Blue Zones Speakers

Interested in featuring a Blue Zones presentation at your next event? Learn more about our wide range of inspiring and internationally-recognized speakers.

Dr. Michel Poulain

Watch a sampling from one of Michel’s Speeches

Dr. Michel Poulain, one of the three Founders of the Blue Zones areas, is an International speaker, Professor and expert on longevity. Michel has spoken on all 5 continents to both the scientific community as well as the general public presenting the Blue Zones findings in a comprehensive way.

In 2000, he was involved in validating the age of the numerous centenarians in Sardinia in cooperation with Gianni Pes, a Sardinian Medical Doctor. As Michel and Gianni zeroed in on the cluster of villages with the highest longevity, they drew concentric blue circles on the map and began referring to the area inside the circle as “the Blue Zone.” Thereafter in cooperation with Dan Buettner, the three broadened the term, applying it to validate longevity areas of Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California), the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica) and Ikaria (Greece).

Originally skilled in Astrophysics at the University of Liège (ULg) he received a PhD in demography at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). As demographer, he is specialized in Longevity studies. Currently emeritus professor at UCL, he is also Senior Researcher at the Estonian Institute for Population Studies at Tallinn University (Estonia). He has been President of the Société Belge de Démographie (1984-1990) and later of the Association Internationale des Démographes de Langue Française (AIDELF) (1988-2000).

Involved in centenarian’s studies since 1992 he is active member of the International Database on Longevity (IDL) and the International Centenarian Consortium (ICC). He validated the age of numerous supercentenarians including Antonio Todde, Johan Riudavets and Emma Moreno, each of them holding the Guinness record of longevity. He also invalidated the age of numerous others including the famous supercentenarians of the Caucasus.

What People Are Saying…

Just a quick note to thank you again for your fantastic contribution to our conference. We look back in it very happily. We have had so much positive feedback about your key-note!

Marije Bosch and Prof. Dr. Koert van Ittersum (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Tony Buettner

Watch a sampling of one of Tony’s talks

Tony Buettner is a National Speaker and the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Blue Zones. Featured at such events as The Aspen Institute and Estes Park Institute, Tony speaks to large audiences 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.

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.

What People Are Saying…

“We thoroughly enjoyed Tony both on & off the stage. He has lived an incredible life & embodies the ‘Blue Zones’ concept. He lives it. We received a lot of positive feedback on his informative, entertaining & thought provoking presentation. Im hoping the next Blue Zone is in our town!” – Jerry and Gina Murdock, Aspen Institute Murdock Series

“Your leadership presentation was phenomenal. As a result, the excitement and buzz that has been generated in the community is truly phenomenal.” – Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke, Klamath Falls, OR

“Our 79th annual event was the best ever much due to Tony’s presentation! Great feedback! Excellent job!” – Jill Ettori, Massachusetts Hospital Association

“Huge thanks again to you, Tony. Your presentation was a massive hit and everyone talked about it afterwards. Your message is resonating loud and clear.” – Amy Malick, Airports Going Green Event, Dallas-Fort Worth

Nick Buettner

Watch a sampling from one of Nick’s speeches

Explorer, Ed-Tech Innovator, National Speaker

Community and Corporate Program Director, Blue Zones Project

Over the last 20 years, Nick Buettner has led 17 expeditions over 6 continents around the world. Three of these expeditions were to Blue Zones regions—places with the longest life expectancy and where people reach age 100 more than anywhere else in the world. Nick worked with his brother Dan Buettner,  National Geographic, and a team of longevity researchers to identify and then explore these pockets of the world where people were living longer, better lives. He was the Executive Producer of the Blue Zones expeditions to Okinawa, Japan; Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece.

In his current role as the program director of the Blue Zones Project, he is responsible for taking the Blue Zones longevity lessons to 42 communities across the United States. The Blue Zones Project is a community-wide well-being initiative  that positively impacts the health of over 5 million people across the country.

As a keynote speaker, Nick uses his experience as a member of the original Blue Zones expedition team to take his audience to these longest-lived cultures. With a dynamic delivery, firsthand knowledge of these incredible regions, and National Geographic photography, he inspires, educates, and empowers listeners on the subjects of longevity, well-being, and community health. Nick has given 100+ speeches around the world.

David McLain

Watch a sampling of one of David’s previous talks

David McLain is a National Geographic Photographer and International Speaker. David has shot seven feature length assignments for National Geographic Magazine including the “The Secrets of Living Longer” cover story written by Dan Buettner. Alongside Dan, David has photographed every Blue Zones area and is the eye behind much of the Blue Zones photography. Using his unique perspective, fist hand experience and photography skills he is able to bring the secrets of longevity to life for audiences of all sizes.

Sarah Bridges, Ph.D.

Watch a sampling from one of Sarah’s talks.

Dr. Sarah Bridges is a neuropsychologist, speaker, author, and executive coach who has spent her career facilitating individuals and cultures in healthy change. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research focused upon aging and her advice is both evidence-based and engaging.

Dr. Bridges’ speaking is thought-provoking and lively, lacing humor, science, and storytelling as she brings the Blue Zone concepts to life.

In her twenty years of consulting practice she has advised senior executives and organization leaders at a broad range of clients, including 3M, UnitedHealth Group, McKesson Corporation, University of Minnesota, Target, Ceridian, Alcoa, Boston Scientific, Cargill, Electrolux, Ecolab, and Robert Wood Johnson.

Her work and speaking demonstrates her passion for healthy change, happiness, life balance, and leadership development, all with a keen focus on achieving observable results and a genuine return-on-investment for the organization. She received her B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Bridges’ interest in the field of psychology and human development extends to her work as a writer. She has published investigative articles and personal essays for the Washington Post, Realizing Leadership, Mothering magazine, SEED magazine, Organic Style, and other publications.

Dave Tsang

Watch a sampling from one of Dave’s speeches

Dave Tsang is a retired General Mills executive with more than 34 years of experience helping employees and organizations around the world improve performance. As a change leader and catalyst, he uses his calm demeanor, witty sense of humor, storytelling and high expectations to create a fun and motivating environment for personal growth and organizational development. He earned his undergraduate degree in Industrial Management from Purdue University and his MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Now in the encore phase of his career, Dave is passionate about health and wellness. Having made his own lifestyle changes, he is committed to giving back to the community by facilitating changes in how people live and work to improve well-being. As a life coach he speaks publicly on health and longevity, coaches people to make lifestyle changes to prevent chronic disease, teaches life-saving skills, mentors veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce and advises under and unemployed adults in learning new skills.

Danny Buettner

Danny Buettner, son of Blue Zones author and founder Dan Buettner, is a corporate workplace consultant delivering workplace solutions to over 60 companies a year; totaling over one million square feet of built environment. Danny’s approach to workplace consulting takes a holistic approach to how space reflects a company’s brand, assists in talent recruitment, and engages workforce culture for prosperity and longevity. In addition to advising employers on workplace solutions, Danny is also a veteran firefighter and EMT where he periodically presents to community leaders and citizens on issues of community health, safety, and preventive planning. Danny has honed his message from extended service trips around the world, including to post-earthquake Haiti and post-civil war Guatemala.

Danny’s unique perspective on the Blue Zones message is perfect for companies and organizations looking for an emphasis on the power of leveraging brand, engaging talent, and unlocking the power of service.

Remar Sutton

Remar Sutton first wrote about Dan Buettner in Sutton’s syndicated Washington Post column in 1986. Dan was 26 and Remar was 45.

Twenty-eight years later, Remar has remained a participant and eyewitness to the events that shaped Buettner’s interests in health, long life, and happiness. Sutton and Buettner have become lifelong friends, and Sutton has seen his own health and life habits shaped by the Blue Zones principles.

“The Blue Zones Back Story” takes you to the very beginning of the Blue Zones expeditions through Sutton’s national role as a skeptic and critic of health scams and frauds.

Remar Sutton was never a jock or health nut. At 73, he is living proof that the Blue Zones principles can be adopted, and enjoyed by all of us. Sutton’s Blue Zones talks include an action plan incorporating the Blue Zones Power Nine principles into a life plan for businesses, communities, and individuals.

Rudy Maxa

Rudy Maxa is passionate about well-being and improving people’s lives. He’s a longtime collaborator with Blue Zones who brings his professional journalist’s eye to the world of health, longevity and happiness. His years of experience hosting and producing radio and television programs combines with humorous and anecdotal stories of real world applications for the Blue Zones secrets of longevity – both in his own life, as well as those he’s observed around the world.

Rudy shares the cultural secrets of the five discovered “Blue Zones” and the nine common denominators that could allow the average American to live another 12 quality years. He also tells stories about how in 2009, the first Blue Zones Project introduced these common denominators to the residents of Albert Lea, MN, and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs. The Blue Zones Project has now expanded to four states and dozens of communities and worksites nationwide. Rudy leaves audiences informed, inspired and motivated to try the small changes that over time can make a big impact in people’s health, life and well-being.

Amy Tomczyk

Amy Tomczyk, M.A.Ed., was hired in 2006 as the Director of Outreach and Education at Blue Zones. She leads national-level marketing, communications and public relations strategies to promote and increase engagement in community and workplace health programs. Amy received her BA in Journalism from the University of Minnesota and her Masters in Education from Loyola University.

Amy’s presentation first describes the identified “Blue Zones” areas — places that have the greatest life expectancy and where more people reach age 100 than anywhere else – and the nine common denominators among those locations. Using National Geographic photography and a dynamic delivery Amy shares the inspirations of longevity and offers a science-backed blue print for the average American to live another 12 quality years.

Watch Amy’s TEDx talk

Luann Alemao

Luann is an expertly trained Blue Zones speaker/coach who embraces the healthier life style by being the visionary in her own community of Cedar Falls , Iowa. Over 6 years ago Luann organized having Dan Buettner make an appearance at a local conference which introduced Blue Zones to the mayor and the community. Luann was instrumental in serving on the leadership team, paving the way for Cedar Falls to be selected as a Blue zones candidate city in-turn leading to the cities certification. Luann leads the walking Moai community, as well as helps direct the restaurant and nutrition teams in her metro area. Luann is also on the Pedestrian/ Bicycle Advisory Board in Cedar Falls where bike ability and walk ability of her city is constantly being developed and evaluated. Luann‘s first hand experience and exploration of the Ikarian Blue Zone brings an authentic and in depth view into the lifestyle, food and culture of the worlds longest lived.

Luann performs seminars across the country as well as private coaching for individuals where her passion, experience and personal stories of living the “ Blue Zones lifestyle” shines. She is an accomplished Toastmaster of Toastmasters International as well as an educator, author and created “Insightful Living” a one minute quality of life radio and blog show. Luann writes a newspaper column for several business publications and a regular special guest on television. Luann also hosts and produces “Get Fit” a news magazine cooking show for cable access in which she develops many healthy foods to share. Luann’s experience with her city involvement and the Blue Zones process indicates that the process is achievable, fun and beneficial.

Bruce Junek

Bruce and his wife, Tass Thacker, are explorers, authors and photographers who have bicycled and traveled through 53 countries. Since 1987 more than 1.7 million students have seen their Images of the World school assembly programs which inspire learning, healthy lifestyle choices, dreams and goal setting. Their adult keynote program incorporates that same energy and enthusiasm along with a visual feast of their stunning images.

Bruce is a dynamic and charismatic speaker with first-hand Blue Zones travel, knowledge and experience. Bruce shares humorous anecdotes along with his own stunning photos and stories from the Blue Zones and some of the world’s most exotic places. Bruce has a contagious zest for life, and has been a close friend with Dan Buettner for over 20 years.

Bruce incorporates Blue Zone behaviors from around the world into his day-to-day life. He is passionate about inspiring people to make small changes in their environment and shifts in their behavior to live better and feel better right now. For an average American those changes can lead to an extra 12 years of healthy life!

Visit Bruce & Tass’ website

Tass Thacker

Tass and her husband, Bruce B Junek, are explorers, authors and photographers who have bicycled and traveled through 53 countries. Since 1987 more than 1.7 million students have seen their Images of the World school assembly programs which inspire learning, healthy lifestyle choices, dreams and goal setting. Their adult keynote program incorporates that same energy and enthusiasm along with a visual feast of their stunning images.

Tass is an exciting and charismatic orator with first-hand Blue Zones experience, travel, and knowledge. Tass shares insightful and humorous stories plus her own beautiful photos from the Blue Zones. Tass has an infectious enthusiasm and has been good friends with Dan Buettner for many years.

Tass shows a number of ways to bring Blue Zone behaviors into daily life. She inspires audiences to make minor changes in their environment and habits to live better and feel better right now, and potentially add 12 extra years to their lifespan!

Visit Bruce & Tass’ website