Arianna Huffington Launches Thrive Global to End the Escalating Stress and Burnout Epidemic with Sustainable, Science-Based Solutions
Thrive Global announces international partnerships with The Times Group of India, Italy's Gruppo Espresso, South Africa's Discovery and its global Vitality Network and Antenna Group in Greece, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia
NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington's new and groundbreaking venture, has launched. The company aims to revolutionize the way we work and live by offering companies and individuals science-based solutions to lower stress and burnout, and enhance well-being and productivity.
Thrive Global rejects the myth that burnout is the price we must pay for success. The company takes a multi-tiered approach to ending the epidemic of stress and burnout, with mutually reinforcing core elements that include: corporate trainings with leading partners; a media platform designed to be the global hub for the conversation about well-being and productivity; and an e-commerce platform that offers top technology and well-being products that individuals can use to help them move from surviving to thriving. All three components work together to create sustainable change.
"We are at an inflection point in history where technology has granted us powers that accelerate the speed of life beyond our capacity to cope," said Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. "Thrive Global is born in response to this need to take control of our lives and offer new strategies and tools, based on the latest science, to address the unintended consequences of these profound and invasive changes."
After disrupting the world of media in 2005 with the launch of The Huffington Post, Arianna is now disrupting the way we work and live both at the corporate and individual levels with the rapidly expanding Thrive Global organization, based in New York City.
Since stress and burnout and our relationship to technology are problems across the world, Thrive Global is global from day one. In India, Thrive Global is partnering with The Times Group, India's largest media company, to enter the Indian market, scale its business and advance its mission. The Times Group, which publishes The Times of India, the world's most widely-circulated English-language newspaper, has previously invested in and partnered with Uber, Airbnb, Coursera, VICE Media, The Huffington Post and others via its global investment arm Times Global Partners.
In Italy, Thrive Global is launching in partnership with the Digital Division of Gruppo Espresso, one of Italy's leading publishing groups operating in all sectors of communication, from dailies and magazines to radio, the internet and advertising.
The company is also partnering in South Africa with Discovery and its global Vitality Network – the pioneer in Shared-Value – which will make Thrive offerings available through its global insurance partners and corporate clients in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. "This partnership is another advancement in our global mission to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives," said Discovery Founder and Chief Executive Adrian Gore. "Overcoming stress and burnout are key factors in managing overall health and wellbeing -- with Thrive Global we'll be able to offer the latest research and tools to our global Vitality network of over 4 million members in 14 countries worldwide."
Antenna Group, an international media and entertainment organization operating across Europe, North America and Australia, is partnering with Thrive Global to bring the venture to Greece, Cyprus, Romania, former Yugoslavia, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia. Through its Amplifier unit, Antenna Group offers the best way for high-growth digital ventures such as Thrive Global to accelerate their expansion into traditionally hard-to-reach-markets through its wealth of local relationships and its extensive set of media assets. Antenna Group has already built a successful partnership with VICE Media in the region. "Thrive Global will have a tremendous impact on how we work and live and we're excited to be working with Arianna and her team to help achieve their global ambitions," said Theodore Kyriakou, shareholder and chief executive of Antenna Group. "We set up the Amplifier unit to do exciting work with innovative companies just like Thrive Global. The Amplifier unit has a strong track record of growing profitable, digital businesses in the region and what would normally take five years for a company to achieve in these regions, we can help them do in a year."
Though burnout is a global epidemic and the modern science about well-being and productivity is universal, the solutions Thrive Global brings to different regions will be rooted in the philosophy and ancient wisdom of those regions and cultures.
Corporate leaders around the world are increasingly aware of the direct connection between the bottom line and employee well-being, resilience, engagement and sense of purpose. Thrive Global partners with companies around the world to deliver customized workshops, ongoing coaching and technology in order to create a thriving corporate culture. Its launch partners include Accenture, Airbnb, Glassdoor, JPMorgan Chase, SAP and Uber.
Thrive Global is teaming with Accenture to support the company's ongoing commitment to employee well-being. This includes interactive live workshops delivered in the US, India, Ireland, Argentina and Japan -- each of which is customized for local cultures and customs -- as well as personal assessments, ongoing coaching, and weekly tips designed to help individuals take micro steps for macro benefits. "We are committed to being the most truly human organization, where our people can be successful both professionally and personally," said Ellyn Shook, Accenture's chief leadership and human resources officer. "Teaming with Thrive Global is an important step forward in advancing our focus on the whole person – helping our people not only achieve a sense of belonging and purpose, but be physically energized and mentally focused in our hyper connected, digital world."
Thrive Global and Airbnb will bring Thrive's science-based, whole-human well-being approach to the Airbnb "Work Like a Human" initiative, in an effort to help people live more fulfilling, productive lives both at home and at work. The effort will kick off in 2017 with Airbnb employee trainings.
Thrive Global and Glassdoor, the leading job search site that also offers job seekers access to company reviews, ratings and salary data for more than 600,000 companies, are partnering in the following key ways: The two companies will collaborate to evaluate and release a co-branded Thrive Index based on employees' assessments of how their employer incorporates meaningful "thrive" practices into their workplaces and cultures. As an initial step, as of today, Thrive and Glassdoor are encouraging employers to "Pledge to Thrive" to show they are committed to prioritizing employee well-being. Any employer may promote their Pledge on their company's Glassdoor profile page and job listings to showcase their commitment to job seekers and employees. Glassdoor is also a Thrive Global launch partner for editorial content and will regularly contribute relevant articles and bylines from both the employer and employee points of view on the new Glassdoor channel on Thrive's media platform. "As an employer and as a growing platform where employers actively recruit candidates and manage their employer brands, Glassdoor recognizes the value of helping employees thrive inside and outside of work," said Robert Hohman, co-founder and CEO of Glassdoor. "Jobs are more than paychecks. Today's top talent want to work for a company with a strong mission and purpose where they feel like they can make a difference and where they believe they are supported not just professionally, but personally with a meaningful life outside of work. At Glassdoor our mission is simple: to help people find a job and company they love, and we are delighted to join with Arianna and the Thrive Global team in our shared commitment to help employees and employers thrive by promoting and sustaining employee well-being."
JPMorgan Chase is partnering with Thrive Global as the company focuses its attention on employee emotional well-being around the world. JPMorgan will work with Thrive to offer resources for employees and increase awareness about the dangers of burnout through an internal communications campaign. The partnership has launched with a four-week interactive well-being challenge to provide employees with tips and resources in four key areas – sleep, unplugging from technology, mindfulness and gratitude. "What we love about Thrive Global is that it gives our employees tools to improve both their physical and mental wellness," said JPMorgan Chase Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau. "Most people are aware of how important physical fitness and nutrition are, but we are still behind in understanding how important sleep, unplugging and mindfulness are. Arianna and Thrive will help us with that."
As part of a global content partnership, Thrive Global will integrate its science-driven, action-oriented content with SAP's human capital management suite – SAP SuccessFactors – which is used by 45 million people worldwide. Thrive content will be categorized for SAP SuccessFactors users by themes, including wisdom, wonder, well-being, giving, productivity and technology. "There's no more important leadership topic than the future of work and the workforce itself," said Jennifer Morgan, President of SAP North America. "The future of work will be shaped by those who can keep their employees healthy, vibrant, and engaged in new and dynamic ways with the same caliber of quality content they've come to expect as consumers and readers – and SAP is thrilled to be breaking new ground in this area with Thrive Global."
Thrive Global and Uber have partnered to develop a scalable, data-driven approach to creating a productive, thriving culture in the fast-growing start-up environment. Together, the two companies will develop an interactive employee learning program that will launch in early 2017, empowering Uber's 9,000+ global employees with the tools and techniques to identify and manage work productivity in their individual roles. "When you run a global business that never sleeps, often you don’t either. I used to think it made me tough not to get much sleep," said Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber. "Luckily, I had a good friend who made me to rethink my relationship with rest -- and I've been a lot happier and more productive ever since. So when Arianna started Thrive Global to change the way people live and work, I immediately asked how everyone at Uber could participate. Today Uber is proud to be one of the first companies to partner with Thrive Global to help our employees get the most out of their time in and out of the office."
Thrive Global is partnering with Adam Grant and The Wharton School to measure the impact of its work with corporations. "We’re thrilled to be working with Thrive around practices for promoting employee well-being—and measuring their impact on productivity and the bottom line," said Adam Grant, PhD, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. "Our jobs should be energizing, not exhausting. It’s time to accelerate a culture shift from burned out to fired up."
Thrive Global launches with a foundation which is offering free trainings to leaders of non-profits, as well as civic leaders who are on the front lines of serving others. Those who have already received training or who are scheduled to include Alliance for Children's Rights, EduCare Foundation, Global Citizen, Global Health Corps, Khan Academy, LeanIn.Org as well as the mayors and mayoral staffs of Minneapolis, Oakland and Providence and the Mayor of Boston and the City of Boston's 18,000+ employees.
"I'm thrilled to be partnering with Arianna and everyone at Thrive Global as this important work launches, said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. "I'm living proof that it is completely possible to be in a high-powered executive function and take care of yourself. I lend my voice to the chorus that says you will be more effective in your work and happier in your life if you take the risk of self-care. Arianna has been an inspiration to me and so many others, and I look forward to seeing the vision of Thrive Global become a reality, and make a real difference in people's lives." Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said: "It's critical that we begin the practice of putting self-care, health and wellbeing at the top of Americans' to-do lists. Under Arianna Huffington's leadership, Thrive Global will help businesses better serve their employees and their shareholders by creating a better-balanced workforce that is healthier, happier, and more creatively productive." Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said: "Here in Providence, we are excited to get involved with Thrive Global and appreciate their focus on maintaining strong and sustainable work-life balance for our employees. I have seen firsthand the hard work that non-profit and public sectors employees put into their work and I know that providing them with resources and trainings they need is critical to supporting their quality of life both at work and at home." Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said: "The City of Boston is focused on providing a healthy, balanced and sustainable quality of life for all its employees. I'm looking forward to working together with Thrive Global to provide their work/life balance training to all of our hard-working City employees throughout Boston."
The second pillar of Thrive Global is its media platform, which will serve as the global hub for the well-being and performance conversation, with an emphasis on action and change. It features original video content, the latest science, expert commentary and community contributions. To make it easy for users to take action and see immediate progress, included in the stories will be recommended microsteps – small changes that, over time and taken together, can deliver dramatic results. The media platform also functions as a sustainability arm for all corporate trainings, and will be continuously updated with new features, such as social and peer networks called Thrive Tribes, launching in early 2017.
Thrive Global is using Medium to power its media site, which will be home to original and curated stories from Thrive's editorial staff, and diverse perspectives from contributors and content partners. "We welcome Thrive to Medium, and look forward to seeing them enrich the conversation around well-being, productivity and the science behind success" said Ev Williams, Medium Founder and CEO. "Arianna brings with her a deep understanding of the media landscape and how it has evolved in the last decade. We're excited to discover how that expertise shapes Thrive's direction on Medium."
Thrive Global's media platform launches with contributions from business leaders, athletes, politicians, entertainers and world-renowned scientists and researchers. Some of the first voices you'll hear from include Sheryl Sandberg, Russell Wilson, Tufts University Director of Center for Reading and Language Research Maryanne Wolf, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Duke Professor Murali Doraiswamy, Ohio State University Professor Ali Rezai and Anne-Marie Slaughter and more, who share their stories of health and well-being in first person pieces or videos. The media platform also introduces The Thrive Global Questionnaire, in which influencers ranging from Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz and Brian Grazer to Selena Gomez, Priyanka Chopra, Shane Smith, Valerie Jarrett and Ashton Kutcher share their well-being and productivity habits.
Other Thrive Global media partners include NowThis, VICE, iHeartMedia, and The New York Times. Thrive Global and millennial news brand NowThis are launching their partnership with a video series called "Turning Point," which puts the spotlight on millennial women who experienced a burnout wake-up call and made a positive change in their lives as a result.
Thrive Global is partnering with Tonic, VICE's new channel dedicated to health and wellness, to jointly create a mental health index for college campuses that will help young people better understand one of the most important issues they and their friends may face. VICE and Thrive will also launch a global conversation about mortality and life's biggest questions in partnership with the not-for-profit Death Over Dinner. In addition, Thrive and the VICE Brand Studio will introduce a video series focused on high-performance athletes and their daily and nightly routines. The premier episode features NBA all-star Andre Iguodala, who credits his improved performance on the court to changes in his sleep habits.
"Arianna is an inspiration and a leader in the digital media landscape and her Sleep Revolution has made a huge impact on my life on and off court," said NBA finals MVP and Thrive Global Partner Andre Iguodala. "Bringing health and wellness to the forefront in our everyday life is a terrific concept and will allow everyone to reach their full potential. Thrive Global is an innovative and life changing initiative that I'm extremely excited to be a part of."
Thrive Global and iHeartMedia will launch The Thrive Global Podcast with iHeartRadio in January 2017. Arianna will host the podcast, which will feature interviews with notable leaders, celebrities, athletes and influencers who will discuss how they thrive. Listeners can hear the bi-weekly series via iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia's digital music and streaming radio service, as well as on thriveglobal.com. They can also hear the teaser episode on iHeartRadio, which is now available on 90 unique device platforms spanning in-home entertainment, wearables, gaming, mobile and auto. "We are excited to help Arianna bring the Thrive message to more than a quarter of a billion iHeartMedia listeners on-air and in app," said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer of iHeartMedia. "Everything sound is hot. Radio, streaming, concerts and podcasts are all on the rise, and we expect the Thrive Global Podcast will be an instant hit with iHeartRadio listeners."
In addition, Thrive Global is working with T- Brand studio, The New York Times's in-house brand marketing unit, to produce native advertising campaigns for Thrive Global partners.
The media platform includes a six week e-course, hosted by Arianna Huffington, which helps consumers move from surviving to thriving by using scientifically proven methods to decrease stress and burnout and improve overall health, performance and happiness.
Thrive Global is launching with a branded content partnership with the Quaker Oats Company -- a year-long campaign that focuses on making mornings more joyful and productive. "For nearly 140 years, Quaker has stood as a symbol for quality, great taste and nutrition," said Morgan Flatley, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Nutrition Group and Senior Vice President, Global Grains. "We share in Thrive's principle that micro-steps are an easily adoptable path to change and through this partnership, we look forward to bringing more of that oat goodness and nutritional value to people around the world in ways that educate, entertain and entice."
Core to a Thrive culture shift is addressing our relationship with technology. Our technology improves our lives on a daily basis, but on a long-term basis we're losing the ability to regulate and manage this increasingly powerful and addictive new element in our lives to serve our best interests. This is the background for Thrive Global's partnership with Bennett Miller, the Academy Award-nominated director of Moneyball, who also has a documentary coming out soon on our troubled relationship with technology. To begin re-calibrating that relationship, we've created an app called Silo. Putting a phone into "Silo Mode" means turning our smartphones into dumb phones for a specified period of time, with only emergency calls or texts allowed to get through. By selectively blocking distractions, Silo allows you to reclaim space in your life for focus, creativity and well-being.
Silo is the first step in a campaign to change our relationship with technology and make disconnecting not only an option but a regular part of our daily lives. "The Silo app is a great idea. Our lives are getting overwhelmed by interruptions and notifications, which makes it hard to focus on the things that really matter around you," said Christian Plagemann, Director of Udacity Blitz. "The ability to take a digital break with confidence can be truly impactful. Our Udacity Blitz mobile engineering team worked closely with the Thrive Product Engineering team to make this idea a reality -- and we are delighted with the result."
Thrive Global will also be introducing Thrive Away, a vacation email tool that, by deleting your incoming emails while you're away, allows you to truly disconnect and recharge. Thrive Away's insight is simple: the key is never seeing the email, while also letting the sender know when you'll be back.
Thrive Global's commerce platform offers a curated selection of the best technology and products – including newly developed Thrive products -- for well-being and performance. Thrive Global has launched its signature product, The Phone Bed, which is the world's first family bed for devices. The charging station -- which charges up to ten devices at a time -- helps the whole family get a better night's sleep by putting all devices to bed outside the bedroom.
Thrive Global is collaborating with Amazon on an Alexa skill, Power Down, to help customers incorporate well-being activities into their everyday lives – just in time for the busy holiday season. The Power Down skill helps customers relax before sleep with guided meditation. Starting November 30, Alexa device owners can enable the skill by saying, "Alexa, enable the Thrive skill." Once enabled, customers can start their Power Down meditation by saying, "Alexa, open Thrive," or "Alexa, ask Thrive for a Power Down." "The holiday season can sometimes be stressful with family to host, presents to buy and parties to attend, so we're excited to collaborate with Ariana Huffington and Thrive to offer customers a way to escape the busyness and focus on their well-being," said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. "The Thrive skill complements other Alexa capabilities – like timers, to do lists and smart home – to help make customers' lives easier and more balanced year round."
Arianna and Thrive Global have joined forces with Audible, the world's largest producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment, to create "Goodnight Smartphone," a timely and soothing parody of the beloved children's book "Goodnight Moon" that encourages listeners to eliminate distractions at bedtime in favor of better sleep. The story, which Arianna narrates, will be available as a free download exclusively at Audible this January.
In collaboration with its scientific advisory board, Thrive Global vetted hundreds of the latest and most cutting-edge health and well-being technologies, products, and services to curate those that meet standards for quality and impact. To see the complete curation visit shop.thriveglobal.com. Examples of our commerce partners are below, many of which are exclusive to Thrive Global or first-to-market.
Thrive Global is partnering with Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness category, to offer Thrive Global clients the Fitbit corporate wellness experience, which provides a custom company storefront, Fitbit activity trackers, a program dashboard and engaging corporate challenges to help companies promote employee well-being. In addition, Fitbit's leading wearable devices that help people stay motivated and improve health and wellness by being more active, exercising more, eating smarter, managing weight, and tracking sleep, will be available to consumers through the Thrive Global online shop and pop-up retail store.
Thrive Global has also partnered with ergonomics pioneer Humanscale, both online and in the pop-up store, where the global design and manufacturing company's new Sit to Stand and OfficeIQ technology -- which inspires active workplaces -- will be showcased.
Headspace, one of the top-ranking Health & Fitness apps on iTunes, with over 10 million users in more than 190 countries, is partnering with Thrive Global to bring a course of guided meditations to our corporate partners.
Thrive Global will bring Dr. Howard Murad, the founder of clinical skincare brand Murad, to their pop-up for a live-streamed conversation about the power that a holistic, whole-person approach to health and beauty has in helping people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Thrive Global is one of the first retailers of Peloton, the groundbreaking fitness company that lets you join studio cycling classes from the comfort of your home. A favorite of busy people, Peloton offers live and on-demand classes from world class instructors and performance tracking to inspire the best and most convenient workout.
In addition, Thrive Global is collaborating with Pour Les Femmes as their first US retail location. The socially conscious sleepwear label, founded by actress and activist Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler, supports charitable organizations that directly help women in conflict regions around the world. "I am thrilled that Pour Les Femmes was asked to participate in the launch of Thrive Global," said Robin Wright. "At Pour Les Femmes, we think it is so important to give back to those who are in need, especially during this time of the year. These are principles that serve as the foundation for both Pour Les Femmes and Thrive Global, and we couldn't be more excited to partner with them."
Rebecca Minkoff, the renowned designer of handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel and a long-time Thriver, is designing an oversized leather pouch for Thrive Style that is branded "Sleep Your Way to the Top", the perfect accessory for travel and being on the go!
Sense by Hello, a bedroom environment and sleep tracking system, is a breakthrough product from another Thrive Global partner that is continuously innovating to improve our sleep. The Thrive Global store and e-commerce site will feature Hello's new-to-market, groundbreaking voice-activated version of the successful Sense sleep system.
For the launch of Thrive Global, Thrive Market has created custom Thrive kits for the holidays – Relaxation, Sleep & Balance, Meditation and Healthy Snacks. Thrive Market offers top-selling, organic groceries at wholesale prices, democratizing access to healthy foods for all.
To mark the launch of Thrive Global, Zeel, the leading on-demand massage service that delivers vetted, licensed massage therapists to homes, hotels and workplaces, is creating the Thrive Massage, which combines bedtime rituals like breathing, aromatherapy, acupressure and tea with their signature massage to prepare the mind and body for a restful sleep. "Zeel is thrilled to partner with Thrive Global to further Thrive's mission to ease the stress and burnout endemic in modern life and work, said Zeel CEO Samer Hamadeh. "At Zeel, we pride ourselves on making massage accessible to everyone, no matter how busy, 365 days per year, from start times as early as 8am to as late as 10:30pm. We know that in home massage from Zeel will be a valuable part of the Thrive Global solution, helping people thrive, not just survive."
Thrive Global Pop-Up Store
In addition to visiting e-commerce at shop.thriveglobal.com, consumers can do their holiday shopping at the Thrive Global retail pop-up store in New York City. The Thrive Global store, located in a 5,000-square-foot SoHo loft at 419 Broome Street, will offer live demonstrations, education, and trials of the latest products and technologies across the categories of mind, body, sleep, productivity, recharging, creativity, and giving. The pop-up will be open seven days a week, from 10:00am to 7:00pm, December 1 through January 15, 2017.
Josh Wood Productions (JWP), a global leader in spectacles and innovative events, is Thrive Global's design, production and event partner for the pop-up store experience. Led by Jason Jones and Mimi Eayrs, JWP designed the pop-up store and integrated all partner brands and aligned organizations into the experimental retail space.
To build out the pop-up store, Thrive Global formed a partnership with The New School's Parson's School of Design and Parsons Board of Governors Chair Kay Unger. Under Unger's leadership, Parsons, one of the leading institutions for art and design education, created two installations in the Thrive Global store. Room to Daydream is a space to nap and recharge, created by Parsons' Healthy Materials Lab. The second installation, Resonance, uses light to spread the image of participants infinitely in two directions — into the past and future -- as they move within the work. Christian Swafford and Lauren Larson, founders of Material Lust, showcase their Crepuscule Floor Lamp and Lancia Floor Lamp.
The Sleep Sanctuary, an integral installation in Thrive Global's pop-up store, was developed by COCO-MAT Sleep On Nature, an international bedding company which focuses on creating the highest quality metal free beds, mattresses and bedding accessories handcrafted solely from natural materials and produced through sustainable methods, in partnership with The Lionesque Group. The Lionesque Group, founded by Melissa Gonzalez, is a full turnkey agency specializing in pop-up retail activations and is the lead pop-up retail store advisor to Thrive Global.
In addition, the Thrive Global pop-up store was produced with support from Design Within Reach, Inc., the world leader in authentic modern design; award-winning producer, director and cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, Imax and theme park ride films and founder of Moving Art™, the world's first collection of 4K moving imagery created as fine art for digital screens; Stefani Greenfield, co-founder of SCOOP NYC Retail and founder/CEO of brand marketing agency My Next Act, has been instrumental in cultivating the Thrive Global Retail Team culture and curating its merchandise assortment; and UrbanStems, the flower delivery startup that makes sending flowers and "spreading happiness" an everyday experience, has provided the Instagram flower wall.
About Thrive Global
Thrive Global's mission is to end the epidemic of stress and burnout by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance both well-being and performance. Thrive Global's three interconnected core components are: corporate trainings and workshops that bring the latest strategies and tools around health and well-being to organizations; a media platform that serves as the global hub for the conversation about well-being and performance with an emphasis on action; and, an e-commerce platform that offers a curated selection of the best technology and products for well-being. Together, the three components create an integrated platform that empowers people to make sustainable changes to their daily lives, going from knowing what to do to actually doing it. Thrive Global is committed to accelerating the culture shift that allows people to reclaim their lives and move from surviving to thriving.