This is Episode 1 of The Blue Zones Series. You may have heard of the Blue Zones. Dan Buettner’s groundbreaking research study of the world’s longest-lived populations and how best practices are applied to American cities. A pilot study was done in Albert Lea, Minnesota that led to a statewide initiative in Iowa to create 15 Blue Zones communities.
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In this episode, Tony Buettner describes his multi-ventures, and his eventual journey into working with his brother Dan in the Blue Zones, LLC. Tony grew up with three other brothers. They still like each other. Dan, the eldest is the visionary. Tony is the pragmatist. Steve is the fixer. Nick is the peacemaker. Complimentary skills that worked as children, also work for their benefit as adults. You will find out why.
A unique family, with curiosity in exploring the world by setting up expeditions. One unifying trip was when they biked from Alaska to Argentina. Here about some of the other trips.
This turned into a series once I realized we needed to take a road trip to Albert Lea, Minnesota!
Mike and Sylvie Kabeya joined me to talk with Ellen Kehr, the lead and project manager of the National Vitality Center for the Blue Zones. We wanted to see how the 2009 pilot program transformed their community and what impact of The Power of 9. Nine commonalities Dan found of behaviors that drive a long happy life. How many people were involved? How did they optimize their community environments and nudge people toward healthy choices? What of the Blue Zones research can you apply today to make simple adjustments to your lifestyle that may add years to your life?
Tony Buettner. Tony Buettner is a National Speaker and is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Blue Zones. Featured at such events as The Aspen Institute and Estes Park Institute, Tony performs at around 80 events per year. One of Tony’s primary tasks is that of Project Manager for Blue Zones Projects; His work encompassing strategic planning, operations, and the facilitation of successful implementation of all Blue Zones Community projects. Tony brings direct knowledge and insight of the Blue Zones expeditions, research, and insights into those populations to help them live longer, better. His experience gained during his participation on expeditions with Dan Buettner, his brother, and his over 30 years of world travel, bring pertinent experience in the understanding of health and wellness as it relates to populations and cultures. Dan has written several books including The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.
Tony’s day-to-day responsibilities at Blue Zones offer deep insight into the research that forms the foundation for the product development and implementation of the methodology behind the Blue Zones Projects. This interaction brings deep-seated understanding to how Blue Zones interfaces in the six sectors of communities that include policy, worksites, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and with individual engagement. His background in quality management systems complement the rigor and thoughtfulness in developing a scalable product model as well as one that can be sustained in the Blue Zone Project communities.
Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author. He is an explorer, educator, author, producer, storyteller and public speaker. He co-produced an Emmy Award-winning documentary and holds three Guinness records for endurance cycling. He is the founder of the Blue Zones and Blue Zones, LLC.
Answer the following questions after listening:
- Where did Tony start and run two businesses for 20 years?
- Why did Tony return to Minnesota?
- How did Tony figure out what industry to go into when he moved back to Minnesota in 2008?
- Once Dan convinced Tony to join the Blue Zones, LLC team, what was one of the first things Tony did to determine his roles and responsibilities?
- What activities do you think have contributed to their good relationships as brothers.
- What Nine Commonalities would you like to bring into your life and into your community to live a happy and healthier life?
Mentoring Conversation Resources
Albert Lea’s The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, where we ate lunch. www.theinterchangebistro.com
Tony Buettner Youtube Presentation www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3GXTjWklTA
Golden Door Speaker Series: Tony Buettner www.youtube.com/watch?
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The Blue Zones Series Starring Tony Buettner, Episode 78 www.bluezones.com