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September 2018 – Edition 2

MORE HEAT LESS LIGHT

Global warming is raising the cost of capital in countries most affected by climate change, as well as hitting economic growth prospects through ripple effects like lower productivity during periods of extreme heat.

Any assessment of climate change for investment purposes needs to be granular, but from a top-down perspective, two things matter: 1) “supercharged” weather events will accelerate and start affecting ROI as soon as the next five years; 2) some regions including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, West Africa and the North China Plain will suffer disproportionately, while others will benefit – in particular the 10 lowest-risk countries, predominantly in Europe. Climate change affects wellbeing by exercising a negative impact on our mental health.

“more heat leads to higher rates of suicide, more domestic violence and road rage”

A recent meta-analysis covering 60 prior studies concluded that rising temperatures and climate instability are correlated with conflict: “Deviation from normal precipitation and mild temperatures systematically increase the risk of conflict, often substantially”. A plethora of observational studies conducted in countries as different as the US, the Netherlands or Tanzania reached similar conclusions, showing that more heat leads to higher rates of suicide, more domestic violence and road rage. Correlation is not causation, but the research suggests that apart from the net economic damage it inflicts, climate change has a negative impact on wellbeing – mental and physical. Long-term, this is bullish for Europe.

Thierry Malleret, Managing Partner, Well Intelligence

WELLBEING’S IDENTITY PROBLEM

Knowing what wellbeing is and why it matters is crucial in your business culture, whether that be manifested through the services you provide or the people you employ.

The very term ‘wellbeing’ is ill-defined. Part of the reason why wellbeing can feel so elusive is that it touches everything. Wellbeing is about how people feel.

Do your employees, patients, constituents and family feel good about themselves and their lives? And if you are providing wellbeing services or a wellbeing-focused environment do people ‘feel better’ for having experienced what you offer?

The evidence supporting the need for environments that nurture happier, healthier, more purposeful people is to be found in a slew of statistics that reflect how people live, work and age. By 2020 50% of UK workers are expected to be freelance; 75% of Millennials said they would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company; and the world’s population is ageing – there could be 3.7 million centenarians by 2050.

Economic, social and technological issues are increasingly interdependent, morphing into a singular ecosystem that needs to move in one direction if it is to yield success.  Hotel departments, segments of travel and the workplace are no different.

Anni Hood, Managing Partner, Well Intelligence

WHY GOOP IS IN THE GLOOP

News that Goop is paying $145k to settle allegations of unscientific claims related to unproven health benefits of their Yoni (vaginal) eggs provides a warning call to all industries at the intersection of wellbeing such as hospitality, travel and the workplace.

The settlement follows a disbanding of the partnership between Goop and Condé Nast because Goop’s founder Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t want Conde Nast to fact check their articles.

“the Goop offering is superficial and inauthentic in a market becoming increasingly more keen on depth, truth and efficacy.”

Paltrow spoke about creating ‘cultural firestorms’ through outrageous, faddish, little heard-of products and practice. She said it drives traffic to the site, and “I can monetize those eyeballs’. So why does this matter and why should businesses take note? 1) The pushback from Condé Nast and from the US legal system endorses evidence and scientific proof over marketing spin – both are rejecting baseless commoditisation and blatant disingenuity. 2) Elitism (which Goop holds dear) is the opposite of  Millennial and populist culture. Notwithstanding its business success, the faddish nature of the Goop offering is superficial and inauthentic in a market becoming increasingly more keen on depth, truth and efficacy. 3) It isn’t sustainable. Offer culture  and products that have meaning and quantifiable benefit. Don’t be drawn in by the allure of the unique if the ‘one of a kind’ has no staying power.

Sustainable return on investment means a committed and authentic approach that will stand up to scrutiny.

Anni Hood, Managing Partner, Well Intelligence
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