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Can Personal Transformation Lead To Industry Change?

Photo Credit: rajkumar1220 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: rajkumar1220 via Compfight cc

This past week our firm’s Wellbeing Innovation Practice Leader Clare Martorana participated in the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit, a Davos-styled gathering of senior execs representing 42 nations across the spa industry. The session she led about “wired wellness” shed light on fascinating trends occurring at the junction of technology and consumer health, such as wearable computing and the quantified-self movement.

Perhaps even more mind-blowing than her topic, however, was the saffron-robed speaker she followed. Right before Clare’s stint on stage, His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet took part in a public interview about the nature of wellness. His message was simple, saying that the ultimate basis of wellbeing – of living a happy, fulfilling life – is a compassionate attitude. “Happiness is directly related to warm-heartedness, which is more important than having a brilliant brain.” Certainly a twist on the message executives usually hear!

Dalai Lama

His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet at the 2013 Global Spa & Wellness Summit. Photo Credit: Clare Martorana

But his meaning must have penetrated the hearts of this audience. When I connected with a few conference-goers and read media surrounding his session, I heard “magical,” “humbling,” and “gratitude” used to describe the profound experience these leaders had together.

Reflecting on the New Delhi-based conference from my home office 8,000 miles away, I wondered: What aspirations can become truly achievable if people share this kind of personally transformative experience?

When we allow ourselves to open to the greater dreams and strengths of one another, a collective resolve can emerge that is stronger than an individual will ever be. The Global Spa & Wellness Summit seems to be that kind of turning point for these executives, a revolutionary opportunity to repurpose their entire industry as a true leader in human wellbeing.