Health on the Davos Agenda: What it means for our industry

| February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

By Susie Ellis – Global Spa & Wellness Summit

networkingSome of you may have followed a few of the speeches and panel discussions that took place in Davos at the World Economic Forum a few weeks ago.  If you didn’t, I would like to bring your attention to one panel in particular.  It was chaired by Arianna Huffington and called “Health is Wealth.”

This panel resonated for me on a number of levels:

1.  In general, health was a prominent feature at Davos this year – something that hasn’t happened before.  There were, in fact, 25 sessions focusing on health – double from just a few years ago.  Arianna’s panel shows how significant this topic is becoming to stakeholders around the world.  And, interestingly for our industry, the issue of prevention is gaining momentum.

2.  In all honesty, nothing on the panel surprised me or was very cutting edge.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that the discussion was surprisingly “weak.”  Our spa and wellness industry is much more tuned-in to prevention and wellness than any of these major players; nevertheless it is heartening to see that a discussion is beginning to take place.  Special kudos to Arianna for bringing this important issue to the forefront.

3.  A particular irony was not lost on me – after all of the years we have been saying that the Global Spa and Wellness Summit is modeled after the World Economic Forum, it almost seemed that their health program was modeled after our previous agendas.  Their sessions included a focus on meditation, happiness, stress and prevention, as well as the economic benefit of healthy populations – they even had a Buddhist monk (although not the Dalai Lama).

Bottom line…it is a good time for all of us to be participating in health and wellness conversations around the world – on any and all platforms.  Please reach out in your area to be included as a spokesperson.  The services and establishments we provide are the best in the world for helping people make positive lifestyle changes – and trumpeting wellness tourism couldn’t be more timely!

Public and Private Sector Leaders Agree: Health is Wealth
•    Investing in public health makes strong economic sense, leaders concur
•    Business has a role to play, starting with ensuring the health of their workers
•    A growing body of modern science supports ancient practices surrounding mindfulness and meditation
•    The theme of the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is, The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society,  Politics and Business

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 25 January 2014 – On the last day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014, public and private sector leaders affirmed the strong economic case for investing in health as a means to achieving long-term growth. “The very title of the session says it all,” said moderator Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, USA. “Health is Wealth.” And while great strides have been made in eradicating or rolling back some of the worst diseases of the developing world, such as smallpox, HIV/AIDS and malaria remain daunting. Moreover, the developed world is seeing epidemic levels of non-communicable diseases related to stress and obesity. “The Belgian philosopher Pascal Chabot called burnout a “disease of civilization,” Huffington said. “We need to put healthcare, as opposed to sick care, at the heart of the debate.”

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