Life Matters Media
Quality of life at the end of life

End Well 2018: ‘Feel Inspired And Empowered’

BY DANIEL GAITAN | daniel@lifemattersmedia.org

The highly anticipated End Well symposium is fast approaching, and it will arrive at just the right moment.

Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider founded End Well

Far too often, people die in ways that don’t reflect their goals and values.​ Death and disease are inevitable, and many suffer needlessly for a variety of cultural, clinical and financial reasons.

Now in its second year, the popular symposium aims to help change that.

End Well is a one-of-a-kind gathering of design, tech, health care and activist communities with the goal of generating human-centered, interdisciplinary innovation for the end of life experience. This year’s event will be held Dec. 6 in San Francisco.

End Well founder and philanthropist Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider and end of life care advocate and End Well team member Tracy Wheeler responded to questions from Life Matters Media over email.

Among this year’s speakers: Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter; Rebecca Soffer; co-founder of Modern Loss; and Courtney E. Martin, a weekly columnist for On Being. How did you decide on these innovative speakers?

They are all incredible content experts whose work is informed by their own lived experiences.

Whether they’ve experienced illness, loss, injustice or frustration, they will share their personal story of what it means to be mortal. End Well is committed to sparking thought to action so we feature people who are putting their ideas and passion to the test with intelligence, rigor and heart.

It’s a pretty diverse list, was that important to you?

It’s extremely important to us that End Well offers a diverse, comprehensive and inclusive view into the innovations and challenges at end of life.

Of course, with a limited number of speakers, there are still many communities and life experiences we can’t represent in any one year. Our hope is that what we can do is spark interest in our attendees to build connections, products and services that reach and support a broad spectrum of individuals and communities.

Last year was a success! Are you making any changes this year?

The most obvious change is in the venue – SFJAZZ is a stunning, state-of-the-art space that feels quite intimate but allows us to expand our seating to accommodate a larger number of attendees. Based on feedback from last year, we are also including more opportunities for networking and connecting with fellow End Well participants.

(The SFJAZZ Center is a music venue in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco that opened in 2013)

Are you going to add more speakers?

Yes. We have several more confirmed speakers joining us on stage for 2018. We will continue to announce them throughout the summer. Please stay tuned!

What do you hope attendees take away from the symposium?

Ideas for how they can move thought to action around aspects of the end of life experience including serious illness, caregiving, grief and loss. We want attendees to feel inspired and empowered to work toward creating end of life experiences that support all individuals’ needs, goals and values.


Life Matters Media co-founder and president Randi Belisomo spoke last year at the first End Well symposium.