General Sessions

2018 General Sessions

 Thursday, May 3

8:00-9:30 am

Welcoming Session

Welcome: Chris Perna and Sarah Rowan

The Eden Alternative Awards:  Suzette Molina and Kathy Hagen

Keynote Presentation:
Rise Up to Imagination and Radical Presence
Anne Basting, PhD

“People might think we’re crazy, but I like it.” – a TimeSlips storyteller

In this interactive session, a collaborative team shares both the story of what happens when people thought incapable of imagination take it up, and some tools for how to facilitate expression through words, sound, and movement. You are invited to join in and learn a part of the creative process.


 Friday, May 4

8:00-9:00 am

Opening Session
Change Starts Here: Stories on Aging, Elderhood & Life


Aging is a Habit of the Heart
Jude Thomas, Co-Founder, The Eden Alternative

An Elder is someone who, virtue of life experience, is here to teach us how to live.  Jude Thomas will share her own journey into Elderhood and the impact that love and loss have on us all.


Being Seen: The Story of Growing Older
Sonya Barsness, Director, The Being Seen Project

This series of vignettes will inspire us to be curious about each other, as we grow older and to give people a place to be seen.


Henry & Betsy
Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter, In the Moment

A glimpse into the life of two imaginary people created from real stories of many amazing people.


 Saturday, May 5

8:00-9:00 am

Opening Session

Rise UP Talks

This thought-provoking session gets its inspiration from TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Kicking off the final day of the conference, a series of brief talks will highlight different topics whose time has come. Passionate speakers will challenge the audience to continue to push past their perceived barriers, identifying new ways to bring person-directed care to life for Elders wherever they live.

Featured speakers include:
Technology for All!
Jack York, President, It’s Never 2 Late

Painting with Heart
Ed Carlucci and Sherri Ayers, Jewish Tower, Atlanta, GA

Well-Being and Worth
Daphne Johnston, First Methodist Church Respite Ministry

Nobody Puts Baby Brian in a Corner! Dirty Dancing with Alzheimer’s
Brian LeBlanc, International Dementia Advocate 

2:30-4:00 pm

The ChangingAging Tour: Disrupt Dementia

Jennifer Carson, Kyrie Carpenter, Samite Mulondo, and Nate Silas Richardson

This immersive and transformational non-fiction theater experience weaves film, music, and first-person stories with groundbreaking research, turning convention on its head by focusing on what we can all learn from people living with dementia. The performance features live music and storytelling from humanitarian and refugee Samite Mulondo, accompanied by Nate Silas Richardson and co-hosted by a pioneer in the field of authentic partnership research Dr. Jennifer Carson and millennial psychotherapist turned activist Kyrié Carpenter. The performance was created in collaboration with members of Seattle-based Momentia and is guided by an advisory team of people living with dementia, allies and advocates.

 4:00-4:30 pm

Tour Lobby Experience

6:00-7:30 pm

The ChangingAging Tour: Life’s Most Dangerous Game

Bill Thomas, Nate Silas Richardson, and Namarah McCall

Blending myth and science, live-music and storytelling, Dr. Bill Thomas, Co-Founder of The Eden Alternative, asks the question “what if?” What if we all lived in a world that saw aging not as a process of decline but as a vivid and enlivening process that presents us with extraordinary risks and rewards? Accompanied by acclaimed musician Nate Silas Richardson and vocalist Namarah McCall, Dr. Thomas shows audience members how to approach aging with the skill and enthusiasm it requires. Drawing on ancient wisdom and scientific breakthroughs, they challenge audience members to reject ageist stereotypes and embrace the moments of life that offer the greatest risk, reward, and possibility.

7:30 pm

Conference Closing