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10th Anniversary Symposium.


In celebration of our 10th anniversary, the Stanford Center on Longevity will host a one day symposium that features preeminent individuals representing a range of disciplines, industry leaders poised to distribute innovative products and services to the public, and thought leaders who help to shape ideas that influence cultural change. It will be a landmark gathering that shifts attention away from a path laden with myths and stereotypes about aging to one that that offers an agentic and achievable vision of long life. In addition to the esteemed speakers, the symposium will feature activities related to the Center’s longevity research.

Speakers, Moderators & Special Guests

Steven N. Austad
Dr. Steven N. Austad is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Trained in evolutionary biology, Dr. Austad became interested in aging during field studies on the opossum. Dr. Austad’s current research seeks to understand the underlying causes of aging with a long-term goal of developing medical interventions that slow the age-related decay in human health. He is particularly notable for his research on species of exceptional longevity, including a marine mollusk that lives over 500 years. Dr. Austad is the author of more than 180 scientific papers covering nearly every aspect of aging from cells to societies. He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the 2003 recipient of that Society’s Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding research. He has also received the Geron Corporation-Samuel Goldstein Distinguished Publication Award, the Nathan A. Shock Award from the Gerontological Research Center of the National Institute on Aging, the Irving S. Wright Award from the American Federation for Aging Research, and the IPSEN Foundation Longevity Prize.

Laura Carstensen
Laura L. Carstensen is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University where she serves as founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her research has been supported continuously by the National Institute on Aging for more than 25 years and she is currently supported through a prestigious MERIT Award. In 2011, she authored the book, A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity. Dr. Carstensen has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging and the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society. In 2016 she was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine. She has won numerous awards, including the Kleemeier Award from the Gerontological Society of America, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Master Mentor Award from the American Psychological Association.

Chip Conley
New York Times bestselling author and hospitality entrepreneur, Chip Conley, at age 26, founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), which became the 2nd largest boutique hotel brand in the world. Chip’s books share his theories on transformation and meaning in work and life. After 24 years as JdV’s CEO, he accepted an invitation from Airbnb’s founders to help transform their start-up into the world’s largest hospitality brand. As Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, Chip taught his methods to hundreds of thousands of hosts and created the Airbnb Open. He is the founder of Fest300 (now Everfest) featuring the world’s best festivals. The recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, Chip holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University, and serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute.

Victor Dzau
Victor J. Dzau is president of the National Academy of Medicine. He served nearly 10 years as chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and CEO for Duke University Health System. Before that, Dzau held influential posts with Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Stanford University. He is an internationally recognized trailblazer in translational research, health innovation, and global health care strategy and delivery.

James Johnson
Jim Johnson has chaired the Advisory Council of The Stanford Center on Longevity since 2011. He is Chairman of Johnson Capital Partners and serves on the board of Goldman Sachs Group. He is the Chairman Emeritus of The Kennedy Center and The Brookings Institution. He has 105 years of combined New York Stock Exchange board experience including UnitedHealth and Target. He was Vice Chairman, Chairman and CEO, and Executive Committee Chairman of Fannie Mae; Managing Director at Lehman Brothers; Executive Assistant to Vice President Mondale; and a faculty member at Princeton University.

Michael Mainieri
Primarily recognized as an award-winning jazz vibraphonist, Mike Mainieri's equally remarkable talents as producer, performer, arranger, and composer have contributed to shaping the cutting edge in music. As a composer, arranger and performer, Mike has contributed to over 100 gold and platinum albums. An active participant in the rock and pop scenes, Mike produced and co-wrote three albums with Carly Simon, and also recorded with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Marc Kopfler & Dire Straits, Bonnie Raitt, George Benson, Diana Krall, Don McClean's classic album: American Pie and on Paul McCartney’s latest standards album. Mike continues to tour worldwide with his group Steps Ahead and as a guest artist.

Hazel Markus
Hazel Markus is the Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is a social psychologist and a pioneer in the field of cultural psychology. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the Donald T. Campbell Award, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology Distinguished Scientist Award, and the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2016.

Jim Nadel
Alto saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator Jim Nadel founded the Stanford Jazz Workshop in 1972. He continues to serve as the nonprofit organization’s artistic and executive director. In addition to his work with the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Nadel designed the jazz studies curriculum for Stanford University’s academic jazz program and has served as a lecturer in the Stanford University Music Department since 1984. Nadel received a BA in Music from Stanford University and an MA in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. He is a former member of the IAJE and a current member of JEN (Jazz Education Network) and the AFM (American Federation of Musicians).

Thomas Rando
Thomas A. Rando is a professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is also director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging. His research concerns the basic biology of stem cells and how they function. In 2005, Rando received the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for his work at the interface between stem cell biology and the biology of aging, and he recently received a Transformative Research Award from the NIH for studies on the benefits of exercise on cognition and lifespan.

Paul Saffo
Paul is a Silicon Valley-based forecaster with three decades’ experience helping corporate and governmental clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He teaches at Stanford where he is a Consulting Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, and is Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.

Ken Smith
Ken Smith joined SCL in July of 2009 as a Senior Research Scholar and Director of Academic and Research Support. He currently is Director of the Center’s Mobility Division. He works closely with SCL’s faculty colleagues to determine where Stanford expertise can best be used to drive change. He brings a broad background of over 20 years of management and engineering experience to his role, including positions in the computing, aerospace, and solar energy industries. He developed a special expertise in working closely with university faculty to develop projects while at Intel, where he was deeply involved in the creation and management of their network of university research labs.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Marc Tessier-Lavigne is a Canadian neuroscientist who is the 11th and current president of Stanford University. Previously, he was president of Rockefeller University in New York City. He was formerly executive vice president for research and the Chief Scientific Officer at Genentech. He was the first industry executive to assume the Rockefeller presidency. He is also a member of the Cure Alzheimer's Fund's Scientific Advisory Board.

Derek Thompson
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, and the author of its 2015 cover story “A World Without Work,” about the future of technology and employment. He writes the business column for the magazine and contributes to the website on issues ranging from behavioral psychology to the economics of entertainment. “[Thompson] writes and edits economic news that is readable, informative, and often entertaining,” said The Huffington Post. He also explores the habits of millennials. How does this enormous cohort spend, work, vote, and consume? And how can corporations appeal to, and hire, this often-misunderstood demographic? Thompson is a weekly contributor to “Here and Now,” the national afternoon news show on NPR, and he appears regularly on CBS, the BBC, and MSNBC. He has appeared on numerous lists, including both Inc magazine’s and Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Time magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.

Craig Venter
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. Dr. Venter is Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, and Head of Scientific Strategy at Human Longevity, Inc., the genomic-based, health intelligence company empowering proactive healthcare. Dr. Venter is also Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, genomics-focused research organization and is Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, and Co-Chief Scientist of Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company developing products and solutions including sustainable bio-fuels, vaccines, biotherapeutics and transplantable organs. Dr. Venter is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and scientific awards, including the 2007 US National Medal of Science. He has published two books, A Life Decoded (Viking 2007) and Life at the Speed of Light (Viking 2013).

Abraham Verghese
Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, is Professor and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He is also a critically acclaimed, best-selling author —Cutting for Stone was on the Times best-seller list for over a year, and a physician with a focus on healing in an era where technology often overwhelms the human side of medicine. He has been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2014, he received a Heinz Award from Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation. In 2016 he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.

Natalie Warne
Natalie Warne is an Activist, TED Speaker, and Producer who at the age of 17, decided to work for the international aid organization, Invisible Children. She produced award-winning international human rights awareness campaigns that landed her a lobbying role in DC and a TED talk on engaging youth in social justice that has been viewed nearly a million times. Natalie has mobilized youth through innovative programs that have been featured on CNN, NPR and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She has been sought out by clients including the U.S. State Department, Forbes, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Apple, SAP, MacArthur Foundation, Stanford University, Boys and Girls Club of America and hundreds more to travel the world to speak about her journey from teenager to global activist. This work has lead Natalie to work as a millennial expert, training leadership teams around the world on how to best engage, empower, and activate young people. Natalie created an Activism Training Program designed to activate and equip young people with the knowledge and tools needed to build momentum towards lasting change in their communities, society and the world.

Wendy Whelan
Wendy Whelan began her dance training at the age of 3 and went on to spend 30 years with New York City Ballet, 23 of those years as principal dancer. She has danced virtually every major Balanchine role, and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She originated leading roles in works by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Wendy has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet and has performed on nearly every major stage across the globe. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she received both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance. Since 2013, Wendy has been developing her own independent projects including, Restless Creature and Some Of A Thousand Words both co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions, Whelan/Watson Other Stories co-produced by London's Royal Opera House and Hagoromo, self-produced for the 2015 BAM Next Wave Festival.