The vision of The GenWell Project is to make the world a happier and healthier place by educating, empowering, and catalyzing people around the importance of proactive, face-to-face social connection, for their own health, happiness and well-being, and for the betterment of society more broadly.
To catalyze policy and intervention development to support governments, business, non-profit organizations, neighbourhoods, families, and individuals
Pete is the founder of The GenWell Project and is proud to be leading a movement that he truly believes can make the world a happier and healthier place. The idea, in the making for over a decade before it’s launch in 2016, was inspired by the events witnessed during the summer blackout back in 2003. Kindness, generosity, empathy and most importantly, human connection.
Formerly the Canadian Country Director for Movember Canada, Pete led an amazing team of people responsible for raising $142 million dollars over five years, and putting a much needed lens back on men’s health.
Having spent time in the for profit and not for profit worlds, Pete believes that there is a great opportunity to combine the interests of business, schools, government, foundations and individuals in the solution to the disconnected world that we find ourselves in today.
You can find out more about Pete on his LinkedIn profile here.
You can connect with Pete at pete@GenWellproject.org
Sara has over a decade of experience in various marketing, advertising and administrative roles, and she brings her keen attention to detail, organizational skills and creative mind to the table as our Social Media Manager. She is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to add to her cross-functional abilities and The GenWell Project offered an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. As a skilled Social Media Manager, she inherently understands the importance of forecasting, planning and nurturing a well-thought-out social strategy.
Find her on LinkedIn here.
Jamie has been leading the PR and Communications for The GenWell Project for nearly four years and is excited to be part of the solution to the social isolation, disconnection and loneliness that we face in Canada and around the world today. As an expert in the public relations arena after a long career at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Toronto, Canada, Jamie is pleased to be working on a project that is on a mission to make the world a happier and healthier place one face to face conversation at a time.
By day Jamie and his wife Ivette are the proud parents to four great children and together they have played a role in helping support The GenWell Project in their own community.
You can find out more about Jamie on his LinkedIn profile here.
You can connect with Jamie at Jamie@GenWellproject.org.
Andrew Laufer is a “WHY” person combined with a storyteller, explorer, creative addict, designer, and Human Connection Catalyst.
He is a curious creative with twenty years of experience in strategic branding, art direction, and design, for some of the largest CPG, retail, and entertainment brands.
Andrew has been a part of the GENWELL mission long before they posted their first event. As Creative Director, he believes in the power of GENWELL’s purpose. At the core, Human Connection is the exchange of energy among people who are giving attention to one another. It has the power to expand the moment, spark change, and build a happier healthier society one face-to-face interaction at a time.
You can find out more about Andrew on his Linkedin profile here. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewlaufer/
You can connect with Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Fowler has been a leading ambassador of The GenWell Project from its inception. Jessica met Pete years ago when she overheard him at a restaurant speaking passionately about social connection to a friend. From that day forward, she has supported the spread of this message and has advised The GenWell Project on campaigns, academic pursuits and corporate partnerships.
As a professor at Humber College, she is dedicated to ensuring her students and the Humber community as a whole understand the impact that social health has in all areas of our life and in contrast the lack thereof. Working with students and faculty she hopes to spread the message and be a catalyst for conversations and connections across the campus.
She truly believes that though everyone has a unique story, we are all in this together and a stronger sense of unity, is better for everyone.
Growing up in the era of tweets, alerts, and notifications, Maya was instantly drawn to the vision of The GenWell Project. As a fan of face-to-face connection, she is pleased to be a part of this project that looks to bring people together, and that prioritizes human connection and compassion.
With over five years in research, Maya recently completed her Masters at the University of Edinburgh in the realm of sport and politics and now advises on a variety of research topics. She now supports GenWell on helping to stay up-to-date on new areas related to social isolation, disconnection and loneliness.
In her free time, Maya enjoys the power that food and sport have in creating connection. Specifically, her love of pasta making, swimming, and crafting, inspires her to put down her phone and reach out to friends.
French Translation Coordinator
For a message to be received, it must be sent and communicated. Language is one of the main communication tools our humanity possesses to connect, that is where resides the importance of translation.
Naila is the French Translation Coordinator at GenWell Project. She translates social media posts, announcements and other online content that permits the GenWell community to broaden its influence on the francophone community. Passionate of arts and human interactions, writing and translating come naturally to her.
She has worked for other non-profit organization with a philanthropic message, and for bigger companies or individuals. Her versatility and her ability to switch in a second from one or two languages gave her the opportunity to start her career as a freelance, all the while completing her Bachelor’s in Translation and Spanish studies at the Université de Montréal.
You can connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neila-harkat/
Jocelle (she/her) is a second-generation immigrant Filipino settler who grew up in so-called Burnaby. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU and is passionate about health equity, especially at the intersections of mental health. She completed an Honours Thesis on Filipino experiences of health and wellness in Greater Vancouver, which was one of the first in British Columbia. Outside of academia, Jocelle is an advocate for equitable and inclusive communities, which brought her to join the social connection movement with GenWell.
To connect with Jocelle, reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jocellerefol
Cindy Yu is a Social Epidemiologist at the GenWell Project. After giving her life some honest self-reflection, Cindy realized she wanted to align her life and activities more closely to her values. In her search to contribute to work meaningful to her, Cindy joined the GenWell Project to support its research on social connection. Based off of both personal experience and research, Cindy recognizes that social isolation and perceived loneliness are underappreciated risks to our health and well-being, and is proud to support work that aims to encourage connection. She holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology (MSc, University of Ottawa), and a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc, McMaster University).
For her professional profile, or to contact her, please visit her LinkedIn profile.
Niloufar Aran is a Research Coordinator with an Honours BSc in Health Science, and a current MSc student at Simon Fraser University studying population and quantitative health. Her thesis is focused on mental health and suicide outcomes. Niloufar’s research question and her mentors inspired her to dive more deeply into the public health problem that is social isolation and loneliness, and has happily led her to the wonderful Global Human Connection GenWell is building.
She is also passionate about the benefits of social prescribing and is a co-founder of the Canadian Social Prescribing Student Collective. She has experience researching and is thoroughly fascinated about the social connection and how building connections with each other and place can lead to healthier, happier communities.
Krisitin is a Research Coordinator and Philosphy Major heading into her last last year of university. From a young age, she has been intrigued by people and sought to understand them on a fundamental level. Her experiences with others and time at university have shown her that as human beings, we need to connect. This is not a want that we have constructed but rather a way in which we are hardwired. The GenWell Project understands this and knows the necessity of bringing it back to the forefront of our minds. There is no major overhaul here, instead all that is required is a recognition of this drive inside each of us. Every hello, brief conversation, wave, or smile bolsters this connection.
She is proud to be part of this movement and hopes to remain a part of it for many years to come!
Digital Communications Manager
Kevin is a Digital Media Specialist who joined the Genwell Project directly after receiving his diploma in Advertising and Marketing Communications.
His philosophy is that introducing fresh perspectives and new techniques allow us to evolve and grow. Similar to the Genwell Project, his goal is to remain on the cutting-edge of the latest social trends and create a more connected future by being conscious of the creatives we market and advertise to the world.
Maksim Muratov is a Data Analyst with the HEAL Lab. He has graduated with a Master’s degree in Political Science at Simon Fraser University. His interest in research that makes a valuable contribution and helps with seeking solutions to societal problems sparked after graduation, which made him join the GenWell project.
His experience in data analysis and visualization contributes to research on the importance of social connection for personal well-being.
The GenWell Project is proud to have provided students from Universities and Colleges across Canada the opportunity to do project work or intern on the Human Connection Movement. We will be forever grateful to these students for their sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm, and support with The GenWell Project. Many have stayed on to become ongoing volunteers for the movement and every student will always be part of The GenWell Project family. Grateful.
The GenWell Project and Institute for Social Connection are proudly working together to build happier and a healthier Canada through health promotion, social health research, and social policy development. The GenWell Project’s Scientific Advisory board consists of research scientists and clinicians from the Institute of Social Connection, which provides scientific direction for our health promotion and culture change efforts.