A Public Non-Profit
Growing the Wellness Corridor
GWC actively promotes transparency, participation, and accountability
to ensure that we continue to be engaged, well governed, and healthy.
What we’re thinking about
HEALTH is at the heart of what GWC considers the Wellness Corridor and there is an ongoing obligation to give it due attention. A focus group is being put together to decide on next steps.
In its founding stages, GWC expects that WATER will be a target for areas of the U.S. that continue to be starved of water. Also as more cities in the Upper Midwest discover that the quality and quantity of drinking water that they have always assumed would be there is yet another problem.
How much FREIGHT is going by truck to (and even from) Chicago for international distribution? GWC is assembling the deciders — from the academic, the public and the private sectors — to examine the question and consider what alternatives there may be to improve the supply chain and transportation strategy system in the Wellness Corridor of the Upper Midwest. At GWC, we hope to come out of these sessions with a consensus on what next steps to take, which will likely require some qualitative and quantitative research.
Global Wellness Connections is all about Connecting the Upper Midwest’s Wellness Corridor to the World
With your help we are making connections to:
The Future of the Upper Midwest
This is a mindset leap for most of us. To think about the long range rather than tomorrow. Having lived through the worst of the pandemic and facing the consequences of climate change, we are told repeatedly that we are living with the slowest rate of change humans will ever see again. That is anxiety-producing for most people. But it is real. It is here, now. The movement of “artificial intelligence” from abstract forecasting to something real is just another early signal example of rapid change on the horizon.
With climate change upon us, this region — with its water, energy, healthcare, and food — looks like an oasis. Our region has advantages in healthcare and nutrition and mobility potential, but from all reports, the region is losing vital capital every year. The region is being connected to leverage resources and act on each of its advantages to preserve and build for the future.
GWC makes connections that meet the needs of the present without compromising how future generations see their own needs. What would a Wellness Corridor — a whole region of the United States — dedicated to benefit future generations of every citizen actually have to consider to be that globally recognized region?
- Environmental sustainability. Investing in clean energy, reducing waste, and protecting natural resources — such as water people trust to drink and preserving an abundance of lakes and rivers and making a healthier environment, cleaner air and water, and a more stable climate.
- Economic sustainability. Whatever you may think about the present economy, it certainly does not work for everyone and that is a condition likely to get worse as time passes. If we want a stronger economy that works for every willing person, we will need to act to assure a steady supply of well-paying jobs. GWC is making the connections across the private, public and academic sectors that will lead to a more stable and successful regional economy.
- Social sustainability. The region has a good start on promoting greater equity, along with fairer access to healthcare, and a general push for healthier living. With more connections more planned intellectual collisions (conferences, round-tables, and task-forces),GWC is helping create roadmaps for the future of wellbeing and assembling the teams willing to act now to improve our social fabric and sustain it.
- Healthier Communities. By promoting health and wellness, GWC is helping to bring about a future that features more opportunities for physical activity, more people using the region’s outdoors, better access to food options, and fairer access to health services. GWC’s goal is for the Upper Midwest to be a beacon of health and wellness for the nation and the world and the region has the unique set of assets to do all this well.
- Innovation. Regions of success attract others looking to be successful The Upper Midwest is attracting good minds from other places, and is becoming a constant source of new ideas and inventions able to turn itself into a sustainable Wellness Corridor.
Building Out the Wellness Corridor
What GWC Connections are Happening Now
Connect With GWC NOW to Participate
The Upper Midwest, with Minnesota leading the way, already is a Wellness Corridor. Led by companies like Cargill, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes, the heart of Minnesota is rich in food companies. In southern Minnesota and northern Iowa alone, there are some of the best soils for agriculture on the planet. And healthcare too, with the largest insurer in the country down to the smallest medical device company. And with those medical devices, we are a major center that is gradually becoming connected across the region.
So we do not need to create the Wellness Corridor – the foundations are already here. But regions everywhere are reorganizing, preparing for a different future. The tendency in this part of the country has been to stand pat on what is here and hope for the best. New generations and old are all recognizing around the need for action at the regional level to remain competitive with other ‘dedicated’ regions of the world.
As we ultimately expand this quest to local officials in all five states (Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin), we are expanding and discovering ever more assets that make this region a Wellness powerhouse.
GWC is not expecting every place to respond simultaneously. Innovation always starts with a few who challenge assumptions, who behave differently and have the courage to connect.
Initiatives of GWC
There are three initiatives that GWC, with no outside funding to date, has developed:
- The Future of Well-being (FOWB) report. This report, completed in late 2022 by David Beurle, his Future IQ associates, and inputs from over 100 community participants, is a roadmap for a better future. The report’s region — that is, the entire Upper Midwest — shows an achievable future but only with the participation of every business, government and academic segments connected and leveraging our people, tools and capabilities together in pursuit of achieving an economic, institutional, and personal level of well-being for all citizens in the region and eventually exporting what works to every corner of the world.
- The prospect of faster connections between Rochester, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities area. Coming off months of discussions with Hyperloop TT officials about becoming the nation’s first Hyperloop line — all underground and very fast — we remain interested in any faster-than-airplane connection with Mayo, the Rochester air terminal and Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The quest for funding a straightforward feasibility study has been underway for nearly a year while many parts of the country from Virginia to Cleveland-Chicago and Denver are already moving to research and embrace new transportation technologies. While building better telephone poles might have helped band-aid long ignored connecting infrastructure, building out new cell towers was the common-sense thing to do. We are at a similar juncture, but we need to study the feasibility of all our transportation options. While closer today than a year ago, GWC is focused on securing feasibility-study funding as soon as possible to quickly determine what might be cost- effective, practical and possible.
- Mobility is often thought of as people-centric but a great deal of freight currently moves internationally. GWC is working with a broad spectrum of people from public, private and academic organizations to determine whether this region might capture a higher share of that international freight movement than today. Specifically, we are helping lead an all-volunteer team explore how much freight — particularly of high-value, low-weight items — goes by truck every day to Chicago where it is put on planes bound for international destinations. GWC has a formal agreement with Wallonia in Belgium, which has an internationally renowned cargo airport at Liege as its ‘teaching partner’ — they are also willing to help facilitate air transport of cargo to all sorts of global destinations. GWC is currently looking for funding to do a feasibility study which has already found support across the region.
Programs and Projects Underway
Global Wellness Connections, with its partners GreenUmbrella, Future iQ, and GreaterMSP, are sponsoring The Future of Wellbeing: Minnesota Leading the Way. Nearly 100 participants from across Minnesota gathered virtually in expert engagement sessions beginning in February, 2022, describing the challenges and opportunities in the Wellness areas of health, food, social infrastructure, work, and government.
Participants gathered in person to chart out four scenarios for Minnesota, and create a roadmap for the future.
The Future of Wellbeing roadmap and report, including primary and secondary research from Future iQ, was released on October 7, 2022. Visit the Events page to learn more about this important milestone.
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