Ken and Maddy Dychtwald Receive the 2016 Esalen Prize for Advancing Human Potential of Aging Population

BIG SUR, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At a celebration event this weekend, Esalen Institute recognized Ken and
Maddy Dychtwald, thought leaders on longevity and population aging as
well as co-founders of the research and consulting company Age Wave, as
the recipients of the 2016 Esalen Prize. In the spirit of other
transformational awards, such as the Purpose Prize and the MacArthur
Awards, the Esalen Prize is bestowed on individuals who have shown
exceptional leadership in the field of human potential and as a result
have brought about positive social transformation in their field.

“Ken and Maddy Dychtwald epitomize the pioneering spirit of Esalen in
every way I can think of,” said Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen
Institute and Chairman Emeritus of the Board. “By marrying the values of
human potential with the science of aging, their visionary efforts have
made a profound contribution to changing the way we all think about
aging and to shaping how societies worldwide can best handle the
challenges and opportunities ahead,” added Michael.

Nestled on the rugged cliffs of California’s Big Sur, Esalen enjoys an
impactful and storied history of thought leadership. Renowned
visionaries such as Aldous Huxley, Abraham Maslow, Fritz Perls, Alan
Watts, Joan Baez, Joseph Campbell, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Weil,
Anna Halprin, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, Chungliang Al
Huang, and even Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr were all
captivated by Esalen’s magical environment and came to deepen and
cross-fertilize their ideas and arts. More recently, television’s Mad
landed Esalen on the global radar when in the show’s final
episode, Don Draper wound up at Esalen to meditate and begin to envision
the dramatic cultural changes to come.

Following Esalen’s 50th anniversary in 2012, the Esalen Prize
was created to mark the Institute’s unique role in bringing the values
and innovative ideas of the human potential movement into the greater
world—from psychology to quantum physics, spirituality to economics,
creative arts to permaculture, holistic health to citizen diplomacy. Ken
and Maddy Dychtwald will be recognized for their innovations in
promoting a purposeful role during life’s second half. Through their 18
books, acclaimed speeches, pioneering research, documentary films and
unrelenting public activism, the Dychtwalds’ thought leadership has led
to enduring changes in the fields of gerontology, medicine, psychology,
gender equality, social service, economics, media and technology.

According to Ken Dychtwald, “Since I first studied and lived at Esalen
in the early 1970s, I have had a 46-year love affair with Esalen’s
wonderful people, magical environment and most importantly, its mission.
Receiving this special award alongside Maddy is a unique honor and very
special gift.” Maddy Dychtwald reflects, “Esalen has always been a big
part of our lives. It’s not just its breathtaking beauty, but the values
and possibilities that Esalen courageously puts out into the world. We
are humbled and feel deep gratitude for this recognition.”

The Dychtwalds were awarded with the Esalen Prize during the Institute’s
Benefit Weekend Oct. 14-16, 2016. The Benefit Weekend gathered many of
the Institute’s thought leaders, supporters, and friends to connect with
each other and the land and envision Esalen’s future. The special
weekend program included speakers Rev. Michael Beckwith and Charles
Eisenstein and a performance by Geeta Novotny. As part of the award
presentation, Esalen announced a scholarship is being established in
honor of the Dychtwalds.

“The Dychtwalds’ thought leadership embodies our approach of synergizing
the intellectual with the experiential, opening new vistas of creativity
and meaning for all of us,” said Esalen President Gordon Wheeler. “We
are honored to award them with the Esalen Prize and look forward to
seeing what new, innovative ideas they come up with next.”

About Esalen

Founded in 1962, Esalen is non-profit center for exploring and realizing
human potential through experience, education, and research. Esalen
sponsors pioneering initiatives and offers personal, spiritual, and
social transformation practices for workshop participants, residential
staff, and interns. Located on California’s scenic Big Sur Coast, Esalen
welcomes more than 17,000 students, seminarians and visitors each year.
It works toward the realization of a more humane and all-embracing world.

For more information, visit

About Age Wave

Founded in 1986, Age Wave is a pioneer in the exploration of the impact
of the longevity revolution and its impact on the marketplace, the
workplace and our lives. Under the leadership of Founders Ken and Maddy
Dychtwald, Age Wave advises businesses, governments and non-profits
worldwide on the opportunities and challenges of an aging population.
More than half the Fortune 500 and countless non-profits have been
clients of Age Wave.

For more information, visit:


For Esalen
Erin Musgrave, 530-864-7014