Aging and innovation. That’s really what it was all about at the MaRS Business of Aging Summit on April 30th. Once you cut through the media spin like “Boomers as Zoomers” and the other one that gets up my nose “Boomers in Retirement”, it comes down to the fact that aging is getting the attention it is because of the sheer numbers in the demographics.
Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Director of the MIT Age Lab was the opening speaker at MaRS and the real inspiration for the mind set that there is huge opportunity to innovate as we progress with an aging world. I took great encouragement from what Coughlin said about what he calls the longevity paradox – a call to innovate as we manage our health and invent the things we will do (or need) later in life.
One of the questions posed in his talk was, “where are the care-giver networks of tomorrow going to come from?” I would add how are they going to work and what hand do we have in that now in designing innovative models. This harkened me back to Theodore Roszak in his “Longevity Revolution” when he talked about tomorrow’s “compassionate economy”. What is the work and the careers around “care giving” going to look like?
More questions than answers, but there are pockets of “collaboration for innovation” out there in communities around the world. It won’t take much to get involved in the conversation as we “envision the promise of longevity” together.