Curated by Renee Moorefield, CEO of Wisdom Works Group
and member of the Advisory Board for the Global Wellness Institute
“As wellness leaders, our job is to turn The Wellness Moonshot into reality for billions of people around the globe. No one can do this alone. Yet together we can achieve the extraordinary. ”
—SUSIE ELLIS, GWI CEO & CHAIR
Welcome to a healthy and happy 2022—and the year we anticipate remarkable growth for The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease! We’re putting our moonshot thinking into action, and as a wellness leader, we invite you to join us.
Our aspiration? DOUBLE THE REACH of this initiative! This means by January 2023, we want The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease to touch over 9,000 organizations and 300 million people globally. We’ve chosen an audacious goal (yes, we are inspired by bold!), yet in truth, this isn’t about attaining the numbers. The real impetus is for this initiative, fueled by all of us, is to be a positive force for spreading the mindset and meaningful opportunities for wellness around the world.
Let’s Assess Where We Are Today
Since its birth in 2017, over 4,500 organizations and 155 million people have connected with The Wellness Moonshot. Our community includes wellness leaders such as Teresa Dai, senior leader at Tianren Culture, a next-generation social platform whose mission is to drive positive lifestyles in China, Sara Jones, head of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe, a magazine for wellness enthusiasts across Central and Latin America, Nadine Thompson, leader of Soul Purpose, a firm that enhances the physical and mental health of African American women—and YOU. Each of you inspire wellness through your strategies, programs, products and services, relationships, and how you live and lead.
Yet, We Have A Long Way to Go
If our commitment to wellness means anything, it means advancing #WellnessForAll—and when we honestly examine the state of the world, we see many systemic health and wellness inequities intensified by the pandemic. Consider these disturbing, yet largely preventable, facts shared by the World Economic Forum:
- We are not adequately caring for our children. Every day, 16,000 children from our poorest households worldwide die before their fifth birthday.
- We are not adequately caring for our mothers. Women from Afghanistan have a 1 in 11 risk of maternal death (death while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy), while for women in Ireland, it is 1 in 17,800.
- We are not adequately caring for people who are less resourced. The high costs of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are pushing 100 million people into poverty each year.
- We are not adequately caring for our neighbors. In London, 1 year of life expectancy is lost when traveling east from Westminster due to significant health disparities between each tube stop.
- We are not adequately caring for our longevity. A child born in Japan can expect to live 84 years, while a child in Sierra Leone can expect to die by 50.
Wellness is no longer a lifestyle to promote health and prevent disease alone; the pandemic has made it our collective priority. We create healthier work environments and societies that benefit us all when we include everyone in it.
“The inequity in COVID-19 risks and COVID-19 deaths has sparked a widespread awakening to the inequities of preventive health and the external determinants of health. Public health on every level needs greater investment, and it must extend beyond vaccinations and anti-smoking campaigns to a more holistic and equitable promotion of healthy lifestyle habits and healthy living environments.”—The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond COVID. A 2021 Report by the Global Wellness Institute
Three Steps You Can Take Now
A key role we play as wellness leaders is to assess the health and wellbeing of the people we serve, notice what’s working, and get honest about where inequities and dysfunction exist. How can you begin?
- Start by assessing yourself. Ask: To what extent do I prioritize wellness personally and amplify it in the lives of others? To answer this question, take a non-judgmental yet candid inventory of your own life. Get feedback from your loved ones or team members. Or complete this science-backed assessment to examine how various psychometrics of wellbeing and stress resilience are playing out in how you live and lead. Remember: Your effectiveness as a wellness leader rests on your foundation of wellbeing.
- Broaden your focus to family and community. Substantial evidence shows family wellbeing highly linked to the wellbeing of individuals and the wider community. Draw questions and guidance from the Child and Family Wellbeing Assessment Tool, developed for wellness practitioners by the Government of Tasmania. This excellent educational resource can help you cultivate family wellbeing wherever you live with thoughtfulness, care, and compassion.
- Examine your work culture. To embrace #WellnessForAll, your organization must emphasize diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility in its strategies for thriving at work. Assess how that’s going by asking simple yet challenging questions to a cross section of employees: Who is heard, valued, recognized, and supported here? And who isn’t? Plus, engage in a focused study with an expert research partner to get evidence-based findings about your work culture. People who identify as LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and female, as well as people with disabilities are often among the most underrepresented in decisions at work. And you lose a great deal of creativity, talent, profitability, and institutional wisdom when you let people fall through the cracks.
Double the Reach of The Wellness Moonshot
The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease initiative is part of a larger revolution to cultivate a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world by spotlighting wellness. Do you have a #WellnessMoonshot story you want us to feature? Let Kendra Kobler ([email protected]) know the unique ways you are advancing #WellnessForAll.
We’ll touch on many topics to support your wellness leadership this year. Plus, check out each of these Wellness Moonshot articles from past years with science insights and strategies to support you on your wellness leadership journey.
Resources to Empower Your Wellness Leadership
- Check out the GWI’s Africa Initiative, Beyond GDP, World Happiness & Wellbeing Initiative, Clean Water Initiative, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative, Mental Wellness Initiative, Supporting UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Initiative, Workplace Wellbeing Initiative, and Women in Leadership Initiative.
- Donate to the new Susie Ellis Scholarship for Diversity in Wellness fund.
- Participate in The Doctor is INclusive webinar series.
- Bring the pioneering Children’s Moonshot to schools in your region.
- Use insights from GWI’s Resetting the World with Wellness white paper series, produced in collaboration with the Vatican.
- Learn about The Wellness Moonshot activities in China, Israel, and India.
- Customize The Wellness Moonshot branding assets and educational materials to meet the needs and aspirations of your company, community, or country. Contact Kendra Kobler ([email protected]) for more information.