Concordia University Chicago Center for Gerontology Distinguished Speaker Series

David Romanelli
The Oldest Secrets to Health, Success and Happiness

Friday, March 20, 2020
10:00am – 12:00pm
Koehneke Community Center, Room 10
Concordia University Chicago
7400 Augusta Street
River Forest, Illinois

Elder Americans in their eighties, nineties, and even hundreds, have survived the Holocaust, endured the Great Depression, fought in World War II, lived through the Civil Rights Movement, and endured countless booms and busts. And yet, unlike other parts of the world where elders are respected and revered, so many American elders tend to be lonely and feel irrelevant, without a voice or presence in American culture.

After years of seeking and gathering the wisdom of elders, author and wellness innovator David Romanelli knows that our elders need attention and love—and we need their stories and wisdom. Inspired by his journey of discovery, Romanelli wrote Life Lessons from the Oldest and Wisest, a mix of history, wisdom, and joie de vivre.

“The elders will teach you something that you cannot learn from the most famous bestselling authors or the most high-impact business coaches or the most polished self-help gurus,” observes Romanelli. “Countless professionals, parents, and partners have walked the earth before us. They’ve had triumph and failures…booms and busts…and have the advice we all need to hear…if only we would listen.”

In our age of artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and quantum computing, Romanelli asks, what if the greatest life advances actually came from listening to the advice of our elders? Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Gerontology is proud to host David Romanelli for an inspiring talk that explores how each one of us can apply elder-wisdom to achieve health, success and happiness.


David started teaching yoga in 1999, developed a following, and put a pop-culture spin fusing yoga with modern passions, leading to acclaim in The New York Times, O Magazine, Food & Wine, and The Wall Street Journal. During this time, David wrote his debut book, Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment, which reached #1 on Amazon’s Self Help Bestseller List. From yoga, David found a natural segue into the ancient practice of meditation. His meditations are featured on the award-winning mobile app Happier and Stop, Breathe, Think.

In 2010, David lost his last surviving grandparent. He witnessed the challenges she faced in the final years of her life. Living in a retirement community that was cut off from the flow of the surrounding population, she was surrounded by other elders who were also lonely and isolated. And yet, Romanelli found, she and her elder neighbors possessed a precious resource of wisdom that was largely ignored.

In memory of his grandmother, David started to work with a charity, Search and Care, that helps elders in need. He met a 111-year-old woman who inspired his next book, Happy is the New Healthy. It was named a Top 10 Healthy Book to Read by Well + Good and has twice reached #1 on Amazon’s Healthy Living Bestseller List.

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