When industry titans, policy makers, CEOs, financial gurus, tech giants, an acting president, and a few token millennials from the US to Nigeria to Australia all sit down and ponder the state of the world, what would the overarching recurrent theme be?
The answer, perhaps surprisingly: wellness.
Under the stately gaze of Europe’s highest mountain, over three hundred leaders from the likes of Google, Harvard, McKinsey, The Financial Times, NASDAQ, Oxford University, and the president of Armenia (below), sat in concentric diamonds, debating issues of the times at the Summit of Minds.
Renowned polymath Armen Sarkissian, current President of Armenia
Guided by the doctrine of ‘optimism’, the theme of wellness managed to outweigh
climate, economic, and political instability.
With as much grey hair as gray matter stuffed into the halls of Le Majestic in the French town of Chamonix, Mont Blanc, you’d be forgiven for thinking the spectre of mortality set the agenda. But this meeting was about looking forward to the world tomorrow.
Wellness permeated the discussions as a proxy for political predictions, proving a more accurate predictor of the recent populist shift than GDP. Wellness was put forward as a productivity driving incentive for industry. And the wellness industry as we best know it is waking up to the responsibility it holds for the future of healthcare.
So, what on Earth is wellness? And what does it mean for our longevity and prosperity?
That’s how an upstart millennial like myself was invited on a panel entitled “Longevity and anti-ageing: what are the perspectives?” alongside Tania Dussey-Cavassini, the former Swiss Ambassador for Global Health and ex Vice-Director for Public Health of Switzerland, Charu Ramanathan, CEO of Vitalxchange, and Rupert Schmid, Chairman of cosmetics giant Biologique Recherche, and chaired by Adam Kaufman of PathNorth USA.
Chronomics co-founder Toby Call on epigenetics, longevity and prosperity
Wellness for behavioural economists could be a simple set of questions: How happy are you on a scale of 1-10? How optimistic are you for the next five years? Wellness for industry could be satisfaction rates and productivity. Wellness for the wellness industry should be the gold standard of health, however, currently it has no clearer form than ‘feeling good’.
This is where Chronomics comes in.
The idea of truly quantifying wellness, bridging the gap between ‘feeling good’ and a true indicator of fundamental health, was clearly a touchpoint for the audience and the whole meeting.
What if 'feeling good' could be broken down into its constituent parts? What if we could measure the evolution of our health at a fundamental level? What if biological age could become a new proxy for our ‘health capital’ or ‘burn rate’? Yesterday’s wealth is tomorrow’s health.
Chronomics co-founder Toby Call (far right) with the longevity and anti-ageing panel
The wellness revolution is encouraging and timely. With rates of chronic and age-related illnesses soaring, we are waking up to the stresses we put on our bodies and damage we accumulate.
However, the Summit of Minds summarized very well the next steps beyond quantifying wellness.
We all need to be well, but to truly cause a seismic attitude shift, and have a lasting impacting on the rest of our lives, the trillion-dollar wellness industry needs triaging the quants from the quacks, and validating beyond the negative of ‘not being sick’.
Only then can wellness become a new foundation of positive health and beyond to define a new standard of prosperity that should be the collective goal of the 21st century.
Simplification by quantification, the epigenetics revolution is here to galvanize wellness.
No mountain too high for the future of wellness!
Toby Call is a co-founder of Chronomics