As the world moves into the eye of the COVID – 19 storm it will be a year of challenge and opportunity. Here’s the Wellbeing Science Institute’s take on the wellbeing trends that will shape the wellbeing industry in 2021, a market that is worth 4.5 trillion (USD) – yes that’s a “t”.
- COVID’S long tail
The current COVID19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on people around the world for at least the next 5-10 years, economically, environmentally and socially. Many aspects of life will be re-evaluated including the role of government. Expect to see a global call for investment in health infrastructure, universal health care, investment in community-based social capital to re-energise societies with an emphasis on holistic wellbeing support. Failure to heed the call by governments and corporations and institutions will risk further societal fragmentation, isolation and loneliness and potentially great civil unrest.
- Increasing support for positive mental health
The global market for mental wellness is 121 billion (USD). Expect to see a much greater emphasis on positive mental health and true prevention, and a decline in mental health first aid style programs as corporations and funders look to outcomes and metrics to inform decision making.
- Rise of independent wellbeing platforms
As data ownership, security and privacy become of increasing interest to people the world over, one of the wellbeing trends to look out for is the increasing role of philanthropy to fund open-source wellbeing technology, platforms, apps and wearables, further democratising wellbeing. This wellbeing trend is one that’s here for the long haul.
- Wellbeing moves to centre stage in school education
One of the 3 big trends in education (others being ecology, economics/equity) will see biopsychosocial wellbeing become increasingly embedded in curriculums around the world. In fact, expect to see biopsychosocial wellbeing become not a bolt-on but taking its rightful place alongside academic learning.
- Significant growth in wellbeing coaching
Much like the personal training boom of the 90’s, expect to see an absolute explosion in interest and adoption of wellbeing coaches helping clients tackle a range of interests and issues. This wellbeing trend growth will be enhanced by greater convergence with medicine and greater emphasis on qualifications, ethics and professional practice in the field
- Rise of celebrity and athlete activism and wellbeing innovation
Celebrities and high-profile athletes will use their platforms to advocate for change in their sports and society more generally. Expect to see high profile athletes challenge their sports to do more on the wellbeing front from a proactive, holistic and developmental perspective. Athletes will also agitate for wellbeing initiatives that achieve real outcomes rather than window dressing. We will see the decline of “influencers” as their authenticity is challenged and the demand for transparency escalates as people become more aware of the commercial objectives in organisations owning and deploying social media strategies.
- Continued growth in holistic wellbeing education
Already crippled by the impact of COVID 19 many educational institutions face great challenges attempting to move into wellbeing education. Wellbeing education requires cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing, which in the past has happened on an ad-hoc basis at best. To thrive in this new space, inter-disciplinary space co-operation and design is essential. Expect to see major innovation through niche players who leverage on-line education platforms to sell to a global audience with a huge appetite. Another of our wellbeing trends with a very long tail.
Steve Johnson is CEO of the Wellbeing Science Institute who provide Wellbeing Education and Consulting services to Elite Sport, Corporate, Education and Defence Organisations