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Dan Buettner        

National Geographic Writer, Renowned Explorer and Author, "Blue Zones"

Dan Buettner is an internationally recognized researcher, explorer, New York Times best-selling author, and National Geographic Fellow. He founded Blue Zones®, a company that puts the world’s best practices in longevity and well-being to work in people’s lives.

Buettner’s colossal research effort, funded in part by the National Geographic Expeditions Council and the National Institute on Aging, has taken him from Costa Rica to Italy to Japan and beyond. He has discovered that the way people interact with each other, nourish their bodies, and view their world impacts the extent and quality of their lives.

Buettner’s National Geographic cover story on longevity, “The Secrets of Living Longer”, was one of the magazine’s top-selling issues in history and a made him a finalist for a “National Magazine Award”. His books "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest" (2008) and "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way" (2010) appeared on many best seller lists and were both featured on Oprah. Buettner is also the author of "The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People" (2015).

In 2009, Buettner and his partner, AARP, applied principles of The Blue Zones to Albert Lea, Minnesota, and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs by some 40 percent. He’s currently working with Healthways to implement the program in the Beach Cities of Los Angeles and the entire state of Iowa. Their strategy focuses on optimizing the health environment instead of individual behavior change. Writing in Newsweek, Harvard University’s Walter Willet called the results “stunning.”

Buettner has written for Outside, LIFE, and National Geographic magazines and has been profiled in People, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and USA Today. He also holds three world records in distance cycling and has won an “Emmy Award” for television production.

Speech Topics


Blue Zones: Secrets of a Long Life

National Geographic writer Dan Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity and happiness. He identified Blue Zones places where have the greatest life expectancy and where more people reach age 100 than anywhere else. Working with a team of experts, Buettner distilled their secrets into nine common denominators he calls the Power 9. What is the optimal diet for making it to a healthy age 90? Should you be running marathons or doing yoga? What supplements work? Does stress really shorten your life? Dan debunks the most common myths and offers a science-backed blue print for the average American to live another 12 quality years. Using National Geographic photography and a dynamic delivery, Dan takes audiences to each of the Blue Zones and leaves audience with a actionable plan to live longer, healthier lives.

Thrive: Unlocking the Secrets of Happiness

Science shows that where we live--not education, marital status or wealth-- is the biggest, controllable factor that determines our happiness. So where should we live? A tropical island? Paris? Las Vegas? It's not where you think.

Working with Gallup, The World Values Survey and the World Data Base on Happiness, Dan and his team found the three pockets around the world where people report the highest level of well-being --or happiness. Then, on assignment for National Geographic, he researched each of these hotspots and distilled down the common denominators in each place. What can governments do to maximize the well-being of their citizens? And more importantly, what can we do as individuals to stack the deck in our favor to maximize happiness?

His presentation incorporates National Geographic photographs and short video clips. It transports audiences to places around the globe where people are living happy and meaningful lives. It offers universal strategies on how to best achieve that life balance we all seek.

The Making of A Healthy City

In 2009, Albert Lea, Minnesota, a statistically average American city, completed a one year community health experiment that raised life expectancy by three years, trimmed a collective 12,000 pounds off waistlines and dropped healthcare costs of city workers by some 40%. USA Today, Good Morning America, AARP, ABC Nightline, CNN and U.S. News and World Report all covered the story. Harvard's Dr. Walter Willett, writing in Newsweek magazine called the results stunning. Dan Buettner, founder and director of the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project created a perfect storm of health that transformed a city. He tells the fascinating story of how one typically obese American city of 18,000 reversed the trend and also got happier. Dan's presentation takes audiences on the year long journey as this town adopts 28 evidence based ways to change their environment to live longer and better. They got healthier without thinking about it.

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