Tuesday, March 21, 2023

World’s largest wellness conference to begin in Tel Aviv this year

Later this year, Israel will host the World Wellness Summit, the largest of its kind in the world.After the event was shifted twice in the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day GWS will be held at the Tel Aviv Hilton in November. The annual conference brings together entrepreneurs, executives and business owners in sectors such as hospitality, tourism, health, beauty and spas, food technology, fitness, medical technology and manufacturing under the multidisciplinary term of “wellness”, which includes the pursuit of physical, For mental, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental well-being.

For GWS Chief Creative Officer and CEO Nancy Davis, the upcoming summit location was a no-brainer. Tel Aviv is the technology capital of Israel and home to a large number of companies and startups in the health and wellness sector.

Boston hosted the summit in 2021, followed by Palm Beach, Florida, Singapore in 2019 and Cessna, Italy in 2018.

The pandemic “wakes up the whole world to everything related to wellness”Davis told The Times of Israel During a pilot visit to Tel Aviv last month as they prepare to host the summit.

Although the global welfare economy initially took a hit, rising from $4.9 trillion before the pandemic to $4.5 trillion today, the market is expected to grow to $7 trillion by 2025, according to a report. Global Wellness InstituteResearch arm of GWS.

If the past two years have advanced wellness, this year is all about putting together the pieces of what Davis calls the “huge global puzzle.”

Wellbeing, once a narrow concept, has become the umbrella for many vertical industries.Such as fitness, healthy eating, workplace wellness, mental wellness, tourism and travel wellness and real estate wellness.

“Now silos intersect. We see the vibrancy of … bridging technology and innovation with wellness, and how it has helped the world of wellness,” said Susie Ellis, CEO of GWS.

Davis agreed: “If I had to encapsulate one idea that’s really going to help drive this year’s summit and its agenda, it would be the idea of ​​convergence.”

According to Davis, Tel Aviv is unrivaled in promoting convergence, opening up opportunities for “unforeseen confrontations”. The overlap between the different regions in Israel, its collaborative culture and unique public-private partnerships make it fertile ground for innovation in the rapidly growing wellness industry.

Ellis and Davis learned it on a visit to Tel Aviv’s Sorasky Medical Center – Ichilov’s innovation arm IMED, to meet Professor Ronnie Gamzu, Ichilov’s director, and Israel’s former coronavirus czar.

Davis said it was “amazing” to see health, wellness and technology come to life in a hospital setting., Apart from incubating startups, IMED has also opened an investment arm.

“They bring together doctors who are entrepreneurs, and their innovations with financing to bring these companies to life. It is an extraordinary convergence”, he affirmed.

“We knew we were going to find endless innovation in Israel, but to find something that has really struck a nerve in the wellness world, the medical world, and the tech world was like a real ‘aha moment’ for us. Looks like he added.

The amount of mental health technologies, including therapeutic games, gadgets and apps, has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, except in Israel. Israel is now home to 2,000 health-oriented companies, 1,000 digital health companies, and more than 500 wellness technology companies, according to Amir Alroy, co-founder of WellTech Ventures and co-chairman of GWS, placing it second only to Silicon Valley. Is. In absolute terms.

The pivot of the pandemic has also had a positive impact on the local health industry, Israeli entrepreneurs in the cybersecurity and automotive space were drawn to shocking innovations and “doing good” so “bright ideas and bright founders, experienced people, are now in the industry.” [del bienestar], This is something that did not happen till two years ago.”

Alroy cited, among others, Amnon Bar-Lev, former president of cybersecurity at Check Point, who founded AI healthcare startup Alike; Samuel Kerrett, who left Waze to found digital health startup Hedonia; and serial cybersecurity entrepreneur Ben Enosh, who founded Antidote Health, a telehealth company for underserved populations in the United States.

Bar-Lev co-founder Varda Shalev, who is also a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at the Tel Aviv University School of Public Health and Morris Kahn and former director of the Maccabi Research and Innovation Institute, will be one of the key summit participants. ,

The Times of Israel
Nation World News Desk
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