Briefing Notes: We may be getting older, but we’re getting younger too.

Published: September 27, 2020

The 41st | a FUTURIST Edition


HERE’S THE THING …

Most everything written these days re the future is about or is derivative of COVID 19, changes in work offices (the office of the future), remote work. And — if you’re in the US — what could/might/should happen during and after the elections.

Since a large portion of my job is research, I’ll leave you to imagine what my brain looks like nowadays. I didn’t want to write about any of these for this week’s Futurist edition. I hope you’ll forgive me for that.

Instead, I’ll focus on something all of us are going — and will continue to go — through no matter what happens to this wretched pandemic, the terrifying climate change, or for that matter, the brutal US election.

I’m talking about: Aging.

Look, all of us are getting old. Every day. There’s no getting around that.

But getting old in this century is very different from getting old in the last one.

“Today’s older people really are younger than in previous generations,” says a recent Fast Company article.

A new study shows that today’s older people have notably higher physical and cognitive capacities. Today’s modern group (meaning us!) moves and thinks younger than say, our grandparents and their parents. Hooray for us!

And that means we will likely have — and want to have — longer working years where we want to continue being relevant, contributing, and making an impact.

Wharton Professor Mauro F. Guillén, author of 2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything, says that the meaning of young and old has completely changed.

We know the number of babies has been dropping and that people are living longer. And the number of people over sixty is growing everywhere in the world. By 2030, they will become the largest consumer market segment for the first time in history. Many of them have accumulated wealth and have savings, so they will have the means to enjoy life for hopefully many, many years.

BOTTOM LINE

We can’t think the way our parents and grandparents did at this age. Their idea of retirement won’t apply to us. We are in better shape and have better technology. And our mindset around what aging means to us will be key to thriving in our kind of future.


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INTERESTINGLY…
  • The Future of Aging. How do we become healthy enough so that we can extend our lifespans by 5, 10, or even 50 extra years? What if we could feel 25 at the age of 75? A CB insight deep-dive report on how new drugs and technology are working together to extend life and wellness.
  • Audio: Ep 88: Cracking the Vitality Code | Exponential Wisdom. Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan discuss a number of longevity companies working to crack the vitality code of life. Exponential technologies, from machine learning to CRISPR, are enabling scientists to probe medical data, understand aging, and reverse its processes like never before.

MULL IT OVER

“If you accept as a premise that this is affecting everyone, would you rather be working for the company that’s having that honest conversation with you, and has a program helping you to manage your career as that change evolves? Or would you rather work with a company that says, “Nothing’s changing and we ‘promise’ you a long-term career?” Because what I can tell you is that the latter instance is a company that is not going to be around long enough to actually fulfill that.”
— Robert Falzon, when asked about honest conversations he’s having with Prudential employees about the future of work


BOOK NOTES ▿

2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything
by Mauro F. Guillén

Once upon a time, babies were plentiful, workers outnumbered retirees, and people aspiring towards the middle class yearned to own homes and cars. We grew up learning how to play the game and we expected the rules to remain the same as we took our first job, started a family, saw our children grow up, and went into retirement with our finances secure. That world—and those rules—are over. This book discussed how trends, currently underway, will converge in the year 2030 and change everything you know about culture, the economy, and the world.


REMEMBER THE TIME…

… when Peter Gabriel’s groundbreaking video for “Sledgehammer” was the big winner of the night at the MTV 1987 awards winning no less than a record nine awards? Sledgehammer remains MTV’s most-played video of all time, deservedly so as it is just wonderful. Let’s reminisce, shall we? #80smusicisthebest


UPDATE

🎙 With over a million shows on Apple Podcasts alone and huge podcast investments made by companies, the podcasting industry is only expected to grow. This industry is supported by a cornucopia of roles and jobs for folks who want to be in on the action and there are different ways to work in the industry.

This week and next, we’re exploring the world of podcasting. We start with a peek behind the scenes on the role of the podcast producer, Sean McMullin, co-founder of Yellow House Media. We talk about what the role is really about for him, what it takes to get a podcast off the ground and in flight, and where he is focusing his growth in the coming years. He also gives his advice for anyone who wants to jump in and get on with podcast production.

Listen to Episode 142. Or read the highlights here.


LAST WORD

I’ve got many aging-related quotes in my Evernote notebook of quotes. But perhaps my favorite, or at least on the top 3 is this by David Bowie:

Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.

Ahhh. Here’s to all of us becoming the person we were always meant to be.

Best wishes for a productive week. Send over any comments, your favorite age-quote, or favorite 80s song.

Cool beans,
Lou Blaser


ABOUT LOU BLASER

A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Briefing Notes and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on helping experienced professionals navigate an evolving work landscape so they can continue their impact and relevance in a changing world.

The world of work is changing.

Stay smart about it.

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