 19% of GDP on healthcare, 75% of this goes towards the treatment of preventable diseases caused by lifestyle choices that could be avoided by living a well life.

Garrett Kirk, Jr., Paul Leone & Denise Bober recounted the story of The Breakers, a family run hotel that has survived and thrived despite the threat from large hotel chains. They take care of their staff, suppliers and their guests. Motivation of extraordinary people is driven by analyzing possibilities. Employee engagement lead to employee retention and guest satisfaction. Home to over 15000 conferences, the GWS is most important to The Breakers due to their focus on wellness. In their 122nd year of business it is one of the only US family run businesses over 100 years old, still in the hands of its original owners.

We Don’t Need More Time…We Need More Energy!


Chris Jordan, who lead the morning 7-minute workout (well, three 7-minute workouts) hit the nail on the head when he explained that most of us do not need more time, we need more energy! What would you do with more energy?

3 tips to sustain energy

– Manage your energy instead of your time. Invest your energy in the moment, if you’re running low on energy, do something to fix it.
– Energy is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
– Oscillation and balance of energy. Each day is a series of sprints and not a marathon.

Debra Duneier guided us through the experience of purposeful interior design. A well-being is a designed life, a room can have a profound effect on your state of mind, making you want to run out or cuddle up!

Wellness Communities & Lifestyle Real Estate

Katherine Johnston took an analytical look at her neighborhood where the lack of sidewalks, shade, bike paths and air quality leave a lot to be desired and lend towards over reliance on transport by car.

Ophelia Yeung spoke about growing up in Hong Kong where people live in close quarters yet still avoid contact with neighbors. Air quality continues to be an issue in Hong Kong and it is known as a First World city with Third World air quality.

Wellness lifestyle real estate aims to build communities around a well life. Focused on the people who live there and their pursuit of wellness and belonging.

Wellness in the Age of Disruption


Fritz Dirk van Paasschen defines disruption as “when you wake up and realize that you are in deep trouble, and you either did not see it coming or did not prepare for it.” Networks are key to progress and function, your phone is only useful if everyone has one. Marketing companies are no longer essential for success!

The age of disruption is changing the way we do everything, even eliminating jobs. Use technology to take control of our lives, health and destinies. Overcome cognitive bias by looking at old and new skills, market trends in emerging markets. Relationships are still key to maintaining and developing business. Personalization delivers unique service, managers and owners should not be driving change, customers should. We all CEO’s of our own lives and we get to choose and design our lives.

The Transformative Power of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Dean Ornish


Lifestyle medicine acts to reverse disease. A plant based diet low in fats and refined carbohydrates is part of a lifestyle including these four elements: eat well, move more, stress less, love more. Reverse diseases such as heart disease and eliminate the need for medication with this program. Positive results for men with prostate cancer. This lifestyle encourages the cancer causing genes to be switched off, and an increase in telomere length (related to longevity).


The same diet and lifestyle is suitable for all diseases studied. It is sustainable because it’s fun and enjoyable, not fear based. Adherence was 85-90% after a year, showing substantial cost savings within the same time period.

The Plague of the Modern Era is Insanity, Dr. Oz


Lack of control causes depression, worry about time, money, knowledge and fear of change holds people back.

Life work balance is a myth, ambition vs. intimacy.


– Feelings change minds more than facts
– Make it easy to do the right thing
– Adore your solutions
– Live the good life

Biggest 5 life adjustments

We do what we do because we care, give and grow at the same time.

Announcement – Wellness Moonshot


Dr. Richard Carmona announces the wellness goal of a world free of preventable disease.

Dr. Elke Benedetto-Reisch, Elissa Epel, PhD, Mindy Grossman, Dr. Paul Limburg, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Michael Roizen, Louie Schwartzberg, Dr. Andrew Weil

Living a Well Life Begins & Ends with Your Heart, Agapi Stassinopoulos


Agapi, who was with us in 2016 in Mexico City joins us again delivering a message of fulfillment and leading with the heart. Business may be flourishing but if stress is overtaking life, that can’t be success. Instead of B2B, let’s think of H2H: heart to heart. Connect to your heart and your purpose. Find your calm, at the heart of the storm, find your being, in the moment.

Prof. Gerry Bodeker PhD joined us via video to explain the mental wellness initiative he chairs for GWI. Brain plasticity allows room for hope as new neural pathways can be developed to overcome depression throughout adulthood. White and grey brain matter is shown to be increased by dance, great news for me, an avid dancer! He uses the metaphor, ‘many pathways can be taken to reach the top of the mountain.’ Research from the world happiness report shows that despite stability in life, people are unhappy if they are governed by ‘a bunch of crooks.’ Watching news of the tragedies that occur around us affects us emotionally. We need to protect against that.

Understanding the Positive Implications of the Placebo Effect, Alia Crum PhD


The placebo effect demonstrates the power of our mind over our body. Placebo medication and even placebo surgeries can have real and measurable benefits. When given identical milkshakes, the body reacts in different ways according to the label and information provided about the milkshake. How can we harness the benefits of the placebo effect? The effect of the treatment depends on the mindset of the patient or participant. Warmth and competence are also shown to amplify the effect.

Mindset and social context incorrect the bodies own natural healing ability.

How Your Brain Decides What is Beautiful?, Dr. Anjan Chatterjee


Three parameters important to beauty,

Sum of average features, symmetry and the physical effects of estrogen. We seem to have automatic beauty detectors in the brain that fire even when we are not thinking about beauty. We also automatically associate beauty with morality and good. Even small facial disfigurements can have negative effects.

A Realist’s Guide to the Changing Digital World, Clare Martorana

The US digital service helps all Americans gain access to healthcare.

We are all involved in the digital world, how is your brand represented? Data is the new oil! Data is this century’s driver of change. What is your customer doing? Personalize your content based on the users journey and primary question. Security of data is everybody’s responsibility. Digital transformation is the way technology changes how business is done. Are you ready for change that technology will bring? Utilise the talent that millennials bring.

The Beginning of Human Life and Prevention of Chronic Disease, Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD

Prevention begins before conception. The first 1000 days of life runs from conception into the second year. By 2050, 21 percent of worldwide population will be over 60. Inflammation is at the root of all disease, this in turn is caused by health stressors and a modern lifestyle. The most effective anti-inflammatory lifestyle is a wellness lifestyle.

Solve for Happy – Engineering Happiness, Mohammad Gawdat


Mo invites us to think of the body and the brain as a machine and to look at ways to keep the system from crashing much the same way as an engineer might. #10million happy was increased to #OneBillionHappy once his goal was reached within two weeks of the launch of his book. We are all born happy.


What makes you happy? Write your happy list so you know what to invite more of it into your life! We are guided by our thoughts, focussing on unhappy thoughts so not change anything in the real world. Happiness is a choice, make it!

Happiness at Work, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, PhD


Having a job brings people a point higher on a happiness scale (1-10). The average person does not adapt well to unemployment, unlike with other life events. Work-life balance is an important factor in job satisfaction. Does happiness affect performance? The relationship works both ways as happiness influences success and success influences happiness.

Raising employee happiness raises productivity by 7 to 12%.

What Have We Wrought? The Price of Humankind’s Path Towards Accelerated Modernization, Justin Brice Guariglia


Having tattood the surface temperature of the earth since human life along his arm, Justin uses visual art to exhibit causes for planetary concern. If you want to change the world you have to change the way people see the world. The app, After Ice projects the water level of your location, wherever you are, by the year 2080, bringing important information to the public in a very relatable way.

Millennials Are Not Wellness Newbies, Founders of Well + Good, Alexia Brue & Melisse Gelula


Alexa & Melisse, showcase wellness and spa experiences via their site. Recently they launched category ‘Good Travel’ their fastest growing content category so far. Wellness and fitness influencers who run retreats and classes are competing for spa dollars. Travel tastes are moving from properties to people.

Well + Good surveyed 4600 people who take wellness travel trip regularly.



45% said they would rather go to a retreat with their fave instructor than a trip to Miraval Resort Spa.


Author: Fabiola

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