Academics and authors agree — MEA is on to something big.

Arthur Brooks
Dacher Keltner
Laura Carstensen
Paul Hawken
Brené Brown
Andrew Scott
Marc Freedman
Arthur Brooks

“Unless you keel over in the prime of your professional life, you are going to see decline in your abilities. And the higher your abilities, the more you will notice when they slip. That’s the ‘winner’s curse’--the reason that people who do really well in life often suffer the most as they age. Trying to hang on forever is an exercise in frustration and futility.

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But there’s good news, too. If we can detach ourselves from our self-concept as “success machines”--a self-concept that is nothing more than self-objectification--it opens up time and energy for new avenues of personal growth and excellence...Obviously it’s not easy or simple, which is...why MEA is so successful, of course.”

Arthur Brooks
Arthur Brooks
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Arthur Brooks is a professor of the practice of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and senior fellow at Harvard Business School. He is the bestselling author of 11 books and The Atlantic article, “Your Professional Decline is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.

Dacher Keltner

“Our contemporary world is crying out for a return to the cultivation of elders. MEA weaves together curated wisdom of the ages, a sense of deep ties embedded in ritual, and awe and beauty at nearly every moment of the day, from sunrise to star filled skies at night. It is the communal rite of passage the middle of life deserves, and that we are in such need of today. MEA’s wisdom, kindness, sense of community, and purpose will stay with you for years.”

Dacher Keltner
Dacher Keltner
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Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab. He is also the founder and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, the host of the podcast The Science of Happiness, and an MEA faculty member.

Laura Carstensen

“To make full use of longer lives, we need a new map of life. We must radically rethink the social norms and guideposts that take us through life, from the nature of family to education and work. MEA is a new kind of midlife wisdom school dedicated to helping people chart this new map of life with both social support and a new set of tools that helps them be more adaptable and resilient."

Laura Carstensen
Laura Carstensen
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Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and a Stanford Professor of Psychology and Public Policy

Paul Hawken

“MEA is so well thought out. It evolved over time both in Chip's work and writings, but also through his 25 years of experience in business. He evolved within his companies, which is the aging process. Watching the environment, himself, and others he noticed a gap in the understanding of what happens when you become 40, 45, 50, 55.

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I think what is happening at MEA is so formative and so relatively new that it is hard to say how it's going to play out. I think it is going to be seen in hindsight - not in the sense that it's passed, but in terms of its formation - as a truly seminal aspect of human development. You’d think we'd have every technique, means and process for human development already invented, but MEA has really created something that is novel and socially brilliant.”

Paul Hawken
Paul Hawken
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Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author of NYT bestseller Drawdown and Blessed Unrest, an activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He’s on the MEA mastery faculty.

Brené Brown

"This is ultimately a book about how we can develop deeper connections, disrupt how we think about teaching and learning, and make more meaningful contributions in our lives and our careers. With stories, questions, and strategies, Chip shares his heart and wisdom on every page. This is exactly what we need right now!"

Brené Brown
Brené Brown
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Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Braving the Wilderness (writing about MEA founder Chip Conley’s book Wisdom@Work, the inspiration for MEA).

Andrew Scott

“I am a huge fan of MEA which is a great initiative. I love the idea of ‘long-life learning’. It's clear that longer lives and technological change will require lifelong learning and much of that will be skills focused and based around jobs. And that’s appropriate. But education has a much deeper role to play.

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The Latin root of ‘education’ is linked to ‘educere’ which is about the ‘drawing out of oneself’. As life expectancy extends we need to find time in midlife to update our views and values, consider what we have learnt, update it by mixing with new people and new challenges and then thinking about what comes next. The insights and values that are forged in our early 20s at college may still be the right ones but for many their relevance has often been lost and commitment to them loosened. Education isn’t just about learning how to code in Python but working out who we are, what we stand for and using that as a core foundation for what we do. In a longer multi stage life we need to ensure that our identity is not formed by our roles but the other way around. That’s why I love the idea of ‘midlife wisdom school’ and a reset.”

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott
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Andrew Scott is a British economist, currently Professor of Economics at London Business School, known for his work on macroeconomic policy and longevity. His book “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in the Age of Longevity” became a worldwide sensation.

Marc Freedman

“Millions are moving through midlife, searching for deeper purpose and the chance to make a meaningful difference in the world. They want to be Modern Elders! All too often, though, the path from aspiration to action has been a solitary and confusing one. Enter the Modern Elder Academy, a beacon in the wilderness, a new rite of passage to elderhood, and a model for how we can make the most of the great gift of longevity.”

Marc Freedman
Marc Freedman
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Marc Freedman, Founder/CEO, Encore.org and author, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.

Becca R. Levy
Becca R. Levy

"I love Wisdom@Work and the Modern Elder Academy! What a fabulous and creative idea.”

Becca R. Levy is a professor of Epidemiology and Psychology, Yale University whose research has shown that creating a positive perspective on aging can add 7.5 years to one’s life.

2,000 Alumni

What Our Students Loved Most

Just know how grateful I am for the joy fuel you all put in my rocket ship. When I want to feel loved or just need a good smile I can think of my time at MEA, which came at the perfect time to encourage me on my journey. Thank you!

Alejandro Cano

Alejandro Cano

Co-Head of Opportunities Funds Oaktree Capital
MEA Online

My high expectations were far exceeded and I am so grateful the content remains available to reference again and again. Big admiration and gratitude for all this and for making me believe that digital intimacy is possible.

Elisabeth Scharbaum

Elisabeth Scharbaum

Hospitalitarian
MEA Online

I am a "sem-rewired" facilitator, adjunct professor at a German university, and this is the first online course that is 'done right'.  You have taken this to a new level that I love!!  Kudos and many, many thanks!

JoAnn Mann

JoAnn Mann

Professor
MEA Online

I experienced MEA as a newly diagnosed multiple myeloma cancer patient and as a result of the things I’ve learned - I’ve banished the anxiety of being a cancer victim, am in remission and living with a new found energy and purpose.

Bruce Deyle

Bruce Deyle

Engineer, IT Architect Verizon
MEA Online

Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in MEA. It was the best gift in my adult life. I now encourage rural people to recognize their worth; to live into their potential. I wanted you to know the positive differences MEA makes in my life, and subsequently in the lives of some rural people in our Kansas community.

Carol Spangler

Carol Spangler

Entrepreneur
Baja Workshops

I want to reiterate my HUGE thanks for a fabulous week at MEA. If I didn't mention this already, I have $40,000 in student loans for my M.A. in Leadership Studies at a prestigious private college and truly believe I learned more and had access to more relevant content in my week with you all than my 2 years in school!

Linda Gold

Linda Gold

CEO of M3iworks
Baja Workshops

MEA came highly recommended by friends who previously attended. As I took a deeper look into the experience, MEA felt perfect for me. Unfortunately, my financial situation proved to be challenging and I was becoming disappointed that I might not be able to attend until I found out about MEA's scholarship program! Not only did I walk away with a newfound appreciation for the value I can offer others, but I also became a part of a community focused on mindful aging and embracing the beauty of liminality.

Wanda Whitaker

Wanda Whitaker

Visionary Artist
Baja Workshops

MEA came to me during a big transition in my life. I was in the process of selling my business and looking at what I wanted to do with the second half of my life. As I took a deeper look into the experience, MEA felt like it was hand-crafted for me. Simply put, MEA changed my life, not in an intellectual way, but in an emotional way. It was the transformational experience of love, through the teachers and staff and the community. Through it, I was able to touch something inside of me that was never touched before.

Douglas Tsoi

Douglas Tsoi

Founder, School of Financial Freedom
Baja Workshops

It makes me quite emotional to think about being in Baja a year ago with all of you. Even for an experience designed to change lives, MEA was the most radically transformative journey I've ever embarked on, and I can't tell you enough times how grateful I am. Upending our lives so dramatically has been both incredibly humbling and rewarding. I don't think I would have had the courage to move the family to Copenhagen and start a new career without my time at MEA.

Irene Edwards

Irene Edwards

Media and Communications Executive
Baja Workshops

After my stay at Modern Elder Academy, I left a more evolved and rested person. I also left with a deeper understanding of what people were looking for in this next phase. If an existential crisis is looming for my generation around longevity, I do believe there is hope for us. We have it in us to create a movement that finds a natural place for people rethinking the stages of their lives.

Jeff Tidwell

Jeff Tidwell

CEO, Next For Me
Baja Workshops

MEA brought me back to myself, who I was meant to be. Attending the academy gave me the jump start I needed to not only get back to work, but to start a new career. Come break bread with us!

Linda Grubbs

Linda Grubbs

Diversity and Inclusion Consultant
Baja Workshops

I wish we’d taken a before and after photo of the group because the internal changes were matched by dramatic physical transformations as each person unfolded into the person they wanted to be. Highly recommend to anyone interested in exploring the roles they play in the world and how they want to change as they enter a new stage of life.

Tina Seelig

Tina Seelig

Professor, Stanford University
Baja Workshops

MEA helped us transition to the next step in our journey. We put behind what didn’t serve us any longer, gained clarity on our life’s purpose, and strength to realize it. The curriculum emphasized the idea of evolving from a fixed mindset that holds you back to a growth mindset that allows you to learn and renew your place in the world.

Isidra Mencos

Isidra Mencos

PhD, Bilingual Communications Expert
Baja Workshops

The Modern Elder Academy is more than just a breathtaking destination or the latest trend in the longevity market. It’s an experiential journey into what is possible if we allow ourselves to step out of the comfort of who we think we are, and allow ourselves to be who we could be.

Bill Apablasa

Bill Apablasa

Co-founder of Oxygen Buzz
Baja Workshops

MEA is a beacon for the soul, not fading, but seeking renewal and inspiration for the next phases of life. Our cohort shared the feelings of gratitude for this very unique opportunity to experience the magic essence of the place, the people, and the transformative benefits of an adult gap year.

Shilpa Sankaran

Shilpa Sankaran

Entrepreneur
Baja Workshops

MEA is a unique opportunity for transformation; a chance to begin, as Chip says, to “make space in your life to see what emerges.” The insights you will learn, the wisdom you will gain, and the friendships you will develop, will be with you and benefit you for the rest of your life.

David Strand

David Strand

Former COO, Cleveland Clinic
Baja Workshops

MEA is transformative! It is the opportunity to think BIG, explore what’s possible, find your inner shaman, dismiss your inner critic, bond with incredible wisdom sharers, overflow in gratitude, soak in Baja’s beauty and plan the next incredible chapter of your story (in ways I didn’t consider before). Find your possibility and soar at MEA.

Nicole Seawell

Nicole Seawell

Attorney
Baja Workshops

My MEA experience was life-changing. It wove a sense of peace into my life that still remains, an inner sustenance that eases and empowers me. Best of all, I found real and unexpected friendship with a cohort of some of the most authentic, gentle, truly inspiring people I've ever met.

Ken Page

Ken Page

Psychotherapist
Baja Workshops

Modern Elder Academy provided a pivotal opportunity as I stepped into mid-life to unplug, relax, recharge, and reconsider the way that I was orchestrating my life. The beautiful surroundings and food were nourishing for my body, the community connection I felt with my cohort was salve for my soul, and the content and coaching that I received provided practical tools for moving forward. Now, the ability to connect to other alumni on social and professional levels is invaluable!

Rae Richman

Rae Richman

Social Impact Advisor
Baja Workshops

The pandemic has taken a toll for so many, both personally and professionally. I knew I needed a break and had experienced MEA twice before so I was thrilled to hear about Sabbatical Sessions to restore, reflect, and reimagine what’s next.

Dr. Debbie Lane

Dr. Debbie Lane

Anesthesiologist
Sabbatical Sessions

I loved my MEA workshop experience in early 2020 so I’ve now booked a month during the time a guest faculty member would be there focusing on creativity and personal mastery.

Ron Nakamoto

Ron Nakamoto

Wealth Manager
Sabbatical Sessions

When I heard that MEA’s new program was Sabbatical Sessions, I knew I had to attend. I see it as the last real opportunity to pause, reset, reflect and learn before launching my new venture.

Ben Pundole

Ben Pundole

Hotelier and Founder of AHotelLife.com
Sabbatical Sessions

Sabbatical Sessions offers the perfect place to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going, especially in these unprecedented times. Nature is such a profound, patient teacher.

Wanda Whitaker

Wanda Whitaker

Visionary Artist
Sabbatical Sessions

The program was spectacular. It really surpassed my expectations. I was really surprised about how the course was curated. There was such a warm intensity and personal touch to it.

Marc Posch

Marc Posch

Brand Consultant
MEA Online

Thank you so much for the impactful training design in the 8-week MEA program on transitions! The experience will forever mean a lot to me.

Carol Davis

Carol Davis

Learning & Dvlpmt. Strategist
MEA Online

For the first time in my life I feel that I am good- just as I am! There is always space for improvement but I have much more peace and acceptance of who I am.

Adele Martz

Adele Martz

Dir. Risk Mgmt. Blue Cross, Blue Shield
MEA Online

This was the best thing that came out of 2020! All of the team and my fellow compadres at MEA have really opened up a new path for so many of us. Thank you!

Carole Cooper

Carole Cooper

Caregiver
MEA Online

My biggest takeaway was the confidence and permission to move forward without any pressure of timeline or having figured it all out well.

Michael MacNair

Michael MacNair

CEO, GO MACNAIR Travel
MEA Online

MEA Online exceeded my expectations. Your structure just works. And Lifetime access is a big deal!

Angela Vazquez

Angela Vazquez

Senior Consultant
MEA Online

Without these new tools, I would have been in trouble, possibly turned my natural sadness into depression as a new empty nester. This training on transition is so necessary.

Leslie Hielema

Leslie Hielema

Global Innovation Engineer
MEA Online

I would highly recommend this program for anyone who wants a road map and a community they can call upon, to navigate through their own transitions, and live a richer life as they age.

Upkar Arora

Upkar Arora

CEO Rally
MEA Online

This course has literally transformed my life! It helped me decide to take the steps to learn how to be an entrepreneur and how to build my confidence to take these next steps.

Debbie Hesse

Debbie Hesse

Non-Profit CEO, Entrepreneur
MEA Online

I hope each of you have the opportunity to experience the online course. It’s content and information for midlifers was truly a remarkable experience to go through.

Eddie Dobbins

Eddie Dobbins

Dream Coach
MEA Online

It just works and is as close as you can come to a live retreat. You all really care!

Nancy Rielle

Nancy Rielle

Intergenerational Cohousing Catalyst
MEA Online

The human connection, warmth and love you were able to build into an online program is amazing.

Pat Whitty

Pat Whitty

COPE Certified Health Coach
MEA Online

Started out as a slow crescendo that ended in an explosion of fabulousness! We got so close that we feel like we’ve known each other for years.

Cindie Adams

Cindie Adams

Social Advocate, Adventure Seeker
MEA Online

I didn’t realize how much I needed this course! Thank you!

Barbara Vance

Barbara Vance

Freelance Customer Service Professional
MEA Online

Loved the flow and structure of each week. The biggest gift I received was that of community. I now have a strong support system and friendships to help me navigate my journey to truly becoming a Modern Elder.

Pamela Grieb

Pamela Grieb

Community Relations Manager
MEA Online

Loved the content and the capacity to fit it in around my schedule in my own time.

Natasha Ginnivan

Natasha Ginnivan

Postdoctoral Fellow UNSW, AU
MEA Online

An online course unlike any that I’ve seen before. This course really helped me narrow my focus, and think about what are next steps…and I got them.

Linda Grubbs

Linda Grubbs

DEI Learning Consultant
MEA Online

Thank you for putting this together! I have already learned a lot and have enjoyed the process!

Beth Woolfork

Beth Woolfork

Sr, Project Mgr, OnShift
MEA Online

Get pragmatic tools to change your career, life, and relationships.

Debra

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Mindful Graduates

After experiencing an MEA program, our alums agree (97%), saying that they’ve become more mindful and present in their lives.

Purposeful Pathway

Our alums report that the #1 skill they’ve deepened at MEA is “Exploring Your Purpose,” with over 80% surveyed feeling the same.

Connected Community

98% again...this time, when asked about connection, our surveyed alumni stay connected to each other online and in real life.

*Alumni survey conducted in April 2020 with a 45% response rate. Survey results represent a 95% confidence level with +/-4% margin of error.
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