The Global Wellness Summit 2020 (GWS), the foremost gathering of international leaders in the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy, today announced that its 2020 conference would move from Tel Aviv, Israel, to the US, by far the largest wellness market. It will now take place November 8–11 at The Breakers, an iconic hotel on 140 oceanfront acres in Palm Beach, FL, which has received numerous awards for its commitment to guest and employee wellness and diversity.
The 2021 Summit will be held in Tel Aviv, November 15–18.
COVID-19 brutally exposed the importance of preventative wellness and the cost of chronic conditions to the world, along with terrible inequities in access to both healthcare and wellness. The conference theme of “Resetting the World with Wellness” is a global call to action—to wellness businesses, government leaders, and the medical and technology worlds—to recognize that more comprehensive and inclusive wellness concepts could remake the world post-pandemic. The consumer mindset has also undergone a “wellness reset” during the crisis: It’s become a bigger focus in people’s lives and commands a bigger share of wallet (even if that wallet may have shrunk).
“Now is the time to reset the world with wellness because it’s the only concept with prevention and total wellbeing at its core: It’s a framework that can address the immense physical, mental, social and environmental unwellness all around us,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chairman and CEO. “The wellness industry can now have its biggest impact on the world stage and take a much bigger seat at the ‘health table.’ But it needs to be responsible and creative to meet the new opportunities and challenges, which is why we feel it’s crucial to bring the brightest minds together to chart that future.”
“The GWS is built on a culture of collaboration, and it’s time to bring wellness leaders safely together again, in person. ‘Joining Together. Shaping the Future’ is not just our tagline; it’s the hallmark of what we’ve done for over a decade,” said Nancy Davis, chief creative officer and executive director of the GWS. “We’re committed to creating a model for how a conference should be convened at a time like this. Safety is paramount, wellness will be brought to life in unique ways, and it may be the most important Summit in our history.”
Working to Set New Standards for a Safe Conference
Every aspect of the Summit is being curated to deliver a safe, hygienic way for people to begin to meet again. Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the US and distinguished professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, will serve as medical advisor and is working closely with the GWS team, The Breakers, and local and federal government agencies to ensure that the GWS exceeds all standards for a safe gathering.
The Breakers, the site of the successful 2017 GWS, is a sprawling beachfront property that will enable appropriate physical distancing and generous use of outdoor space. They have exceeded all recommended CDC and World Health Organization guidelines and have implemented intensive hygiene protocols for guests during COVID-19: mandatory masks in all indoor and public areas; daily health screenings and personal protective equipment for all staff; 100 percent touchless guest transactions; daily disinfection of HVAC/air filtration systems with UV light and ionization technologies; intensive cleaning practices throughout the property, including electrostatic spray cleaning; and they’re one of the only US hotels with a dedicated food safety manager.
Unprecedented Focus on Wellness Technology
COVID-19 radically accelerated the migration of health and wellness solutions and experiences online, while igniting a rush of innovation in all kinds of wellness technology, including new mental wellness platforms, digital fitness and beauty solutions, femtech, work solutions, technology for healthy homes and communities, and platforms that bring wellness to underserved populations. Investment and consumer adoption is in overdrive: Venture capitalists poured $3.1 billion into digital health in Q1, 2020,* the top 10 mental wellness apps are seeing a combined 10 million downloads a month under COVID-19,** and funding for the at-home fitness sector quadrupled in Q1.***
The conference will place an unprecedented focus on technology innovations that are transforming the wellness space, featuring keynotes from leaders and investors across this booming space and launching its first Tech Innovation Pavilion, showcasing early-stage start-ups as well as established companies that have executed a “virtual pivot” in response to the crisis. This programming is being realized in partnership with Welltech1, the Israeli wellness technology fund and the first marquis sponsor of the Pavilion.
“I’m thrilled to help lead the Tech Innovation Pavilion, an important and timely new GWS initiative,” said Amir Alroy, co-founder of Welltech1. “We can attest that in the past few months, the demand for wellness technology has dramatically increased, and we cannot ignore how new solutions could foster better lives for the world population and for companies and organizations in the aftermath of COVID-19.”
Well Spaces, Homes & Communities
Concepts bringing wellness into the home and wellness real estate and community projects were a fast-rising trend and $134 billion market pre-pandemic. COVID-19 has significantly ramped up the interest in “well” homes, communities, cities, architecture and design, with the growing awareness that reimagining the built environment is one of the most powerful weapons in improving people’s health (and in mitigating pathogens). Keynotes and panels will explore the many directions this trend and market is taking.
Delegates will be able to experience a post-Summit (November 11–13) immersion experience on wellness real estate and communities at the pioneering, award-winning development Serenbe (right outside Atlanta), one of the first wellness communities in the US. Space is limited, and it’s only open to registered delegates.
Mental Wellness: Key Topic, New Research
The UN recently warned of a looming mental health crisis born of “the isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil” wrought by the pandemic. Mental wellness has been a much more powerful focus for individuals, the wellness industry, businesses and governments these last few years, and the conference will explore how COVID-19 is spurring growth and innovation across the mental wellness landscape. The Global Wellness Institute will release the first research report on the dynamic, multi-sector mental wellness space and market.
To learn more or to register, click here.
*Rock Health, May 2020
**Sensor Tower, May 2020
***CB Insights, June 2020