Futurism is forever alive alongside present-ism. Human history tells us this is ever so. Conversations on longevity and the challenges of aging demographics are global in their foretelling and local in their immediate relevance to every day living. As personal conversations centred these last few weeks on the ordeals of caring giving for elders, my watch on the macro conversation took me to that ever looming year 2030.
In that flash of thinking I also went back to the future, 2001. In the now (sadly) hard to find book Longevity Revolution, Theodore Roszak talked about “the compassionate economy”. Roszak mused; “Given…more people are going to live longer, it is time to start finding a good social use for those extra years.”
Fast forward, 2014 – Professor Žiga Turk, who spoke at a ESPAS conference in Brussels last week, in his EurActiv post writes: “The problem of an ever ageing population is not unsolvable… if retirement is not an obligation. What may prove tricky is what measures to take to keep older people active, ambitious and hungry for achievement.”
Consider, if a sizeable majority of older people with time, intellectual power and reasonable financial means can be individually “ambitious”, what added socioeconomic value could they bring collectively in those “extra years”? There’s a tall order.
Down on the ground where voices speak in present-ism, more than enough tired sounding people are ruminating on the ongoing concern about care giving; that to envision the promise of longevity may need more imaginative guessing.
Try Amazon used copies. Worth the search