Today marks the 5th anniversary of this Change Rangers weekly blog!
Envision the Promise of Longevity. This tag-line I constructed was designed to provoke thought, while at the same time intended as a question. What is the promise?
For many people living in different corners around the world, the promise of living a safe, healthy, economically sustainable extended lifetime may not be so certain. As the writer, William Gibson said – “the future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.” The same can be said about longevity.
If you are one of the millions of people in migration seeking refuge right now, your promise of longevity has actually sharply diminished. I know, not necessarily a bright note to start this conversation. However, it helps put things in perspective for those of us who are fortunate to live in a part of the world where we, so far, have the privilege of discussing our reasonably financed health care systems and public pension structures, with a long shelf of product/service options to augment our standard of living and finance our longevity.
Moving to the optimistic side, at a higher level there are several organizations focused on a global dialogue to improve the world’s longevity factors – sponsored, or partnered, or in alliances. I have continually tracked such groups in my blog posts over these many years, and these include the International Federation on Aging, the Global Coalition on Aging and the International Longevity Alliance, not to forget the countless credible organizations that promote longevity research in Canada, the USA and other countries.
Awake the Design Challenge!
In addition to all this, the business ventures, scientific research and technology development in the field of aging and longevity have made these past five years in particular, more promising and exciting. Equally as promising is that I continue to read about and meet younger people who are participating in this, what we might call “longevity boom”; encouraged by design competitions such as the Stanford Center on Longevity’s Design Challenge and the Palo Alto Longevity Prize.
Some businesses do get it and as an example close to home for me, is the Rotman Design Challenge in Toronto coming this weekend, March 5-6, 2016. Foreseeing that future that is already here, Fidelity Investments is the company sponsor behind this year’s event. All you have to do is look at the chart on the RDC web site tracking generational wealth to get the picture and follow their How We Might (HWM) introduction that follows the chart.
Inspired by generating the potential for economic growth and the development of new age-friendly products and services in new markets; what all these initiatives, commercially and/or socially beneficial, are trying to do is foresee the future by designing a longevity society for all ages.
My intent in refocusing Change Rangers in 2010 was to elevate the conversation, with some fun along the way, taking it away from the fixation on long held narratives about life in retirement. Escaping the grip of the language in these old narratives has not always been easy to do, but I remind myself that when it comes to adapting to the changes that come along with demographic shifts in a longevity society – resistance is futile. This is no longer a Boomer mission. This is an inter-generational vision.
How will you know that I know you’ve read right to the end of this 5th Anniversary blog post? You can celebrate with me – reply with a constructive comment and/or endorse me on LinkedIn for blogging (if you like), but more importantly for you, is that if you email me by March 10th, 2016 (even if to say hello), your name will be in the hat in a draw to win a thought provoking $25 gift card.
Designing a Longevity Society. How We Might! Ciao!