The Foundation for Orlando’s Future, Orange County Business Leaders Invite Blue Zones to Explore Community Well-being Project


Orlando, Fla. and Minneapolis, Minn. — The Orlando Economic Partnership’s Foundation for Orlando’s Future, along with leaders in the business community, is working with Blue Zones to begin building a plan for a well-being transformation. We are starting with an assessment and feasibility analysis in Orange County that would determine how to make it a healthier, happier and more prosperous place to live, work and play.

With life expectancy in a continuous decline in America, research shows that the location where people live has a bigger influence on health and well-being than genetics. Blue Zones tackles the so-called “zip code effect” using scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness gleaned from 20 years of research to boost the well-being of entire communities. Blue Zones’ work to date in hundreds of communities around the country has sparked transformations that enhanced the well-being of residents community-wide, improved employee and student productivity, and boosted economic vitality and development.

“I’m looking forward to bringing our team of world-renowned experts to Orange County to find new opportunities to achieve optimal health and well-being at the community level,” said Dan Buettner, Blue Zones founder and National Geographic fellow and explorer. “Working with local leaders, we will find the best way to apply global solutions to the local context. The final roadmap for community transformation will include strategies for optimizing built environment, food systems, financial literacy, tobacco, alcohol, happiness, and well-being policies so that people are constantly nudged toward healthier choices, behaviors, and lasting habits.”

“This effort is part of the mission of the Foundation for Orlando’s Future, created by the Orlando Economic Partnership, to equip the region’s leaders with research and strategies that help them plan for the future,” said Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani.  “As one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, Orlando is attracting 1,500 new residents every week. The Foundation is responding in innovative ways to make sure the region’s rapid urban expansion goes hand-in-hand with equitable and inclusive growth.”

Other partners supporting the Blue Zones assessment and feasibility analysis include:

  • AdventHealth
  • Dr. Phillips Charities
  • Florida Blue
  • Florida Citrus Sports
  • Lowndes
  • RiverBridge Capital
  • SunTrust
  • West Orange Healthcare District

The first phase of a Blue Zones community transformation is the assessment and feasibility analysis where experts collaborate with leaders to assess readiness and build a plan for change. During this period, Blue Zones educates and mobilizes local leaders and residents, evaluates the community’s current state of well-being, identifies the highest priority strengths, challenges and opportunities, and produces and presents a plan for community transformation.

Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones said, “We applaud the forward-thinking leaders of the community and the Foundation for spearheading this movement. Improved well-being leads to healthier and happier residents, a better and more productive workforce, and a more vibrant economy. We are excited to create a transformation plan for Orange County residents that will improve the lives of current and future generations.”

For more information on Blue Zones Activate or to learn how to get involved, visit

Media Contacts:

Naomi Imatome-Yun, Blue Zones, LLC

 Laureen Martinez, Orlando Economic Partnership


 About the Orlando Economic Partnership

The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is a public-private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization that works to advance broad-based prosperity by strengthening Orlando’s economy, amplifying Orlando’s story, championing regional priorities, empowering community leaders and building a brilliant region. These five foundational objectives serve to improve the region’s competitiveness while responding to the needs of communities, residents and businesses.

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