Dan Buettner

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Zones

Blue Zones is on a mission to help people Live Longer, Better.

Dan Buettner is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Zones and the New York Times best-selling author of “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” Dan is an internationally recognized explorer, educator, public speaker and co-producer of an Emmy Award-winning travel documentary. Dan has appeared as a longevity expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, ABC World News, CBS’s The Early Show and CNN.

In 2004, Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s best longevity researchers to identify pockets around the world where people live measurably longer better. In these “Blue Zones” they found that people reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States.

After identifying 5 of the world’s Blue Zones, Dan and National Geographic took teams of scientists to each location to identify lifestyle characteristics that might explain longevity. They found that the lifestyles of all Blue Zones residents shared nine specific characteristics. They call these characteristics the Power 9®.

Dan’s subsequent book The Blue Zones hit the New York Times best-seller list and took Dan everywhere from Oprah to TED to Bill Clinton’s Health Matters Initiative. The success prompted a new challenge: could we improve health and longevity in the US?

In 2009 we partnered with AARP and the United Health Foundation to apply the Power 9 principles to Albert Lea, MN. It worked: after just one year, participants added an estimated 2.9 years to their average lifespan while healthcare claims for city worker dropped 49%. Harvard’s Walter Willett called the results ‘stunning’.

They are now building Blue Zones in cities and businesses across the country.

  • Blue Zones: Secrets of a Long Life
  • Thrive: Unlocking the Secrets of Happiness
  • The Making of a Healthy City

“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

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

He was just brilliant!  Our attendees gave Dan a much-deserved standing ovation and were left buzzing about his work long after his talk.”
Positive Psychology Center University of Pennsylvania

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

On behalf of Sterling-Rice Group, I wanted thank you and the Blue Zones organization for making the trip to SRG and Boulder yesterday. Our group was very excited about your talk; folks were buzzing about it all day. And a few of us were especially impressed with your suburb presentation skills (one person exclaimed, “ He never looked at any notes!”) I’ll be sharing a summery with our entire organization so we can all get inspired to move more, find time to commune with friends and nature, drink wine and also get more sleep!

It was a delight meeting you — may we all be so active and energetic in our retirement! If you find yourself back in Boulder, do not hesitate to check in and say hello and get some good restaurant recommendations!

A partial list of Blue Zone’s clients

  • Allianz
  • Ameriprise
  • General Mills
  • Healthways
  • Target
  • Clinton Global Initiative
  • Capital BlueCross
  • Morgan Stanley
  • World Healthcare Congress
  • United Healthcare
  • Northwestern Mutual
Travels From:  Minnesota
City: Minneapolis
$30,001 and Up


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, 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.


To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and his team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age.

In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits – Power 9® – that keep them spry past age 100. What should you be doing to live a longer life?

Dan Buettner debunks the most common myths and offers a science-backed blueprint for the average American to live another 12 quality years.

Where we live–not education, marital status or wealth– is the biggest, controllable factor that determines our happiness.

For his book Thrive, Dan Buettner worked with Gallup, The World Values Survey and the World Data Base on Happiness to identify four pockets around the world where people report the highest levels of well-being, then determined what they have in common. What can communities do to maximize well-being? And more importantly, what can we do as individuals to stack the deck in our favor?

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% – and they’ve continued to sustain the results.

Harvard’s Dr. Walter Willett called the results “stunning”. Hear how one typically unhealthy American city reversed the trend, re-shaped their environment to live longer, better, and boosted happiness. They got healthier without thinking about it.

Areas of expertise

  • Longevity
  • The World’s Longest Living Populations
  • Living to 100
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • Finding Purpose
  • Stress Management
© 2024 Ro Morrison & Assoc.