2017 Year in Review: Highlights from the Center for the Future of Aging
“The future of aging will be different, and it is time to challenge conventional wisdom.”
– Paul Irving
At the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging (CFA), we know that it takes innovation, hard work, and dedicated partners to make progress on this goal. With the valued support of our advisory board and network in 2017, we launched the business of aging focus, built on our regional aging initiatives, and expanded our efforts to promote healthy aging.
Below are highlights from CFA’s accomplishments in 2017.
Business of Aging
While the aging of the population holds powerful potential for business, older adults, and society in general, businesses, broadly speaking, have yet to develop strategies to capture this potential. In the spring, CFA held the Summit on Business and the Future of Aging to plan a course of action for business leaders to create products, services, and innovations to serve the ballooning population of older consumers, and to capitalize on their talents as workers and entrepreneurs.
Two publications based on the convening are forthcoming—a report, “Turning Silver into Gold: The Business of Aging” and an essay series “The Business of Aging” to be published in conjunction with PBS Next Avenue and Forbes.
Our business of aging focus also permeated the Milken Institute’s global events. Area experts discussed the challenges and opportunities of the business of aging at the Milken Institute Global Conference and Asia and London Summits. Paul Irving’s editorial “Asia’s ageing population: A golden opportunity for business” focused on the business of aging in Asia.
In July, CFA was asked to advise on the state of older Americans in the workforce by the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and we recommended a course of action for policymakers to consider.
In September, Paul Irving was the keynote speaker at the 2017 National Investment Center for Senior Housings and Care (NIC) fall conference, for an audience of more than 2,000 people. His talk, “The Upside of Aging: Innovation, Disruption, and the Longevity Economy” focused on the trends that will disrupt the home care industry, and the need for disruption and innovation across physical spaces, technology, and human capital. Arielle Burstein was interviewed on the relevance of aging and the longevity economy for young people on an episode of the Los Angeles based podcast, PopHealth.
In collaboration with the Institute’s research department, CFA released its 2017 “Best Cities for Successful Aging” index and report in the spring.
This third edition of our groundbreaking series methodically evaluates U.S. metropolitan areas on how well they serve the needs and meet the aspirations of the nation’s largest-ever population of older adults, enabling them to age productively, securely, and in optimal health. The report ranked 381 metropolitan areas, using refined methodology and updated data in nine categories. The index and report are designed to highlight the nation’s most livable metropolitan areas—those that enable a good quality of life for their aging citizens and for individuals across the age spectrum.
Caroline Servat emphasized the importance of cities to our aging population while speaking on a panel Nov 15 at the Aging 2.0 Optimize conference. The session explored ways that accessible technology can support successful aging in urban centers.
In November, a private session at the Milken Institute California Summit focused on smart cities. Participants explored how technology can address the challenges of an aging population and harness the massive social and economic potential of older adults. Paul Irving spoke about CFA’s regional work in a November talk at Harvard University.
Mayors from cities large and small and across the political spectrum continue to show their support for age friendly policies by signing the Best Cities for Successful Aging Mayor’s Pledge. To date, 216 mayors have signed the pledge. Encourage your mayor to sign the pledge today.
Sophie Okolo introduced a new interview series to explore key themes in science and public health with the goal of elevating knowledge and awareness about the opportunities for healthier longevity. A highlight of the series was her conversation with Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Alan Alda about the opportunities and benefits of purposeful engagement. CFA has produced other articles on related topics, including the use of big data and caregiving.
Paul Irving was featured at the USC Lifespan Health Summit and at a special event on healthy longevity at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Sophie Okolo was a guest expert for National Aging Life Care Month, where she contributed a blog post exploring the link between heavy drinking and dementia as well as comparing and contrasting alcohol consumption in the United States and South Africa, two countries that rank high among heavier-drinking nations. The goal was to emphasize and encourage the benefits of healthy habits and lifestyles.
CFA’s Milken Institute Global Conference programming focused on healthy living and geroscience, exposing attendees to new ideas and trends in health.
Speakers included Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Dean Pinchas Cohen, Palo Alto Investors Managing Partner and President Joon Yun, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine Institute for Aging Research Director Nir Barzilai.
A session at the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit explored effective methods and solutions that can drive change and result in healthier aging on a vast scale.
Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA) continued on its successful trajectory with assistance from CFA as a supporting partner. PALA works to make the Los Angeles region the most age-friendly in the world. Arielle Burstein worked to increase intergenerational activity in Los Angeles by participating on the Gen2Gen steering committee which seeks to mobilize adults over 50 to volunteer with young children. She conveyed the purposeful aging perspective in a session panel titled “Connecting Generations: Opportunities in Advocacy” at the Gen2Gen Los Angeles inaugural conference. Caroline Servat communicated CFA’s work to a global audience when she was interviewed by Elder UK. She discussed the implications of global aging, the interconnectivity of societal trends, and the opportunities inherent in the longevity economy.
Engaging the Field
Since the beginning of the year, the CFA Quarterly has issued four editions comprising 10 chapters that focus on the critical challenges and opportunities of aging. Contributors include CFA staff, members of our extraordinary advisory board, and other organizations that share our values and collaborate in our work. The Quarterly was recently cited in the International Business Times in an article on self-driving, AI, and robotics.
Read the latest chapter of the Quarterly, Engaging Young People in Aging, where AARP, Age Wave, and other organizations address the health care revolution, preventing Alzheimer’s, and new findings on work and retirement.
Look for Us in 2018
As CFA works to build a better future for all ages, here are just a few of our upcoming activities:
- Engage with us at our events, including the Milken Institute Global Conference Apr 29-May 2
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to read our latest publications, including our report and essay series summarizing the themes, findings, and vision of the Summit on Business and the Future of Aging
- Watch us on a panel at the inaugural Cities Summit at SXSW exploring the convergence of urbanization, aging, and innovation through a futurist lens.
- Catch new releases in our interview series showcasing notable people of all ages, backgrounds, and professions as they discuss longevity science and healthy lifestyle practices across the lifespan.
We look forward to engaging with you next year!