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Esalen Prize Honorees

2016: Ken and Maddy Dychtwald
Aging and the Human Potential

Over the past 35 years, Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. and Maddy Kent Dychtwald have emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinkers regarding the lifestyle, marketing, health care, and workforce implications of the age wave.

They are awarded the Esalen Prize for innovations in promoting a purposeful role during life’s second half and creative ideas for keeping the aging Baby Boomer population engaged, vital, and active in society.

Ken is a psychologist, gerontologist, and best-selling author of 16 books on aging-related issues. Since 1986, Ken has been the founding President and CEO of Age Wave, a firm created to guide companies and government groups in product/service development for boomers and mature adults. His client list includes over half the Fortune 500, and his explorations and innovative solutions have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors—from pharmaceuticals and medical devices, to automotive design and retail merchandising, to financial planning and health insurance. Ken first experienced Esalen in the 1970s. He conceived of the Institute’s Benefit Weekend, the first of which was held in the fall of 2002. He served as master of ceremonies of the Benefit Weekend and was involved in the design of the program for 11 years.

Maddy is a nationally recognized author and leading expert on the changing demographic trends shaping the marketplace, the workplace, and our lives. Since cofounding Age Wave with Ken, she has been deeply involved in investigating and forecasting the lifestyle, marketing, and retirement implications of the age wave. She has also emerged as an authority on the economic ascent of women and its impact on various industries, including financial services, health care, and consumer marketing. She is also a founder of the nonprofit organization Women Against Alzheimer’s, and a board member of the BrightFocus Foundation, a nonprofit that funds early stage research to eradicate diseases of the brain and eye.

Read the Monterey Herald article about the Dychtwalds and the 2016 Esalen Prize.

View Ken Dychtwald’s remarks.

2013: Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk, was the inaugural winner of the Esalen Prize Award. He was awarded the Esalen Prize in recognition of his work bringing together individuals of various faiths and his teachings and values around gratitude coupled with his work on the interaction between spirituality and science.

Brother David was born in Vienna, Austria in 1926. He studied art, anthropology, and psychology, receiving a MA from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and a PhD from the University of Vienna. Soon after, he joined a newly founded Benedictine community in Elmira, New York—the Mount Saviour Monastery. After 12 years of monastic training and studies in philosophy and theology, in 1967 Brother David received Vatican approval to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. His Zen teachers included Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, who founded the San Francisco Zen Center.

Together with Thomas Merton, Brother David helped launch a renewal of religious life. From 1970 on, he became a leading figure in the House of Prayer movement, which affected some 200,000 members of religious orders in the US and Canada.

For over four decades, Brother David has divided his time between periods of hermetic existence and extensive lecture tours on six continents. His audiences have included indigent students in Zaire, faculty at Harvard University and Columbia University, Buddhist monks and Sufi retreatants, Papago Indians and German intellectuals, Naval cadets at Annapolis, missionaries on Polynesian islands, and gatherings at the United Nations.

Brother David has brought spiritual depth into the lives of people who he touches through his lectures, workshops, and writings. At present, Brother David serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living, through, an interactive website with several thousand participants daily from more than 240 countries and territories.


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