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September 2018 – Edition 4

FINANCIAL WELLBEING MEANS LESS IS MORE

The wellness industry tends to reason in additive rather than subtractive terms: proposing ways to consume more things, rather than fewer. But it would also do well to focus on what we should get rid of.  A prime example is financial wellbeing; more often than not that equates to having a sustainable level of indebtedness or, better still, no debt at all.

We tend to think that worries about money only afflict the unsalaried poor, but it is often the working poor – those on low incomes –  who struggle to decide which bills to pay, and end up borrowing to settle their debt (the worst possible choice).

“Even the ultra-rich can suffer in terms of their mental wellbeing”

At the other end of the spectrum, the more financially wealthy are not immune. People who engage in conspicuous consumption frequently end up borrowing to do so.  Even the ultra-rich can suffer in terms of their mental wellbeing; too much money skews almost all human relationships.

The wellness industry has yet to realise the criticality (and potential) of the financial wellbeing dimension.  So far the sector offers scant provision for the counselling and practical help that are a first step to alleviating the problem of financial wellbeing. The opportunity to seize an untapped market, especially for the prolific business model offering a hybrid of hotel and club culture, is significant.

Thierry Malleret, Managing partner Well Intelligence

HEALTHY AGEING: WHY LIFESTYLE BEATS DRUGS

It’s not the cost of an ageing population we should worry about, but the cost of an unhealthy ageing population. A Lancet analysis revealed that if rising life expectancy means years in good health then health spending would be expected to grow by just 0.7 % of GDP by 2060. This appears unlikely based on current health projections but it shows where the real issue lies.

An approach to healthcare that focuses mainly on dispensing drugs won’t work. There is an alternative, evidence based medicine also referred to as integrative medicine, combines clinical expertise with patients’ values and preferences.

Yet this method, for several reasons, is rarely the default.  Over-prescription remains prevalent in the UK and drugs are prioritised (almost 50% of adults are currently on at least one drug and 25% on three) over lifestyle changes.

Why? Culture – both professional and patient. GPs are under pressure, and the average citizen expects to be ‘fixed’. Meanwhile those changes, of diet, exercise, sleep, less alcohol for example, can have positive effects within weeks, even days.

What opportunities present themselves in the wellness sector? The ageing population need purposed, bespoke communities. Specialists in the sectors have the requisite knowledge on quality of life, there is a disruptive opportunity to act on this. Improved wellbeing is the answer, not drugs.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence

CLUBS WITH A PURPOSE

The Conduit has brought something distinctly new to the world of private members clubs: an ethos and members’ programme focused on social and environmental change, aka, wellbeing for all.

Founding members of The Conduit, in London’s West End, include the likes of Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Sahil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International; the programming suggests something akin to the World Economic Forum or the Summit of Minds. Membership is by invitation only, and is designed to cater for a growing jet-setting global elite who are interested in social causes.

“the momentum going forward is less about sofas and more about workspace”

Private members clubs have been proliferating in major cities, fuelled largely by a desire for exclusivity combined with a relaxed and contemporary lifestyle, plus the growing numbers of freelance workers and the perceived value of networking with the right people.

The competition is vast but there is no shortage of demand. These clubs cater to every member need but the momentum going forward is less about sofas and more about workspace.  Why aren’t hotels stepping more aggressively into this space?

The Conduit shows just one way forward. For the hospitality sector, private members clubs represent a culture shift of provision and require, in some cases, a repurposing of existing models. But the demand for tailored tribal space that is more bespoke than WeWork remains a robust segment for consumer demand.

Anni Hood, Managing partner Well Intelligence
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