The Global Wellness Institute supports a wide range of industry Initiatives that positively impact wellness throughout the world. Initiative Collaborations bring leaders in various wellness sectors together to discuss best practices for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
These provocative and inspiring Zoom calls are open to all.



Thursday, September 24, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Dying Well Initiative: The Importance of Grief and End of Life Support in the Workplace

While end of life, loss and grief are difficult topics, the disruptive impact of COVID-19, social injustice and loss from natural disasters are impacting the people who make our businesses succeed. We met Candi Cann, PhD, death scholar and researcher and associate professor at Baylor University; Liz Eddy, CEO and co-founder of Lantern; and Miriam Senft, president and CEO of Motivity Partnerships. Panel moderator Shoshana Ungerleider, MD, founder of the Endwell project and practicing internist at Crossover Health in San Francisco, is a leading voice in healthcare who regularly appears as a medical contributor on CNN, MSNBC and CBS News. Her most recent film, Robin’s Wish, is a biographical documentary about the final years of actor and comedian, Robin Williams.

Thursday, August 20, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Wellness at Work Initiative: Leading in the Next Normal
Part 3: Paradigm Shift–Understanding Wellness as a Culture, Not a Program

Recent world events, from the COVID-19 pandemic to environmental disasters, demonstrate the staggering cost of poor personal health. Today, more than ever, wellness leaders need to embrace strategies that build robust health and immunity–and workplaces are at the center of this urgent shift. In this session we shared perspectives and strategies to create workplaces that nurture long-term health with highly productive wellness cultures.

Tammy Gutierrez, MD, board certified family medicine doctor and functional medicine practitioner; Grant Gamble, business leader and author of “The Affinity Principal;” Gloria Treister, HHP, founder Wellness Evolution and author of “Wellness 101: A Guide to Healthy Living;” and John Toomey, CEO, Wide Awake Wellness and vice chair GWI Wellness at Work Initiative at Global Wellness Institute, will discussed effective wellness programs of the future and address questions.

Thursday, July 30, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Wellness for Children Initiative: Family Life in Lockdown

This open and honest conversation, hosted by the GWI’s Wellness for Children Initiative, in collaboration with the Mental Wellness and First 1,000 Days Initiatives, was an opportunity to learn how families are coping with the global quarantine –from home schooling and upskilling, to isolation, to illness and death. Participants also discussed how dramatic changes in family life are impacting the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy. In addition, there was new feedback from the Initiatives’ international survey of children.

Thursday, July 23, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Wellness Tourism Initiative: New Research: What Will the Future of Wellness Tourism Look Like?

Katherine Droga, founder Droga & Co, Adam Glickman, principal of Parallax Wellness + Hospitality, and the Wellness Tourism Initiative prepared an hour of insights and inspiration. During this Zoom call the team shared actionable results from their not yet released, global survey, which took the temperature of over 2,000 travelers in May and June. They highlighted learnings on how guest preferences changed post virus, how customers prioritize different wellness experiences and insights into consumer’s willingness to pay for wellness. Together we then explored topics related to the future of wellness tourism.

Thursday, July 16, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Wellness at Work Initiative: Leading in the Next Normal: Setting the Agenda to Thrive
Part 2: Connecting Gender / Diversity & Inclusion and Workplace Wellbeing

In the second webinar, Mim Senft, co-founder & CEO of GW4W and  president & CEO of Motivity Partnerships and Joel Hershfield, CFO & healthy workplace advisor of Materials Distribution Agency co-facilitated a conversation with Karlyn Percil, CEO of KDPM Consulting; Gina Diez Barroso, president & CEO of Grupo Diarq and GWI board member; and Rene Bujard, HR director of Galderma and former global HR director for Oxfam. These diverse leaders bring a global prospective to this important topic.

The speakers shared personal workplace experiences, insights and data regarding barriers faced and actions that organizations can take. They also addressed questions that registered attendees could answer in advance on the RSVP page.

Thursday, June 25, 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET
Dying Well Initiative: Virtual Death Over Dinner (or Tea): An Unforgettable Conversation

The Dying Well Initiative’s core objective is to facilitate an ongoing, global conversation about death and dying well. Co-chairs Diane Doster and Amy McDonald, along with the Dying Well Initiative team, invited to join Initiative member Michael Hebb, the founder of Death Over Dinner and the End of Life Collective, for a life-affirming deep dive into a topic many avoid. After a shared appetizer together, smaller rooms supported the actual dinner conversation—each hosted by a Dying Well Initiative member or a special guest host.

Thursday, June 18, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Wellness at Work Initiative: Leading in the Next Normal: Setting the Agenda to Thrive
Part 1: A Conversation about Leadership with VP’s at The Coca-Cola Company & Barilla

Every organization has been touched by the global pandemic and the deep unrest emerging in its wake. To help navigate our way through these uncertain times, the GWI’s Wellness at Work Initiative is hosting a three-part series on “Leading in the Next Normal: Creating the Agenda to Thrive.” These insightful forums discuss how wellness leaders can be positive change-makers in their organizations and communities.

In the first webinar, Renee Moorefield, chair of the Wellness at Work Initiative and CEO at Wisdom Works, interviewed Joan Prats, vice president of corporate affairs of Coca-Cola Mexico and Dondeena Bradley, global vice president, nutrition and wellbeing at Barilla Group. These special guests shared the insights their global organizations have gained during this challenging time, along with plans to lead wellbeing for their workforce, consumers, communities and citizens worldwide and forge a healthy, sustainable future. We learned how the anxieties we are seeing globally have shaped Joan’s and Dondeena’s commitment to personal wellbeing.

Thursday, June 11, 9:30am – 10:30am ET
Pause and Listen: A Self-Care Journey

Co-created by the Immersion, Sound Wellness, Coaching, Sustainability and Social Impact Initiatives

Businesses and people who are part of the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy spend most of their time working to make others healthier and happier. Now, it is time to take care of ourselves. Global Wellness Institute Initiative leaders organized a special breath and sound experience to help you tune into your body, quiet your mind, and elevate your spirit. Debra Duneier (Sustainability Initiative) set the space, followed by Tracey Vincel (Immersion Initiative), who led “listening inside yourself.” Next, Susan O’Connor (Coaching Initiative) conducted a breathing exercise, and lastly, Josh and Eliza Peck from the DOJO Upstate (Sound Wellness Initiative) took us on a sound experience with gongs and bowls.

Thursday, June 4
Consulting Best Practices Initiative: Spa & Wellness Concepts in a Post-COVID World

Spa and wellness facility design was already evolving pre-COVID. In this collaboration, the Global Wellness Institute Consulting Best Practices Initiative presented experts in the field to discuss what architecture and design concepts we may expect to see in the near future. The Collaboration was moderated by Initiative Chair and Consultant for Wynne Business Lisa Starr and the Consulting Task Force.

Speakers included:
Envisioning the Built Environment: Alberto Apostoli, Architect & Spa Designer; Kay Sargent, Senior Principal, HOK
Wellness Programming & Creative Design: Paulina Moran, Interior Designer; Rene Pier, Interior Architect, Schienbein+Pier GbR

Thursday, May 21
Exploring Salt & Halotherapy Initiative: How Can Spas Offer Respiratory Health & Immune System Support?

Participants in this Initiative Collaboration, hosted by the Exploring Salt & Halotherapy Initiative, explored the growing importance of halotherapy and infrared for respiratory health—both in spas and at home. Speakers included Dr. Cindy Hollenbeck, executive director, World Halotherapy Association; Dr. Raleigh Duncan, chairman, Clearlight Infrared Saunas; Kathleen Slonager, executive director, Michigan Asthma & Allergy Foundation; Lisa Semerly, former owner, Remedi Spa & Wellness; and Amy McDonald, a leading spa consultant.

Tuesday, May 19
Hydrothermal Initiative: Sauna Science Lab

In this Hydrothermal Initiative Collaboration, leading medical researchers, scientists and sauna experts debated the role of sauna in public health and wellness post-COVID-19. Sauna experts Lasse Eriksen and Don Genders, chair of the GWI Hydrothermal Initiative and CEO, Design for Leisure, moderated the call. The lineup of researchers and experts included Mikkel Aaland, documentarist and host of Perfect Sweat, an upcoming Netflix series; Hans Hägglund, MD, PhD, a medical doctor and professor known as the “Sauna Doctor” in Sweden, Professor Marc Cohen, author of a paper on the benefits of heat in fighting a virus; and Sven Erik Bucht, Sweden’s first Sauna Minister.

Thursday, May 14
Wellness for Cancer Initiative: Repurposing Digital Content for the Cancer Community

The Wellness for Cancer Initiative kicked off the GWI’s new series of Initiative Collaborations, held in conjunction with the Institute’s PositivelyWELL campaign. Founder and Initiative Chair Julie Bach moderated the session, which focused on extending the reach of digital content beyond COVID-19 to the cancer community where social distancing is often the norm.