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Global Wellness Summit 2020 – Day One

Upon arrival at The Breakers, we immediately take our Covid-19 test, this minimally invasive procedure is carried out quickly and smoothly and we receive our results in 15 minutes, along with our ‘Covid-free’ sparkly blue wristbands allowing us to access the summit sessions.

With the wind raging outside, we don’t hold out much hope for the outdoor activities that were planned as tropical storm ETA heads our way!

Stephen Letourneau, General Manager & Chief
Brand Officer, Cannuka

The first knowledge workshop, The Future of Cannabis, addresses the legalization, specifications, and prevalence of this incredible ingredient that can address so many conditions and symptoms. From pain to anxiety, to sleep, Stephen Letourneau explains the diverse applications of this unique therapy. The cannabis market is projected to reach 75 billion in sales by 2030. Canna-tourism is thriving and has grown 51% since 2014 in Colorado. Research continues to grow across university locations across the US and will now offer masters and bachelor’s degrees in the study.

More transparency will be required on packaging as consumers demand the information of where the plant was grown and the certificate of analysis. QR codes can instantly provide visual information from the farm this particular CBD was grown at! Major stores, such as Target in the US are gearing up to launch their ‘cannabis sections’ to meet the growing demand that will definitely not disappear.

Julie Bach, Executive Director, Wellness for Cancer

During the second knowledge workshop: Rapid Social Innovation in Cancer Wellness, Julie Back explains the six traits to leading positive change:
Show up
Speak up
Look up
Team up
Never give up
Lift others up

Focusing on our inner well-being will lead to more effective partnerships and creating shared visions. At the individual level, change-makers with a high level of wellbeing are able to let go of ego and fear.

The new Wellness For Cancer mobile app connects cancer patients and survivors with wellness advice and tools for meditation and yoga amongst others so they can personalize their wellness journey according to their specific goals.

Kyle Zagrodzky, CEO, Osteostrong

Knowledge workshop three, Unbreakable: Developing Super-Human Bone Strength outlined the research that led to the discovery that it is possible to increase bone growth and strength by creating an impact of 4.2 multiples of bodyweight on the bones. Just 60 seconds of activity once per week can cause changes in bone density. Bones actually compress with enough force and by training in this way limitations in muscle gain also fade away as the typical ‘plateau’ is superseded.

Unfortunately, human physiology means that we are designed to consume and conserve calories, not to burn off energy unnecessarily! This is why it is so difficult to get people ‘on mass’ to exercise.


Global Wellness Summit 2020 – DAY ONE

Day one kicks off with a visual presentation from Louis Schwarzberg called The Triumph of Connection. This was followed by Susie’s welcome and comments from the GWS board members on ‘Resetting The World With Wellness’, joining us from around the globe on the ‘big screen’ that is to play an integral part of this year’s summit.

Seating in the main hall is, of course, spaced out, to allow for social distancing, with the novel addition of stationary bikes and fit balls to allow for ‘active participation’ from the audience. The emotion in the room heightened as we were presented with images of the past year, the suffering and the strength, the death and despair, the courage and love…

Wellness: A Vaccine for Plagues, Pandemics, and Politics
Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th US Surgeon General; Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch, US

Dr. Carmona asks us to find a solution to the detrimental state the world is in, the suffering, the mental illness, the divide in politics, the fear, the conspiracy theories… The stress of this year was detrimental, “this is an ‘anti-wellness storm’ and WE need to be the antidote, the cure, the vaccine!” Our social and intellectual connections are inextricably intertwined, we need to make the commitment to traditionally ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ treatments. Farmer’s markets, buying local and ‘farm-to-table’ concepts were the basis for health and wellness in the past, we are now recapturing our history. The infectious pandemic and the mental health pandemic in the midst of political unrest. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Resetting the World with Wellness
Susie Ellis, Chair & CEO, Global Wellness Summit, US

Eight white papers were compiled in collaboration with the Vatican and given the title: Resetting the World with Wellness. Download this report from the GWS website. This inspired the committee to move forward with the in-person summit, despite criticism along the way. The voice of the wellness industry must be heard. All delegates took a Covid test and all were negative, one of many measures in place to ensure a safe summit.

Covid-19: The Great Reset, a new book by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, identifies three areas that will benefit from the pandemic. These are Technology, Health, and Wellness. The rise in the use of technology is undeniable and essential for all and the relationship with the medical community is finally changing and must be more collaborative, the connection between wellness or ‘self-care’ and health care is intertwined.

Preparing to Dream
Anna Bjurstam, Wellness Pioneer, Six Senses & Raison d’Etre, Sweden

Ignorance is bliss! Anna admits to not understanding the gravity of the pandemic at the beginning. Wellness is not just self-care or health care, it’s just care. Care for everything, plants the planet, each and every person, and the world around us.

These practices are simple and essential:
Connection with nature
Food that heals
A good night’s sleep
Listen to your heart

Our brain guides us to pay attention to fear, this is what news does to us! The worry, isolation, and anxiety can be as detrimental to our health as the virus. Pessimism increases inflammation in the body, however, the body and brain can evolve and overcome so much, nature, fasting, and love can fuel our recovery. People with strong social relationships live 50% longer than others, connection is key.

Love cannot be explained by science, but this does not mean it is not the most powerful healer we have at our disposal. Much of what is around us cannot be perceived or explained, but is there nonetheless, let’s not look ONLY to science to explain everything. Question everything and keep an open mind and a discerning heart. Stay curious!

Dreaming a New World into Being
Alberto Villoldo, PhD, Psychologist, Medical Anthropologist and Author, Chile

Our species, Homo sapiens, is no longer viable, we need to evolve. We cannot be healthy unless our environment is healthy. Our energy field can be manipulated in order to change our reality. We can only change our brain and our mind by removing toxins, we need ceremony and sacred rites of passage for sustainable relationships with the earth and our community.

Mental Wellness: Defining the Global Economy of Mental Wellness The Bubble Chart has a New Addition!
Katherine Johnston, Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute, US
Ophelia Yeung, Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute, US

Ophelia and Katherine discuss the research and its finding; what is mental wellness? An internal resource that can be depleted and refilled. The media raises many important questions about mental wellness, access to care and tools is not equal for all, especially during a pandemic.

They present a new way to look at mental wellness:

Technology cuts across all of these sectors, however, businesses must be cautious and responsible for the mental wellness solutions they offer.

Keynote Panel
We Are Not OK: How Tech Is Creating a Future for Mental Wellness in a (Post) COVID World.
Moderator: Melisse Gelula, Strategic Advisor, Co-Founder, Well+Good (Exited), US
Amanda Eilian, Partner & Co-Founder, able Partners, US
Dr. James Gordon, Founder & Executive Director, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, US
Simmone Taitt, Founder, Poppy Seed Health, US
The reality is that we can actually work effectively online, in areas previously not considered possible. This also allows for global reach and expansion.

Mental health tech startups received more funding in the first half of this year than any other previous full year. Meditation apps, sleep health, pillows with built-in tech, breathing, tapping, etc. and Telehealth. There is also a surge in tech that provides group coaching and community support. The lack of access to support for mental health means that these tech companies can fill an important need, teaching basic techniques and help people support others.

Maternal mortality rates are extremely poor in the US with ethnic minorities lacking care. Who and what can supplement this level of care? Doulas and midwives can advocate for maternal health and support through the birth process, with tech startups in this space flourishing in the future.

Global Wellness Award
Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness
Presented by Susie Ellis, Chair & CEO, Global Wellness Summit, US
Award Sponsor: Debra Simon Family Foundation

Resetting the World with Wellness
Interactive Brainstorming Session: What Will Wellness Look Like Five Years from Now?
Led by Stephen Letourneau, Founder & Chief Brand Officer, Ideation Lab, LLC, US

During this interactive brainstorming session, we got to play with pipe cleaners and play-doh as we discussed the ideal future and the more realistic future, and how to bridge the divide between the two.

In Conversation with Cathy Chon
Resetting the Tourism Industry with Wellness
Catherine Feliciano-Chon, Managing Partner, CatchOn, FINN Partners, Hong Kong
Amanda Ho, Co-Founder, Regenerative Travel, Hong Kong
Regenerative travel: Amanda explains how this aims to replenish environments suffering from over-tourism, the conscious consumer wants to travel in a different way. This takes into account the cultural traditions of the area, the ecosystem, and how to sustain and develop alongside a thriving local community. Travelers want to make a positive impact, the upcoming white paper, directed at hoteliers, will outline the various ways resorts and properties can adapt their practices to cater to this demand.

Wellness Is Ripe for Disruption
John Kao, Author, Strategist, Innovator, Transformer, US
What we think of as disruption, is actually discontinuity. Things will not go back to the way they were before this ‘disruption’, things will forever be different. Times of turbulence give rise to companies and individuals that reinvent the way things are done. We must take on the ‘beginner’ mindset, a blank slate on which create from scratch.

We enjoyed a surprise remote visit from Bob Roth, reminding us that deep within each of us is a level of silence where true creativity is born and that’s where we will find the answers to the work we are doing in the wellness industry. Bob leads the Transcendental Meditation movement helping millions find peace of mind and calm.

Science & Technology: Fueling the Future of Wellness
Moderated by Nancy Davis, Chief Creative Officer & Executive Director, Global Wellness Summit, US
Karen Ballou, Founder & CEO, Immunocologie, US
Dilip Barot, Founder, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences, India & US
Fred Maxik, Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Healthē by Lighting Science, US

Karen outlines the importance of understanding what is going on around us and what is going on us (literally on to our skin), everything affects the energy or our cells. Although Dilip develops luxury properties he is passionate about democratizing wellness for everyone. “Personalization is the future of wellness,” she says, “everything must be adapted to the individual.”

Fred talks about the spectrum of light and its uses, as demand drives the pricing down the use of light to fight viruses and bacteria will become a more realistic prospect. UVC is being used at the entrance to the main hall at the summit to eradicate any viral contaminants on the clothing.


By Sara Jones, editor

Author: Fabiola