Any health event being MC’d by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, hot on the heels of his incredibly successful, highly revealing and second BBC ‘Doctor in the House’ series, has a good chance of making an impact. Impact is exactly what the ‘Journey to 100’ conference in St Peter Port, Guernsey last Friday was all about.

Marc Winn co-founder of the Dandelion Foundation is the prime mover behind ‘Journey to 100’. He’s a resident of Guernsey and has been pushing Dandelion Foundation’s mission to make Guernsey the “best place to live” by 2020 over the last 3 years.

Everyone in healthcare will benefit digesting some if not all of the nearly 9 hours of content recorded at the ‘Journey to 100' conference last Friday, 30th June. We’ve made it easy below to find links either to the entire content or to individual presentations.

What’s the ‘Journey to 100’ project all about?

This is what it says on the ‘tin’:

“Journey to 100 is a world-exclusive conference that will explore ideas for a new and sustainable approach to lifelong health".

The day will also kick start a 10-year project that aims to make Guernsey the first community in the world to break through the 100-year life expectancy barrier.

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, Journey to 100 featured 20 leading global health, lifestyle and longevity experts, who shared their stories to help us to understand how we can live healthier, happier lives, from zero to 100 years old and beyond.”

Take homes from #JourneyTo100

  • Living long, healthy lives is feasible but challenging in the present era, and requires that a multitude of factors for the individual as well as within the community in which the individual lives, are satisfied
  • The longest lived and happiest communities are ones that are not technologically advanced, highly dependent on pharmaceuticals or other medical interventions
  • People from the longest-lived communities have a sense of purpose or meaning in their lives, they don’t consume highly processed foods, they engage in consistent moderate physical activity as an inseparable part of life, they have a high level of social connection and family values are typically prioritised over other concerns
  • Until a significant proportion of the human population recognises fully that humans are themselves a part of nature, they won’t be looking for answers to their principal challenges in nature, where science shows us most of the solutions lie
  • We need to diminish the cost of healthcare by dealing better with the underlying causes of disease (rather than primarily the symptoms of disease) and creating an environment that fosters personal responsibility for health and community support
  • Health and wellbeing is a skill that can be learned and therefore taught, hence the value of health coaches and allied health professionals
  • We need to focus on the youngest members of society to create a healthy future, one in which the potential for trauma is minimised and secure attachments are created
  • Populations require access to a diverse array of plants both as foods and as medicines. And, we need to remove obstructions to their access where such obstructions exist primarily to protect particular business (notably pharmaceutical) interests
  • We need further development of sustainable systems of agriculture that value the soil and its associated microbiome to the same degree as the human gut and its associated microbiome should be valued in human healthcare
  • All socioeconomic groups should be equally inspired and motivated to take responsibility for their health, and this requires a sea change in government policy, top-down dictates, penalties and incentives
  • Societies and communities that are heavily reliant on technology and pharmaceuticals for healthcare, do not have better health outcomes, longer lifespans or a higher quality of life than those that are less reliant

What it means to the rest of us

We can’t get away from some basic facts. Whether we’re looking at the less technologically advanced blue zone communities or those who are part of today’s high tech, industrialised societies, people who take less drugs are healthier and happier than those who take the most. That’s in part because the drugs being used to treat specific diseases don’t actually cure the conditions, they aim instead to treat symptoms of the diseases. The conditions then worsen, and as more drugs are brought to bear, more are needed both to treat related conditions and to try to lessen the drug side effects. A downward health spiral is then inevitable.

Creating societies that generate human beings that are able to sustain themselves naturally should be a far greater priority given the mayhem that will be inflicted in the coming years if we don’t get on top of the spiralling costs of healthcare and the burden of chronic diseases. Human beings – like all livings things – have exquisite capacities to self-heal, to find an equilibrium. What is needed – as Michel Poulain and others have already discovered from the blue zone communities – is finding the right environment to allow this to happen. As we’ve learned from the science of epigenetics, the environment is everything!

Look around you and see what you can learn from those who appear to be winning in their efforts to maintain their health. Look at what really makes them tick, at their attitudes, their social connections, their priorities in life – as well as how, what and when they eat, sleep and move.

These people should be our teachers. Coaching is becoming an increasing force in the overall healthcare equation because it is now realised that health coaches can become pivotal messengers of this information to the public at large. In most cases, this information will likely be more useful to your long-term health and wellbeing than any disease prevention suggestions you’re likely to get from your average time-challenged general practitioner or family physician.

Stay tuned to #JourneyTo100

Keep a watch on #JourneyTo100 – Guernsey’s journey will continue to unfold over the coming decade and we’ll do our best to keep you abreast of significant developments and progress.

Below is a selection of presentations from the day including two of the fireside chats — one with Dr Robert Verkerk and one with Dr Rangan Chatterjee, that took place in the breaks.

Watch the full 8+ hours of content from #Journeyto100.

Search for individual presentations from #Journeyto100

Edited version of Fireside chat with Rob Verkerk and Jason Prall

Fireside chat with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Presentation by Dr Michel Poulain

Presentation by Tom Blue

Presentation by Dr Rupy Aujla

Presentation by Pam Warhurst