The conference lobby was buzzing with excitement as individuals gathered for the 6th Eden Alternative International Conference. Even as a newcomer to this event, it was evident that everyone was deeply connected both personally and professionally. It felt like a large family reunion, and in no time, I was swept up in all the enthusiasm and camaraderie.
I have been pondering how to capture my experience but have found it very difficult to neatly package three powerful and enlightening days into one blog. I anticipated I would meet extraordinary people, but I never imagined every person I met to leave such a lasting impression. For instance, I met Connie Goldman, a former staff member of National Public Radio and life-long advocate of changing society’s perception on aging. “We all want to live a long life,” she stated during the conference. “However, no one wants to age. What people don’t understand is that being older is the best time of your life or at least it can be.” I realized I was surrounded by people tirelessly working to make this a reality.
The conference was packed with educational sessions, panels, an exhibitor booth, and plenty of convivium and celebration. Information ranged from international growth to intergenerational opportunities. The conference also illuminated how the Eden philosophy and principles thrive in The Green House model. It was a reminder that relationships are the basis of the work we do and will continue to guide our work in the future.