NWC 2019 Keynote Presenter & Panel Discussion

We're excited to announce the following keynote speaker lineup for NWC 2019! Gather with fellow attendees for informative, engaging, and inspiring keynote presentations.


Ken Nwadike Jr.
Free Hugs Project

Restoring Civility in America
Tuesday, October 1 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

View keynote description

Creating safe and inclusive communities begins with how civil we are towards our fellow men and women. As a keynote speaker, Ken shares stories of de-escalating intense confrontations on the front-lines of riots and protests. He describes ways that peacekeeping principles can be used proactively in the workplace and community to prevent heightened situations from occurring. The keynote inspires people to be more supportive and respectful towards one another. Restoring civility in America improves the way we treat our families, coworkers, and people within our communities. Ken has received numerous awards from law enforcement agencies and community groups for his peacekeeping efforts during uprisings.

View Ken Nwadike's bio

Ken E. Nwadike Jr is a peace activist, inspirational speaker, and video journalist popularly known as the Free Hugs Guy. Ken is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which gained popularity as Nwadike made major news headlines for his peacekeeping efforts and de-escalation of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies. Ken was featured in Google's 2016 Year in Search video as a highlight among some of the year's most defining moments and he has made many appearances on news programs, including CNN, USA Today, Good Morning Britain, and BBC News.


Kelli Harding, MD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University

The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness
Wednesday, October 2 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

View keynote description

What are we missing when it comes to health? What would truly help us to thrive? Dr. Kelli Harding explores groundbreaking scientific evidence and shares heartfelt personal stories to reveal how surprising hidden factors, such as kindness and connection in our day-to-day lives, can have a far greater impact on our overall health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office. At once transformative and inspiring, Dr. Harding shares a radical new evidence-based way to think about how we live. Her eye-opening talk will change the way you engage in your relationships, workplaces, organizations, and communities.

View Kelli Harding's bio

Dr. Kelli Harding is an expert in human health and wellbeing. She’s celebrated for her ability to make complex medical and public health research meaningful to a broad audience. She helps individuals and organizations apply the science of kindness and connection to help them thrive.

Dr. Harding is currently an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She’s also boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Her work as a doctor – seeing patients, doing research, and serving in national leadership roles – led her to write The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness (Simon & Schuster, 2019.)


PANEL DISCUSSION: Thriving in Today’s Environment
Thursday, October 3 | 8:30 - 10 a.m.

As wellness leaders, we envision a world where individuals can fully participate in the "fascinating and ever-changing panorama of life itself" (as Dr. Halbert L. Dunn describes in High-level Wellness). To do so demands that we collectively expand the elements of thriving where we live, work, and play. We recognize the interrelatedness of the Six Dimensions of Wellness—Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Social, and Occupational—and ways to optimize each of them at home, in our communities, and at our place of business. A person-centered, multidimensional approach aims to develop cultures of inclusive, whole-person wellness so we can all thrive.

But what does it mean to truly thrive? How do we unlock new doors to wellness for ourselves and the populations we serve? Join us for an intimate chat with three inspiring professionals who come from different avenues of wellness and health but have a shared vision: helping others to thrive in their everyday place. The discussion will center on their successes and challenges, as well as on some of the current trends and best practices in wellness. Discover ways to approach wellness—wherever your professional path leads you.


 Jane Ellery - Professor of Wellness Management at Ball State University and Sr. Fellow for Project for Public Spaces.  


DeAnne Aussem - Managing Director & U.S. Leadership Coaching Center CoE Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Colin Bullen -Founder and Director for BRATLAB Limited

Curtis Watkins - Owner of Watkins & Associates Executive and Team Development 


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If you need any other information, or have any questions, e- mail nwc@nationalwellness.org or call 715.342.2969.

NWI Event Cancellation Policy: Should you be unable to attend, a substitute delegate is welcome at no extra charge. A charge of 10% of the registration fee will be made for cancellations received in writing (or e-mailed with confirmation received) more than 15 business days prior to the start of the event. A charge of 50% of the registration fee will be assessed for cancellations received 15 or less business days prior to the start of the event. If you have any questions regarding your registration, contact NWI.