Five key takeaways from the Healing Summit 2022

Co-founder Anne Biging shares the key points raised at the Healing Summit 2022, which welcomed more than 130 delegates and a host of expert speakers to Portugal’s Algarve coast


By European Spa

20 September 2022

This year’s Healing Summit saw more than 130 delegates and a host of expert speakers head to Portugal’s Algarve coast, to debate, discuss and learn about this year’s theme, ‘The Healing of Everything’. 

Unlike previous years, the 2022 edition featured a more collaborative format with plenaries and smaller workshops where delegates could explore themes such as personal transformation, investment, economy, sustainability and social justice.

Commenting on this year’s event, event co-founder Dr Elisabeth Ixmeier said: “[I am] eternally grateful for all the speakers and delegates that came from all over the world to share their wisdom with the collective.”

European Spa asked co-founder Anne Biging to share her five key takeaways from the event:

Healing Summit 2022
The Healing Summit featured a host of expert speakers including Marina Efraimoglou (sixth from left), Mahesh Natarajan (second from right) and Gina Diez Barroso (third from left)

The Healing of Everything

The Healing of Everything is a call to action for each and every one of us. The pandemic as well as the climate crisis shows us that we cannot continue with business as usual. As businesses, we have to learn to change and adapt to new client demands.

Emerging consumer’s are sensitised to this new reality and are actively seeking change. Less and more-meaningful travel, new outlooks on life and a changed overall lifestyle play a pivotal role. Wellness and sustainability aren’t enough anymore – there is more. And exactly this opening was explored during the 2022 edition of the Healing Summit. 

Lead the change

Can hospitality lead the change to an eco-conscious world? This was the question posed by campaigner, business leader and co-author, Paul Polman, who identified three industries that are crucial to creating a sustainable world: fashion, food and travel. 

“Being sustainable is no longer enough,” he said. “We need to give more than we receive to this earth and this world. We need to educate leadership to take a lead in awareness so that we can bring humanity to the business world and companies can bring forth positive change.” 

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Climate change 

The Healing Summit took place in southern Portugal, set against the dramatic cliffs of the Algarve coast. Immersed in this rough, natural beauty, delegates heard from Janet Rogan, COP26 regional ambassador for the Middle East and Africa.

Rogan informed delegates that there is still hope for our climate, stating that “the change begins with each and every one of us.” 

Utilising ethical and sustainably produced products in spas and retail areas is one way to show such commitment. For example, Corc Yoga offers yoga mats made from organic cork harvested from trees in Portugal. No trees are cut down in the process, making the mats 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. Furthermore, a percentage of every sale is used to support youth mental organisations in Portugal. 

Healing Summit 2022
Gina Diez Barroso delivered a keynote speech about women's empowerment

Another product worth mentioning is Amatrius, which has successfully created the world’s first science-based Eaux de Parfums. The products are sustainably manufactured from high-quality, recyclable materials and have not been tested on animals. The company’s founder, Norah Rosenblatt, has brought together a network of experts, new methods and approaches to unite spirituality and science at the highest level.

In addition, more and more hotels are looking into permaculture to create a distinctive feature. A prime example is Kaluga in Russia.

Dmitry Tertychnyy, assistant to the director of Green Flow, said: “We are stewards of our planet and are asked to take responsibility for earth, animals and people. This is what we are in the process of establishing.”

In hospitality, spas and beyond, we need to shift architectural design to more natural and sustainable models; respecting the principles of permaculture, marrying indigenous wisdom with modern technology and reclaiming the mystical aspect of life and our place in the natural world.

Female empowerment 

Research by the World Travel and Tourism Council shows that women play a vital role in the travel and tourism industries, representing 54% of travel and tourism employees worldwide. While more than half of the sector is made up of women, too few occupy any senior or strategic roles, with statistics showing that one woman to every 5.7 men was likely to reach an executive leadership role in 2020. 

A strong believer in female leadership and an advocate for female empowerment around the world, Gina Diez Barroso, founder and CEO of Grupo Diarq, addressed delegates about the need for women in leadership roles, particularly in the challenging and rapidly changing times we find ourselves in, citing openness, flexibility, co-operation and other attributes traditionally associated with women. 

“Businesses need to make a shift in awareness and go beyond stereotypes and dualities. Women need to empower themselves so that diversity becomes an engine for social and economic transformation.”

Healing Summit 2022
The 2022 Healing Summit featured a more collaborative format with workshops, plenaries and keynote speeches

Holistic healing 

Transformational whole-life coach Vanessa Paige advocated courage, particularly the courage needed to step into a new world. 

She said: “We all need to contribute to create an environment of trust and respect. Instead of seeking to eliminate duality, we need to accept it, knowing that it is through contrasts that we evolve.”

Meanwhile, Chinese astrology expert and founder of Ame de Lumiere Holistic Consultancy Singapore, Amelia Kang said: “Collectively we can make a difference. We can penetrate the fabric of collective consciousness like many drops of water penetrating a rock. How? By holding on to your values and learning to reach for help when we need it. 

“When we ask for help we can draw strength from all around us and then we can make an impact,” she added.

"The paradigm shift that has been spoken about for so many years is actually happening as we speak. It offers tremendous challenges and even more opportunities, and, if we are courageous enough to accept these challenges with an open heart and mind, we can, together, create a sustainable world on all levels of existence."

Anne Biging

Co-founder, Healing Hotels of the World

Healing Hotels of the World

Healing Hotels of the World (HHOW), organiser of the Healing Summit, is a pioneering global brand committed to healing hospitality. The member-based collection brings holistic healing travel to life and features more than 90 of the best urban and resort healing hotels. 

A driving force in the wellness space, HHOW fully embraces societal change and empowers hoteliers to offer a healing guest experience by providing expert consulting and training. 

“The time is now. The paradigm shift that has been spoken about for so many years is actually happening as we speak,” said Biging. 

“It offers tremendous challenges and even more opportunities, and, if we are courageous enough to accept these challenges with an open heart and mind, we can, together, create a sustainable world on all levels of existence.”

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