• culture

    YBL 2019: Wow, What a Day

    AGEIST reflects on our first YBL conference, the impact of our tribe coming together, and lessons learned.

    This past Tuesday, June 11, was our first conference, YBL (Your Best Life) in Los Angeles.

    Today, we are in grateful recovery mode. Putting on something like YBL is an immense undertaking, requiring a dedicated team giving it their all. We did, and it worked out wonderfully. Yes, there were a number of places we could improve — yikes, the food line, so sorry! — and we will get better on the next one.


    The takeaway for us is that the scale of our vision needs to be dramatically expanded. It is one thing to see Google stats saying all of you are global, it is quite another thing to actually meet people who traveled from around the world to be there. We are truly global.

    The other big moment is, although we had thought of ourselves as 50+, in actuality, as the brilliant Chip Conley so well articulated, middle age is now 35-75. Google has been telling us that half of you are under 45, but stats don’t have the same power as actually getting it in the gut from Chip.

    Joyful Validation

    What struck me personally more than anything, was that we had created a space where people had permission to be themselves, and to celebrate that with other like-minded people. In that sense it was the real-life version of what we do in our digital publication. Unlike any conference I have attended, there was a spirit of joyful validation permeating the room. I realized we had created a movement or, more humbly, had created a space for a movement to be expressed.

    Giving Voice to a Global Movement

    At the end of the event, when the reality of what we had done hit me, I was thunder struck, which led to me completely falling apart and being unable to speak — not something that happens too often around here. We had made this thing happen, we had given voice to a global movement. That, my friends, is some very heavy information to intake, and it floored me, quite literally.

    It is going to take a bit of time to fully recover and digest the learnings of our first YBL. I can assure everyone that there will be more. Where, how often, and what they will look like we can’t say today. But the planning and discussions are already beginning.

    We will be reviewing and commenting on what we learned from all the panels over the next few weeks and hope to offer some cogent insights on what it all meant.

    Thank you to everyone who was there, to all the incredible speakers, and to all the staff and volunteers. You are the people who inspire us day after day.

    David Stewart
    David Stewart
    David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

    More Stories

    Iggy, Bruce, Anna vs Time. Cool is Ageless

    Seeing Iggy Pop (72) in the new Gucci Cruise 2020 video ad alongside Gucci Mane (39) and Sienna Miller (37)  gave us pause for...

    This is a Crazy Story. How our CTO became huge in the world of K-Pop. The making of a TWICE Uncle.

    This is the remarkable story of Jack Phan, a 42-year-old tech entrepreneur, CEO, and now Korean pop influencer. What started with a single tweet...

    Paul Hynek 57, Radical Life Extension

    This is Paul Hynek. Among other notable achievements, and there are many, he is one of 9 people who successfully completed the recent Stanford...

    Crazy for Cryo (therapy). At Minus 185 Degrees?

    Why would anyone pay money to step into a chamber that is about as toasty as the dark side of the moon? Self-humiliation? Actually,...

    Why Did “Training With Joan” Get Such a Massive Reader Response?

    Every once in a while, we publish something that goes totally wild. Last week we did a short post on the Instagram account of...

    LATEST Profiles

    Paul Hynek 57, Radical Life Extension

    This is Paul Hynek. Among other notable achievements, and there are many, he is one of 9 people who successfully completed the recent Stanford...

    Debra Rapoport, 74

    As we are speaking, this native New Yorker is currently wearing a hat made of paper towels, and she looks magnificent. An artist, a...

    Ron Haviv, 54: Conflict Photographer, Filmmaker, Educator

    Ron is a legend, one of the best there is. He is a photographer who often works in conflict zones. Going to these exceedingly...