About GWI


GWI envisions a world in which all people – present and future – have the opportunity to thrive. Thriving means having holistic wellbeing: the ability to satisfy basic needs for physical and mental health; 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 empower change agents to create wellbeing so we can all live well on this small planet.

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


Good Life for All – Wellbeing Research

We all want a Good Life, but how to achieve it remains elusive for many. Reviews of interdisciplinary wellbeing research teases out what’s essential for human flourishing, and ethnographic studies of intentional communities bring this literature to life. This research program serves as the foundation for GWI’s core principles and projects. ***Ethnographic research on hold due to Covid-19 considerations.

INTENT 365 – Global Citizen Action Campaign

INTENT 365 aims to expand change agents’ understanding of wellbeing and offer inspiration for action. INTENT is a framework that represents wellbeing as interdependent and multi-dimensional, covering a person’s mental/physical, social, material, and existential (life satisfaction) wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of our communities and environment. Targeting a new wellbeing value each month, INTENT 365 expands on lessons learned at an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand, with a year’s worth of daily tips on how to adapt and practice those lessons in our everyday lives.

Impact Corps – Social Impact Capacity Building

GWI’s Impact Corps helps nonprofits, social enterprises, governments, and community-based organizations to expand their social impact. Impact Corps doesn’t just offer strategic planning and asset creation like other consulting groups (though we excel at that, too). Ultimately Impact Corps aims to build change agents’ own capacity to create the change they seek.


Juliana Essen: Founder + Executive Director

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 2018, Juliana launched Global Wellbeing Institute to turn ideas into impact.  


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.