As featured in Forbes 13th December 2022
Warren Liu & Greg Macperhson have founded the Wellness Access Institute to support the US$1.5Tn global wellness industry to overcome challenges by fostering a collaborative approach to benefit the health of the human race.
SYDNEY, Australia – 13th December 2022: The fast-growing global health & wellness industry is now worth US$1.5 trillion and is projected to grow at a rate of 5-10% per year. While every company rushes to bring new products to market to take a slice of the revenue opportunity, consumers are faced with a different dilemma. What innovations or brands can they trust? Which products are genuinely backed by science-based evidence and real-world proof? What actions can they take now to support their long term health and wellness? And how can they get a hold of the latest cutting edge research and solutions sooner?
Wellness Access Institute (WAI) aims to position itself as the leading authority and innovation accelerator in the Wellness industry. Established in June 2022 by Greg Macpherson and Warren Liu, WAI (Pronounced ‘why’) aims to address the industry’s biggest problems. Whether it’s predicting the future of the industry, educating consumers on the science, addressing the trust deficit or tackling issues with supply chain quality and speed to market for products.
WAI’s goal is to establish an independent industry body that is funded by the industry it hopes to serve. Warren Liu, Co-Founder of WAI says “WAI aims to enforce, advance and advocate the wellness movement to benefit the health of the human race. The idea came to me and my co-founder Greg given our work together on launching the SRW Cellular Health brand. We realised a number of issues in bringing genuine innovation to market with a lack of platforms, information and support for those that haven’t been through the process before. It’s from this realisation that we had the idea to create a solution”.
Ahead of the launch today, Warren and Greg have been able to establish an initial advisory board featuring some of the best minds from across the industry. “With our advisory board we hope to answer the what, why and how of the industry in a way that helps accelerate the wellness movement globally” says Greg Macpherson, Co-Founder of WAI. “Along with solving some of the key industry issues; this advisory board will work on their collective 2030 vision for wellness and support with the latest scientific research”.
The wellness advisory board features 8 prominent individuals: From Aubrey Levitt the founder of microbiome startup ‘Postbiotics Plus’, to Dr. Matt Yousefzadeh who has published over 30 scientific publications to Michael Heinam who has secured patent applications and contracts with leading universities and researchers, in over 145 countries around the world. The initial team brings with them a network of thousands of potential collaborators across the globe.
Warren Liu added: “Ultimately this diverse panel is what makes WAI different. It’s no longer just businessmen and scientists trying to create new products to sell. It’s an open dialogue and vision setting agenda involving people at every stage of the journey and starts with making knowledge on the primary factors for wellness accessible to all. From a discussion on what you can do today to be healthier, right down to the young person suffering acne problems who may end up buying a product from TikTok”
The WAI accelerator program will also be a critical ignition tool for change. The industry is known for its red tape and often our best scientists take years to bring the latest innovations to people who need them, let alone in a way that is accessible and affordable. For the first time WAI will be able to connect scientists with the best minds in R&D, Entrepreneurship, Technical Production, Supply Chain, Marketing, Culture, Education, Government and Industry.
Greg Macepherson said: “WAI is here to surface foundational aspects of how we all age healthier and make this knowledge accessible to all. We are here to foster conversation and change to move humanity’s health and wellness forward. There is something fundamentally broken at a population level around health and wellness and an urgent paradigm shift is needed if we are to support an ageing population sustainably and improve our collective and individual health as we age. WAI aims to accelerate our understanding and access to wellness and wellness innovation in a way that is trusted and available to all. Improving “Access’ to the latest innovations is core to our mission.”
Warren and Greg have been discussing specific problems in the industry that they believe they can begin to solve right away. With Greg’s background as a biotechnologist, futurist, Founder of SRW Laboratories and author of ‘The 9 Hallmarks of Ageing’ he has identified an issue that is very personal to both of them. “How we classify, understand and provide cutting edge solutions to ageing will be one of the group’s first missions. How we think about our cellular health and supporting a dialogue to classify ageing as a disease is a fundamental issue to raise awareness of.
A similar parallel is when scientists reached consensus that microbes caused infections. This consensus caused a change in behaviours such as adopting basic hygiene principles saving hundreds of thousands of lives and then led to the discovery of antibiotics that saved millions more. Once we think of ageing as a disease then it will drive changes to behaviours that cause us to slow the ageing process and ultimately will lead to the discovery of “antibiotics” for ageing that will lead to increased health-spans and lifespans for us all – the benefits of this for humanity are significant” added Greg Macepherson.
Beyond addressing core facets of how we improve accessibility to knowledge around health and wellness that will drive a step change in how well people age, an issue right now is that there are some amazing breakthroughs happening in the research space. We need to set up frameworks to massively accelerate research and access to these breakthroughs.
The reality is that most everyday citizens don’t know that there is clear science on how to slow aging. Or how to even begin to translate this and take action for themselves. By focusing on raising awareness of the issue itself, WAI hopes to educate the end customer on what solutions are available. And collaborating directly with scientists, labs and researchers to help bring affordable solutions to customers right now.
WAI also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of gut health and nutrition as ways to ward off disease. Most consumers aren’t aware of the latest research in phytonutrients and how they can act as the ingredients for your body’s own compound pharmacy – your gut microbiome. One that can produce its own medicines, now known as postbiotics, that support our overall health.
When we think about nutrition we have actually been sold a lie for many years. We can all remember the phrase ‘eat your greens’. This was actually born out of an opportunity to sell green supplements to those who didn’t eat green fruits and vegetables because they didn’t like the taste. Fast forward to today and the market is flooded with hundreds of greens based supplements and multivitamins. We seem to have forgotten about the other 5 major colours based on this clever marketing ploy. We actually need to be eating red, purple, blue, yellow, green and black fruits and vegetables of every colour. And these need to contain genuine phytonutrients in order for our bodies to be able to create their own solutions. 90% of the health and wellness market doesn’t even consider this.
Finally they have also set our sights on the beauty industry and its endless and often toxic pursuit of beauty. We aim to raise awareness of the skin biome and how that affects how we think about beauty from the inside out. Warren has previously worked with ‘Vida Glow’ who pioneered the ingestible beauty industry so he knows this space well. “We aren’t just talking about marine collagen here however; we are looking to tackle the serious issue of beauty culture through education and innovation” commented Warren Liu.
Full list of WAI Advisory Board members: Aubry Levitt, Dr Andrew Clark, Dr Matt Yousefzadeh, Michael Henain, Aki Ueda, Dr Ross Walker and Dr Albert Dashi.