I’ve often said that “aging is a team” sport. It’s true that human beings were not meant to age alone and lonely. We need relationships and the support of a genuine human community to feel and to be complete. It is also true that “changing aging” is a team sport. For the past six years I have enjoyed working with and learning from Kavan Peterson as he has shown me how our message of a new and better old age can be communicated around the globe. His skill and devotion to the craft of telling stories has helped this blog, The Eden Alternative, The Green House Project and culture change rise to a new level of prominence. Although we use the latest digital technology, our success has been earned the old fashioned way, through trust, ingenuity, creativity and a bushel full of hard work.
This month Provider Magazine profiled Kavan as one of the 20 people to watch (click on Page 6) for his work on ChangingAging.org and as a partner in the creative consulting company ChangingMedia. The profile hit on his essential qualities:
Chris Perna, chief executive officer of the Eden Alternative, has worked closely with Peterson for the past several years. [snip] Perna notes that Peterson’s “significant expertise in the world of social media” has helped the Eden Alternative make much more effective use of social media.
What’s more, Perna says, he brings a unique skill set to the picture. “He’s been so helpful in getting us over our trepidation about social media, and we’re trying to take his message out to the nursing homes we work with, because they have some incredible stories to share and they don’t have the platform to do that,” he says.
“I think that sharing more positive stories about what goes on in nursing homes every day will help remake the image of the industry, and there are incredible stories to be told. Social media is an incredible platform for getting that message out there.”
But even more importantly his selection says something about the future of our field. Kavan (and the other 19 rising stars profiled by Provider) show us that the struggle to change aging is important, valuable and worthy– to people of all ages. This is sensationally good news.
There is one more thing I want to mention. If you or your organization wants to make a mark, if you want to have influence, if you want to lead— you must be able to communicate effectively with the latest digital technologies. The old days of typing up a press release and sending it out are— OVER. The reality is that today we are the story tellers and it is up to us to ensure that our stories are heard. If you want to communicate more effectively, with passion, verve and drive– you need to contact Kavan and ask him how he can help you.
We are pretty proud of our little blog and the success it has achieved but what our field really needs is for 1,000 stories to be told. People need to hear YOUR story and Kavan can help you make that happen.
If it’s not yet obvious, Peterson is passionate about long term care and culture change. “You are not going to find any more compelling stories in any other field of work than what’s going on in culture change in this country and around the world,” he says.
What are you waiting for? Stop reading this and click THIS.