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Dan Buettner's research has raised life expectancies and lowered healthcare costs for more than 5 million Americans to date. For over a decade, the National Geographic fellow and multiple New York Times best-selling author has led a world class team to reverse engineer the secrets of longevity by identifying and studying geographical pockets where people live measurably longer and better - places Dan refers to as "blue zones".

His breakthrough findings about the secrets to health and happiness burst onto the scene when National Geographic ran his cover story, “The Secrets of Living Longer,” in what became the magazine's third best-selling issue in its history. The public's massive response inspired further research captured in three books which continue to be bestsellers: The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest; Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way; and Dan's most recent work THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, which sold out on Amazon in the first days of publication.

Dan's company, Blue Zones, LLC, puts the world’s best practices of longevity and wellbeing to work in people’s lives at the community level. Dan has successfully partnered with more than 20 cities so far, dramatically improving residents' health and wellbeing by optimizing the local environment by boosting walkability for citizens and kids, availability of healthy food options, social connectivity, pursuit of life purpose, and ongoing coaching and support for creating homes which effortlessly bring forth wellness and happiness.

Full Profile

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author. He has discovered, through multiple expeditions with teams of research scientists specializing in population studies, the five places in the world – dubbed Blue Zones – where people live the longest, and are healthiest and happiest. His New York Times Sunday Magazine article about these places, “The Island Where People Forget to Die,” was one of the Times’ most popular, as was his National Geographic cover story on longevity, “The Secrets of Living Longer”. A chord was struck, and thus subsequent books and a company which seeks to share the distilled wisdom of Blue Zones cultures with American cities and corporations were born.

Blue Zones, LLC, puts the world’s best practices of longevity and wellbeing to work in people’s lives at the community level. Buettner works in partnership with Healthways, municipal governments, and various insurance companies to implement the program in more than 20 cities so far, and has dramatically improved the health of more than 5 million Americans to date. Their strategy focuses on optimizing the local environment – walkability for citizens and kids, availability of healthy food options, social connectivity, pursuit of life purpose, and ongoing coaching and support for creating homes which effortlessly bring forth wellness and happiness.

Writing in Newsweek, Harvard University’s Walter Willet called the results “stunning.” In one project alone, Buettner and his then partner, AARP, applied principles of Blue Zones to Albert Lea, Minnesota, and lowered health care costs by 40%.

His books The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest and Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way have remained bestsellers, along with his new book THE BLUE ZONES SOLUTION: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People, and have appeared on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, NPR, and Oprah.

Voted a top 50 Influencer in Aging by PBS and a National Magazine Award finalist, Dan also holds three Guinness Book of world records in distance cycling (and is possibly the only person to have cycled through the Sahara desert without sunscreen!) and has won an Emmy Award for television production. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is particularly proud to be the father of three (nearly) grown children.


Dan Buettner Speaker Videos Back to top

Speech Excerpt


In this fascinating talk, Dan Buettner analyzes what makes individuals live longer. He relates his 10-year-long expedition with National Geographic to identify parts of the world where people live measurable longer and better.

Working with experts to find common denominators in these regions, he tells the audience, "No matter where you go in the world whether it's Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; the Highlands... you see the same nine things happening over and over among the longest lived people. A lot of these things are very intuitive: eating a plant-based diet, low and simple carbohydrates, high in things in beans and nuts..."

While these things are important, he said the really interesting findings come from counter-intuitive things. For example, he has found that people who have a strong sense of purpose and can articulate it, live about 7 years longer than people who don't.

Dan Buettner, Wellbeing Expert: Interview with Bill Maher


Wellbeing Expert: Keynote


The Secrets of Longevity with Big Think


Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Only ten percent of how long a human lives is actually dictated by his or her genes; the other 90 percent is dependent on lifestyle decisions made throughout someone's life. World renowned researcher Dan Buettner takes you on a journey to the world's hottest health spots, revealing the secrets of longevity that these "blue zones" have in common.

Using National Geographic photography and video, his interactive presentations offer priceless insights from the world's happiest and longest-lived cultures on how we can extend our own lives at least another 12 quality years and lower our health costs at the same time. Dan demonstrates how the American cities he's worked with have done exactly that as he outlines the environmental changes they implemented to create healthier happier populations.

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.



Dan Buettner Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “You blessed so many of our clients and staff alike! Thank you so much for joining us at MasterMind Summit 2013.”
    - Brian Buffini, Buffini & Company

    “Dan’s insight was an invaluable addition to the event.”
    - Bill Clinton

    “Dan was one of the highlights at our quarterly company meeting. Employees described him as ‘eye opening’ and awesome!”
    - Tony Hsieh, Zappos.com

    “Dan was amazing!! Everyone loved him!”
    - Capital Blue Cross

    “I could have listened to him for days.”
    - Attendee at Employers’ Health Symposium

    “I have rarely seen a speaker who is as comfortable up on stage giving his presentation as Dan Buettner, plus he felt fresh and excited about the material.”
    - Mountain Film in Telluride

    “With 98.6% of attendees rating him “Excellent”, Dan was our best speaker ever.”
    - Employers Health

    “Dan did such a stellar job at our conference. We have no idea how we’ll fill his shoes the next time we put on this event.”
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

    “With your entertaining delivery, there was a palpable feeling of joy in the auditorium.”
    - Greg McGruder, National Geographic Society

    “In 18 years, I have seen only a handful of speakers receive such a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation.”
    - Curtis Hoehne, Nature’s Sunshine

    “A homerun with Dan!”
    - Richard McLeod, Cisco Sytems

    "We’ve found that Dan’s dedication to high quality interactive learning is the best that’s available on the Internet. He really goes that extra mile to highly motivational learning opportunities to kids. Dan’s inquiry oriented activities are an outstanding way for students to apply critical thinking skills. But Dan goes a step further. He knows how to “hook” students with an intriguing question or problem and then guide them through interdisciplinary investigations that result in students taking action at the local, national, and even international level."
    - Cherie Neima, Global Studies Instructor, Cyber Village Academy, Saint Paul, MN

    "Dan Buettner’s idea of empowering students to “sit in a driver’s seat” while being in charge of their own learning not only helps motivate them to learn more, it also encourages them to extend their learning both inside the classroom and in their lives. There are numerous benefits to engaging in an expedition. I like how ALL students can succeed, it motivates the higher level learners to explore deeper into the subject matter, while at the same time students with disabilities or special needs feel like their voices, ideas, and thoughts truly make a difference."
    - Maureen Petricca, Schaumburg, IL School District 54 teacher

    "My students learned so much and were deeply impacted by the adventures, investigations and discoveries. In order to make learning a long lasting experience you need to think “out of the box." Not only did we learn about the history and people of the Blue Zone, but we learned life changing lessons about fundamental scientific principles about aging, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and overall personal health and wellness. It was a huge eye opener for my students about their American way of life! The project was fun, inspiring, and one that moved both my students and parents. The adventure touched my students in a way that I would not have been able to."
    - Peter Manzelmann, Friends School, Mullica Hill, NJ




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    “You blessed so many of our clients and staff alike! Thank you so much for joining us at MasterMind Summit 2013.”
    - Brian Buffini, Buffini & Company

    “Dan’s insight was an invaluable addition to the event.”
    - Bill Clinton

    “Dan was one of the highlights at our quarterly company meeting. Employees described him as ‘eye opening’ and awesome!”
    - Tony Hsieh, Zappos.com

    “Dan was amazing!! Everyone loved him!”
    - Capital Blue Cross

    “I could have listened to him for days.”
    - Attendee at Employers’ Health Symposium

    “I have rarely seen a speaker who is as comfortable up on stage giving his presentation as Dan Buettner, plus he felt fresh and excited about the material.”
    - Mountain Film in Telluride

    “With 98.6% of attendees rating him “Excellent”, Dan was our best speaker ever.”
    - Employers Health

    “Dan did such a stellar job at our conference. We have no idea how we’ll fill his shoes the next time we put on this event.”
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

    “With your entertaining delivery, there was a palpable feeling of joy in the auditorium.”
    - Greg McGruder, National Geographic Society

    “In 18 years, I have seen only a handful of speakers receive such a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation.”
    - Curtis Hoehne, Nature’s Sunshine

    “A homerun with Dan!”
    - Richard McLeod, Cisco Sytems

    "We’ve found that Dan’s dedication to high quality interactive learning is the best that’s available on the Internet. He really goes that extra mile to highly motivational learning opportunities to kids. Dan’s inquiry oriented activities are an outstanding way for students to apply critical thinking skills. But Dan goes a step further. He knows how to “hook” students with an intriguing question or problem and then guide them through interdisciplinary investigations that result in students taking action at the local, national, and even international level."
    - Cherie Neima, Global Studies Instructor, Cyber Village Academy, Saint Paul, MN

    "Dan Buettner’s idea of empowering students to “sit in a driver’s seat” while being in charge of their own learning not only helps motivate them to learn more, it also encourages them to extend their learning both inside the classroom and in their lives. There are numerous benefits to engaging in an expedition. I like how ALL students can succeed, it motivates the higher level learners to explore deeper into the subject matter, while at the same time students with disabilities or special needs feel like their voices, ideas, and thoughts truly make a difference."
    - Maureen Petricca, Schaumburg, IL School District 54 teacher

    "My students learned so much and were deeply impacted by the adventures, investigations and discoveries. In order to make learning a long lasting experience you need to think “out of the box." Not only did we learn about the history and people of the Blue Zone, but we learned life changing lessons about fundamental scientific principles about aging, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and overall personal health and wellness. It was a huge eye opener for my students about their American way of life! The project was fun, inspiring, and one that moved both my students and parents. The adventure touched my students in a way that I would not have been able to."
    - Peter Manzelmann, Friends School, Mullica Hill, NJ


    The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People
    In this groundbreaking book, Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he's identified as "Blue Zones"—those places with the world's longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

    With the audacious belief that the lifestyles of the world's Blue Zones could be adapted and replicated in towns across North America, Buettner launched the largest preventive health care project in the United States, The Blue Zones City Makeovers, which has impacted the health of millions of Americans since 2009. In The Blue Zones Solution, readers can be inspired by the specific stories of the people, foods, and routines of our healthy elders; understand the role community, family, and naturally healthy habits can play in improving our diet and health; and learn the exact foods—including the 50 superfoods of longevity and dozens of recipes adapted for Western tastes and markets—that offer delicious ways to eat your way to optimum health. Throughout the book are lifestyle recommendations, checklists, and stories to help you create your own personal Blue Zones solution. Readers will learn and apply the 80/20 rule, the plant slant diet, social aspects of eating that lead to weight loss and great health naturally, cultivating your "tribe" of friends and family, and your greater purpose as part of your daily routine.

    Filled with moving personal stories, delicious recipes, checklists, and useful tips that will transform any home into a miniature blue zone, The Blue Zones Solution is the ultimate blueprint for a healthy, happy life.


    The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest
    Since publishing his bestselling The Blue Zones, longevity expert and National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has discovered a new Blue Zone and launched a major public health initiative to transform cities based on principles from this book. The Blue Zones, Second Edition is completely updated and expands his bestselling classic on longevity, drawing on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities--Blue Zones--around the globe to highlight the lifestyle, diet, outlook, and stress-coping practices that will add years to your life and life to your years.

    A long, healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are you may live up to a decade longer. Buettner has led teams of researchers across the globe--from Costa Rica to Sardinia, Italy, to Okinawa, Japan and beyond--to uncover the secrets of Blue Zones. He found that the recipe for longevity is deeply intertwined with community, lifestyle, and spirituality. People live longer and healthier by embracing a few simple but powerful habits, and by creating the right community around themselves. In The Blue Zones, Second Edition, Buettner has blended his lifestyle formula with the latest longevity research to inspire lasting, behavioral change and add years to your life.

    Region by region, Buettner reveals the "secrets" of longevity through stories of his travels and interviews with some of the most remarkable--and happily long-living people on the planet. It's not coincidence that the way they eat, interact with each other, shed stress, heal themselves, avoid disease, and view their world yield them more good years of life. Buettner's easy to follow "best practices" and list of healthy lifestyle choices from the Blue Zones will empower readers to live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.


    Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way
    What makes us happy? It′s not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world′s happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives.

    Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents. He explores why these populations say they are happier than anyone else, and what they can teach the rest of us about finding contentment. His conclusions debunk some commonly believed myths: Are people who have children happier than those who don′t? Not necessarily—in Western societies, parenthood actually makes the happiness level drop. Is gender equality a factor? Are the world′s happiest places to be found on tropical islands with beautiful beaches? You may be surprised at what Buettner′s research indicates.
    Order Here


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.


Speech Excerpt


In this fascinating talk, Dan Buettner analyzes what makes individuals live longer. He relates his 10-year-long expedition with National Geographic to identify parts of the world where people live measurable longer and better.

Working with experts to find common denominators in these regions, he tells the audience, "No matter where you go in the world whether it's Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; the Highlands... you see the same nine things happening over and over among the longest lived people. A lot of these things are very intuitive: eating a plant-based diet, low and simple carbohydrates, high in things in beans and nuts..."

While these things are important, he said the really interesting findings come from counter-intuitive things. For example, he has found that people who have a strong sense of purpose and can articulate it, live about 7 years longer than people who don't.

Dan Buettner, Wellbeing Expert: Interview with Bill Maher


Wellbeing Expert: Keynote


The Secrets of Longevity with Big Think


Keynote Speech