On October 9, 2023—one day before World Mental Health Day—Diplomatic Courier held its annual Wellbeing Forum (WBF). We convened 50 delegates from 4 continents—wellbeing experts and advocates across a variety of sectors—at Gallup’s headquarters in the iconic The Shard, London. The theme was the impact that AI can have on human flourishing, but in practice the theme was far more holistic because—as Diplomatic Courier CEO Ana C. Rold noted in her welcome remarks—conversations about AI are largely proxies for worldwide anxieties facing humanity today.
Speakers and panels discussed challenges to holistic and inclusive notions of wellbeing today—including intellectual, mental, spiritual, and societal health—which are too often overlooked, and the positive and negative impacts that AI can have on these more inclusive notions of wellbeing. The audience was encouraged to be active participants—which is why we call audience members “delegates”—to think about how we can bring about the best possible uses of AI to empower holistic human flourishing in 2024 and beyond. This model of convening is in line with the mission of Diplomatic Courier’s think tank World in 2050, which uses collective intelligence to help diverse groups to co-create solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
This full-day convening was full of highlights. Here are a few:
• Gallup and Radiant Foundation launched a report examining the intersection of spirituality and wellbeing, highlighting the importance of spiritual wellbeing.
• Diplomatic Courier and citiesRISE announced the launch of a new channel, Mental Health, Reframed.
• Experts on AI and exponential technologies more generally shared some at times startling insights into how AI can be made more human-centered and thus help humanity flourish across all aspects of wellbeing.
Much has been made about the harms that AI can bring about, how it can affect our information diet and how bias can lead to societal and individual harms. Yet we also already have powerful digital tools available to help bolster our wellbeing, and AI has the potential to supercharge these tools. The challenge is making sure that these articulations of AI are human-centric. There are substantial regulatory and market challenges to ensuring AI is more human-centric, and overcoming those challenges is a daunting task.
Yet the discussions kindled by this convening—and which continued among delegates long after the WBF ended—give reason for hope. Diplomatic Courier’s report on the convening features some of the key takeaways from the gathering. We hope the discussions and presentations from our forum, distilled by our team in this report, help you to also imagine ways to usher in a future of human-centric AI that can be a powerful force for human flourishing this year and in the decades to come.