Life Transitions from Inaugural Conference

Our starting assumption is that longevity has implications for all of life and not just end of life. We therefore need to think about new life structures and societal factors to support these longer healthier lives.

The 100 Year Life Panel discussed the breadth of changes needed to adapt to longer lives. Lord Adair Turner remarked how substantial gains have been even since he led the Pensions commission. Both he and David Willetts talked about the challenges our pension systems face and the need to think hard who should qualify for free resources given the gains to healthy longevity. Lynda Gratton remarked how corporates need to change outdated assumptions around age and productivity as individuals responded to longer lives with different career aspirations whilst Claer Barrett discussed how pensions were evolving into personal savings and the challenges the young face. Joanne Cash emphasised the importance of lifelong and daily learning and the need to use new technologies and behavioural science to help older workers learn more easily. 

Later in the day, the Life Transitions breakout session brainstormed ideas for helping with the new transitions and lifeshifts that longer lives will produce. The focus was on three distinct transitions – from work to retirement, midliferepositioning and from school to employment.  On the transition from work to retirement it was announced that the Longevity Forum was supporting the launch of the Encore Fellows programme into the UK based on the successful scheme run by Encore.org in the US. This is a programme whereby firms provide funding for six to 12 months to retiring employees who take up a role on a high impact project position using their expertise in the charitable sector.

The Midlife transition was based around CityLit but also involved the contribution of a range of other interested institutions such as Now Teach. CityLit discussed a prototype for constructing learning solutions packages to support healthier and more meaningful extensions to longer lives through broad based accessible courses.

The Schooling initiative was led by Changeboard which provides online materials for teachers and schools to assist students in thinking about their futures, their careers and what they need. Accompanied by Enabling Enterprise, Changeboard plans to create inspiring educational resources for the creation of a ‘Youtube of skills insights’ that brings the world of work to life.

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