IWBI Founder Paul Scialla talks Road to Recovery at Yahoo! Finance All Market Summit
“The Road to Recovery” was the theme of the Yahoo! All Market Summit on Oct. 26, 2020, and it featured an all-star lineup of leaders in business, academia, government and philanthropy, including Paul Scialla, Delos Founder and CEO, and also founder of the International WELL Business Institute (IWBI). Scialla joined other global leaders to offer perspective on building and refining new relationships in a time of profound generational, cultural and economic change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, COVID-19 has brought about a sudden awareness for all of us - the simple fact that what surrounds us matters,” said Scialla. “The materials we touch, the light we see, the air we breathe and the water we drink all have, according to the science, immediate and long-term impacts on our health and wellness. Today we spend on average over 90% of our lives inside, whether in our homes, offices, schools, hotels, stadiums or restaurants. We need to use the science – health science and building science – to make sure our buildings are used to their fullest in this fight against COVID-19 today and as a tool for safety, health and wellness long-term.”
The theme of protection was a common one throughout the day as speakers noted both the physical and economic necessity of working to keep people as safe as possible. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon noted that their first priority is to keep their associates safe. He applauded his team for making decisions quickly and continuing to do so when new information became available -- doing things to make it safer in stores and fulfillment centers. Part of helping customers feel safer is keeping the supply chain moving and inventory in stock, and that’s been a critical focus.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian also talked about needing to be very focused every single day on protecting customers and employees, but also the company’s future, noting that customer confidence was critical. He referenced the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which recently reported on the relatively low incidence of inflight COVID-19 transmission since the start of 2020, compared with the number of passengers who have traveled during the same period.
But the messages just aren’t clear to the general public, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates noted that people are tired of restrictions just at the time we’re moving indoors, and that will work against us as we move into the fall.
Scialla suggested that “a better understanding that our surroundings have a huge impact on our health outcomes, on our productivity and on our health and safety will lead to action and healthier spaces across all businesses.” To that end, IWBI has introduced the WELL Health-Safety Rating, an evidence-based, third-party verified rating, to let consumers know that businesses who have achieved and are displaying the rating have their health and safety in mind and have followed key science-backed steps that can help them feel more confident in going back to the businesses they love. And that confidence may very well be the biggest driver of all on the road to recovery.