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 of value.
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 is a public anthropologist whose work illuminates the most promising solutions to global sustainability, equality, and wellbeing — those that emerge when personal, public, and planetary spheres of life connect.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, Juliana partnered with small farmers and schools to spread sustainable agricultural practices, and with women entrepreneurs, to launch community-based microenterprises. Fresh from that 2-year field experience, Juliana went on to earn a PhD specializing in sustainable human development, funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation. Her ethnographic research in an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand provided rich fodder for her first book, Right Development, as well numerous publications in Buddhist economics…not to mention profound reflections on life. After teaching for 12 years at Soka University, where the mission is “to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life,” Juliana left academia to advance her own life’s mission. Juliana now leads public conversations on how to create a Good Life for All through GWI.