About GWI


GWI envisions a world in which all people – present and future – have equal opportunity to thrive. That means every single person has the means to satisfy basic needs for physical and mental wellbeing; to pursue engaging and meaningful work, relationships, and leisure activities; and to do so in communities and environments that nurture and sustain us. All told, when we thrive, we have the ability to create a life of value – a Good Life, however we define it.

GWI’s mission is to leverage people power to create a Good Life for All. 

GWI is a 501c(3) public benefit corporation registered in California. 



Wellbeing refers to the quality of a person’s physical, social, material, and existential conditions — or health, relationships, stuff & money, and work/leisure.  It also factors in the interdependent conditions of our communities and environment — or public and planetary wellbeing — as these affect our own. So when we talk about “A Good Life for All,” we mean that all of these conditions are strong.

Ethical Economies

Ecofeminist Vandana Shiva asks the pointed question: What should be the objective of the global economy: freedom of trade or freedom for survival? If the latter, we must change how we think about economics. Ultimately, economics is about people. With people’s wellbeing as our goal, we can reshape our economic activities to reduce social and environmental costs and focus on what’s important: the freedom to survive…or better yet, the freedom to be well.

Sustainable Development

Eradicating poverty in all its forms is one of the greatest global challenges we face. To do so,  the United Nations set forth 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that developing and industrialized countries alike have committed to achieving by 2030. As global citizens, we can raise awareness about the SDGs and strive to advance them in myriad ways.


Founder + CEO

Dr. Juliana Essen is a public anthropologist whose work advances the most promising solutions to global wellbeing.  As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, Juliana worked with farmers to promote sustainable agriculture and with women to create community-based micro enterprises. As an academic, Juliana conducted ethnographic research in an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand, mentored global citizens at Soka University in Southern California, and published on ethical development and economics. In 2015, Juliana launched Global Wellbeing Institute to turn ideas into impact.  She lives, works, and plays in Laguna Beach, California with her husband, daughter, and big black Lab.



GWI does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, age, or other protected class.

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