Living Longer, Living Better

Living Longer, Living Better
Due to the breadth of certain topics, three program tracks will offer conversations across both Fest 1 and Fest 2. Additionally, focused attention will be given to four different subjects during each half of the Festival. Spotlight: Health kicks off the week as a focused, two-and-a-half day forum.
Living Longer, Living Better
Living Longer - Living Better
The global curve of life expectancy has been rising in some places, and stagnating or declining elsewhere. How do we address longevity disparities from Mississippi to Minnesota, Sierra Leone to Sardinia? What's the magic in communities where people live longer and healthier? What measurable commitments can we make to lengthen life with new technology and traditional public health tools?
Some scientists believe we may be able to extend life to 125 or beyond, but most of us want to live not just longer, but better. More medical care is one tool to do that, but how do we resist "just-to-be-safe" overtreatment? What can traditional healers and Western medical practitioners teach one another? What are the ingredients in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces that promote quality? What can we learn from countries facing the harshest health and environmental challenges? Can we promote an ecosystem approach in low-income communities that puts health in a larger development context?
If we do live longer, we are going to get older. Can we do better in addressing the chronic diseases that now seem an inevitable part of aging? What can we learn about aging from greying countries such as Japan? Stronger social connections are an essential caregiving tool, but in fragmented societies, how do we build the real and virtual networks that promote mental and physical health? And can we get more people to think much sooner about the end of their lives so they can journey through the final passage as they wish? What can societies with fewer technological options for prolonging life teach us about "the good death"?
2014