Every once in a while I am pleasantly struck by folks undertaking completely grass roots movements aimed simply at betterment of life for those reaching a certain age, especially when they are coming from somewhat off-the-radar areas.
We’ve been monitoring the movements of a rather ambitious organization called The Dandelion Foundation for the last year or so. They are based in Guernsey (how many of our non-UK/Europe readers even know where Guernsey is?). Guernsey is part of the nation known as the Channel Islands, which is the collection of wonderful small islands located in the English Channel, that body of water separating the UK and France. It’s confusing to some, but the Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey) are what is called ‘Crown Dependencies’–they govern themselves largely though they are not independent countries, nor are they part of the UK. They are dependent territories of the UK. I have been to Jersey once (NOT New Jersey 🙂 the other major Channel Island and it was wonderful, and I have heard better even things about Guernsey.–not just the cows, but the best characteristics of northern France (the food, the culture) and southern England (the weather, the culture) rolled into one. I’d encourage anyone who’s never been to go. But I digress…
The Dandelion Foundation’s agenda as stated in a 10-year project that aims to make Guernsey the first community in the world to break through the 100-year life expectancy barrier. Pretty ambitious indeed! But we think a rather noble and wonderful endeavor.
The Dandelion Foundation have held conferences in which experts on healthcare, longevity, coty plans, transportation, and a number of other topics have presented interesting talks, many of which are on YouTube. Their conferences have welcomed leading experts from a diverse spectrum of health, nutrition and wellness disciplines to their stage, to present talks and panel discussions on topics ranging from functional medicine to the importance of community. Now The Dandelion Foundation are organizing something called the “Journey to 100–A conference dedicated to living a long and healthy life. Journey to 100 is a world-exclusive conference that will explore ideas for a new and sustainable approach to lifelong health.
Co-curated by the Dandelion Foundation and James Maskell, founder of Evolution of Medicine, and hosted by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, the BBC’s Doctor in the House, will host 20 leading global health, lifestyle and longevity experts, who will share their stories and help us to understand how we can live healthier, happier lives, from zero to 100 years old and beyond.
This thing interests me so much that I may go myself. Attending Journey To 100 enables attendees to join an international audience to learn why many health professionals and community leaders believe that healthy and happy ageing is not simply about medical advancements, but about our lifestyle, our diet and ultimately finding and enjoying our purpose in life. The rising cost of healthcare and ageing is a global issue, with our present systems slow or struggling to take advantage of breakthroughs in research or age-old wisdom. Many health practitioners feel that there is a declining return on investment for Western medical interventions and are turning their attention back to more traditional themes, such as our place in the community and our role in the wider world.
Guernsey has the potential to show the world how factors such as community, purpose in life, preventative healthcare and a proactive approach to wellbeing could make it the first country to have an average life expectancy of 100. (their materials continue to refer to Guernsey as a country, though much of what I read about the Channel Islands says they are not actually a country). Who really cares, it’s a pretty fantastic place.
For those who can’t spring for the trip to Guernsey, the event will be live-streamed to a global audience, creating a platform for the island to be at the forefront of an international movement.