The time is ripe for wellbeing to be a priority in how we design our lives, our work and workplaces, and our communities and societies. A host of macro-forces are coming together to make this period in our evolution one where we are starting to value wellbeing as integral to human performance, innovation, resilience, and fulfillment.
On one hand, we are more collectively aware than ever before about problems taxing us worldwide – pollution, lifestyle diseases, global warming, and wealth inequities, are but a few. On the other hand, we’re witnessing a tremendous rise globally in the influence of women, interconnectivity between people and ideas, access to education, and affluence of people.
No one can predict how these macro-forces will play out, but one thing’s for sure: we are all living in the midst of them (whether we realize it or not). Colleague and global trends expert Tom LaForge says these forces are already energizing a new power in civil society and galvanizing our shared concern for health and wellbeing. And as industry researchers attempt to put their arms around the global wellness economy they are finding a staggering $3.4 trillion market – one of the biggest, fastest-growing industries on earth.
Some governments, businesses, and NGOs are beginning to embrace human wellness as a sincere part of their responsibility. It’s messy, transformational work but we finally seem ready to take up the challenge. For example: did you realize that the United Kingdom, Bhutan, Costa Rica, and other nations are pursuing metrics of human wellbeing along with gross national product for a more holistic view of how well their countries are really working?
This larger movement has a new thought at its core: leading wellbeing – for individuals, organizations, and entire nations alike – is truly a smart strategy.
It is within this evolving environment – a mindset and values shift rich with potential – that I am excited to announce a new initiative our firm, Wisdom Works, is working on with one of our partners, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), to encourage a pioneering role within countries: a Ministry of Wellness. This role would steward a higher vision to foster the conditions in which citizens thrive. Inspired by the possibility this initiative holds, team members working on it come from diverse regions and backgrounds:
- Silvia Garcia Barnechea, Global Director, Global Happiness Institute, The Coca-Cola Company, USA
- Sandip Kohli, COO, The Change Initiative, UAE
- Gerry Bodeker, Oxford & Columbia Universities; Global Initiative For Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health, Oxford, UK
- Tomonori Maruyama, Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co, Ltd, Japan
- Ashley Judson, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA
Building on initial thinking GWI’s CEO Susie Ellis and I outlined in the Huffington Post, this team is crafting a framework to sketch out potential functions, opportunities, and points of leverage for the Ministry of Wellness role; plus we are inviting passionate people around the world to participate. Our aim is to foster a global conversation about the Ministry of Wellness as a new – and necessary – innovation in wellbeing leadership.
Wellbeing is foundational to the healthy functioning of our organizations and communities, as well as the personal fulfillment, growth, and happiness in our daily lives. Perhaps more importantly is this: a greater wisdom in our decisions, relationships, and actions naturally arises when we operate from a place of health, wholeness, rejuvenation, and wellbeing. In the often reactive, crazy-making world we live and work in today, this wisdom is sorely needed in every corner of our planet. A Ministry of Wellness is one way to lift up wellbeing as an essential ingredient in how we define success, how we organize our workplaces and communities, and ultimately, how we relate to one another and value ourselves.
If you want to learn more about this effort, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.