Hear Ellen Kehr, past Albert Lea City Council member and now the project manager of the National Vitality Center, describe how the Blue Zones Project transformed their community. The 6-month pilot was done in 2009. Seven years later, what are the results? Is the community living longer and better? What is a Moai? Can you create your own Moai activities for support and socializing?
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This is the 3rd mentoring conversation of four in The Blue Zones Series. Mike and Sylvie Kabeya and I drove to where the Minnesota Experiment (coined in the National Geographic feature article in 2016) took place 100 miles south of the Twin Cities. Dan Buettner analyzed, with his team, the results of his 15-year study of five community pods around the world where people live longer and better. Albert Lea became the chosen city for the first pilot of the Blue Zones Project.
Albert Lea, Minnesota has a population of 18,000 people. Downtown is between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake. The community is an ag-based rural city. We strolled through the vintage car show. We ate at The Interchange Wine and Bistro. We noticed lots of healthy lunch choices and great beverages and coffee on the menu! We also enjoyed walking most of the 5-mile Fountain Lake trail. On an 84 degree, windy day. It was picturesque with people out and about swimming, boating, ski-dooing, and enjoying the day, like we were.
Tony Buettner explained some of the details of how Albert Lea was chosen in last week’s podcast. Dan and Tony Buettner are upending the healthcare industry through their Life Radius approach based on all the positive results of this initial pilot. How did they get the buy in? What community leaders were involved? How many people turned out for the huge community kickoff in 2009? Ellen also describes the Power 9 principles to creating a healthier, happier life and the kinds of pledges that were implemented. The transformation is incredible! And, they have the numbers to prove it from a 2016 Gallup Poll measurement. Would this work in your community?
Answer the following questions after listening:
- If you haven’t yet, take the True Vitality Test www.bluezones.com
- Ellen is so motivating and purpose-driven. What are a few things you learned from her that can be applied to your life and work?
- In what area can you create your own moai where you bring together a group of mutually committed friends ready to change with you?
- Research and decide where you can plug yourself into making your community and city a better place! Get going.
Mentoring Conversation Resources
Star Tribune article about Ellen Kuhr and the Blue Zones
Albert Lea’s The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro, where we ate lunch.
National Geographic Blue Zones Issues
- The Blue Zones of Happiness People, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/happiest-places/blue-zones-ikaria-photos/
I love feedback. What is working for you? What would you like to hear more of?
Here are pictures of Mike, Sylvie, and I signing our Personal Pledges promising to make healthier choices to live longer.
The Blue Zones Series: Minnesota Experiment, Episode 80 www.bluezones.com/