Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Susie Ellis is the co-founder and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a non-profit organization with a mission to empower wellness worldwide by educating the public and private sectors about preventative health and wellness. Through the institute’s research, programs and initiatives, she has been instrumental in the growth of the USD $4.5 trillion wellness economy and in uniting the health and wellness industries.
The co-founder says her mission is to empower wellness worldwide by facilitating cross-industry collaboration and providing proprietary global research with the ultimate vision of ensuring optimal wellbeing for people everywhere. She says education is paramount to that vision and is the cornerstone of the initiative’s goals and initiatives.
Susie is recognized worldwide as an authority on wellness trends, a popular speaker at global events and is a prominent writer holding a masters degree in business administration from the University of Southern California. She defined the concept of wellness tourism, which is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one's personal wellbeing, and was the first to forecast trends including wellness lifestyle real estate, sleep health, the ‘healthy hotel’, forest bathing, CBD in wellness and the wellness sabbatical. This top wellness professional won the Trailblazer for Gender Equality award in 2017 from the Metropolitan New York Chapter and the International Spa Association's 2012 Visionary Award. She leads the Global Wellness Institute’s annual Global Wellness Summit, a gathering of international business, academic and government leaders, and the Global Wellness Tourism Congress, which focuses on education and infrastructure to support the ongoing establishment of wellness tourism. Susie’s team at the Global Wellness Institute informs and connects key global stakeholders impacting the health and wellness of the planet and its’ citizen. Each year they conduct research in one or more sectors of the wellness economy such as the spa industry; wellness tourism; wellness lifestyle real estate; fitness and mind-body; beauty and anti-aging; and healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss.
Some of the initiatives by the Global Wellness Institute include Nutrition for Healing, Peer to Peer Leadership, Africa Wellness, Yoga Therapy, Exploring Salt and Halotherapy, Digital Wellness and Wellness for Children. Each event is chaired by a thought leader in the area of focus and along with other initiative members they develop initiative projects to drive the sector forward creating a positive impact on furthering wellness in the world. The team at the Global Wellness Institute convenes international roundtable discussions annually with recent topics being the Stress Economy, Beauty Meets Wellness and Wellness Architecture to catalyze action on the most relevant issues in the wellness economy. They also launched the Wellness Moonshot in 2017, with the aim to achieve a world free of preventable disease, as well as WellnessEvidence.com, the first evidence-based medicine portal for wellness therapies from acupuncture to yoga, in 2012. Susie served as president of Spafinder Wellness for 14 years from 2002 to 2016 with her publishing the industry’s first wellness trends report called the SpaFinder's annual Spa Trend Forecast in 2003. She sits on numerous academic and industry boards including Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, a Swiss hospitality management school in Lausanne, Aspen Brain Institute, a non-profit organization focussing on brain health, and the Center for Medical Tourism Research, an academic research center devoted to medical tourism. This wellness professional serves on the boards of the Spa and Hospitality Management Program at the University of California Irvine, the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics and is a member of the Accelerating Health and Well-being Initiative by the World Economic Forum. She is also a member of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
“We believe that the Global Wellness Institute has been instrumental in propelling wellness from an industry trend into a global movement. Our research, statistics and information have been downloaded by thousands of individuals and organizations, from ministers of tourism and development to other government officials to business and corporation leaders, management consultancies and universities,” says Susie.