About GWI

Vision Statement

GWI strives for 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 we value.

Mission Statement

GWI’s mission is to leverage people power to innovate a Good Life for All. To do so, this 501c(3) public benefit corporation engages in educational and charitable activities that promote individual, community, and environmental wellbeing and maintains an institute for these purposes.

Founder and Executive Director

Juliana Essen:  After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, where the farmers taught her more than she taught them, she went on to pursue a PhD in cultural anthropology to learn more about sustainable community development. Living in an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand while doing ethnographic research provided rich fodder not only for publications in “right development” and Buddhist economics, but also profound reflections on life. Juliana taught at Soka University of America for over a decade and now considers herself a recovering academic.

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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.