International Change Agents Gather in Iceland

October 17, 2012
Carol Ende, The Eden Alternative Blog

On September 26, 2012, culture change advocates from around the world gathered in Reykjavik, Iceland to listen to presentations about The Eden Alternative.  They shared the challenges they face in bringing culture change to long-term care settings and amazing success stories.

Dr. Thomas and his wife, Jude, joined the conference along with 170 other individuals.  Our hosts, Rannveig Guðnadóttir and Guðbjörg Guðmundsdóttir, did an outstanding job of welcoming everyone and organizing the event.

They even planned a tour of their beautiful country for guests.   The day was a bit rainy and windy, but this did not stop the group from having fun, while exploring amazing waterfalls and geysers.  We felt fortunate to receive an invitation to have lunch with Elders in their home.   Stories were shared, even with so many different languages being spoken.   In the evening, we enjoyed the group’s diversity again and gathered together to sing “Happy Birthday” to Bill and Jude Thomas’s oldest son, Zach, in approximately six different languages.

Speakers for the conference were:

USA – Dr. Bill Thomas

Denmark  – Aase Porsmose,Karin Dahl, and Kitt Lysén Pedersen

Iceland  – Rannveig Guðnadóttir, Ragnhildur G. Hjartardóttir, Friðný Björg Sigurðardóttir, and Helga Guðrún Erlingsdóttir

Faroe Island –  Margaret Johannesen

United Kingdom –  Liliana Stark

Austria and Germany-  Renate Wapplinger and Silke Nachtway

South Africa – Rayne Stroebel

The next day, we (or I) met with the Eden Alternative International Regional Coordinators to explore new Eden Alternative offerings, address challenges, and share stories.  The real gift was that we could spend time together face-to-face and get to know each other better.

For information on The Eden Alternative in Iceland, please visit their webpage at .


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1 Comment. Leave new

Rayne Stroebel
December 10, 2012 2:25 pm

I wonder if we ever thanked Bogga and Rannveig enough for a wonderful time in Iceland…if not – what fond memories of hospitality in your beautiful country. Thank you again and again! Rayne and Magda


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