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Communicating for Life with Blue Zones author Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times best-selling author and joins us this week to share his work researching and documenting Blue Zones around the world. 

A Blue Zone is a geographically-defined and confirmed area of extreme longevity. Specifically, Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California, boast populations that live the longest and are the healthiest people in the world. What makes them live so long? Dan and his team of demographers have spent years researching these Blue Zones, documenting how these populations live and work.

“We’re spending $18 trillion a year on largely avoidable diseases. That number just keeps going up,” says Buettner. “We know these populations have a fraction of the heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. “Why don’t we focus on trying to set up our cities and our workplaces so they look more like a Blue Zone?”

That’s precisely what he and his team are doing now, working to create healthy communities across the United States, beginning with Albert Lea, Minnesota, where they built the foundation for the Blue Zones Projects.

The Blue Zones books are inspirational for crafting better, healthier homes and workplaces, and we’re thrilled to have Dan Buettner on the show this week to talk about his latest book, The Blue Zones Challenge: A 4-Week Plan for a Longer, Better Life.

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (00:58) – Introducing Dan Buettner
  • (02:08) – The Blue Zones Journey
  • (07:34) – A Different Approach to Journalism
  • (10:40) – How Does Communications Impacts Public Health?
  • (16:12) – The Barriers to Systems Change
  • (20:20) – Building a Blue Zone in Places of Limitation
  • (26:31) – Ikigai
  • (29:14) – What’s Next?
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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