Curated Story
elder couple
Source: Ashoka

Five insights to rewrite the narrative around aging

This article originally appeared on Medium

By 2030, there will be more people over the age of 60 than children younger than 10. As the world’s population skews older, the team behind Ashoka’s Next Now: Aging initiative believed this trend might be a source of innovation for today and tomorrow.

But we also had a lot of questions.

How will life change in places where the proportion of 60-year-olds doubles over three decades? And what will it mean to be 60, anyway, as our lifetimes grow longer and values change? What are the innovations of today that pave the way for a better future?

When in doubt, we ask social entrepreneurs. As we set out to survey the “field of Aging,” it was March 2020, and nearly everyone was facing some kind of pandemic-related lockdown or travel restriction. I signed up for Zoom and started browsing Ashoka’s database of leading social entrepreneurs — Ashoka Fellows—to discover who was working to address challenges around aging.

During my first one-on-one conversation with a Fellow, the idea for a “Roundtable” was born. Soon a weekly ritual began, with ten Fellows coming together to share their ideas, work, and discuss what the new narrative around aging looks like. Half the time was for listening, half for conversation.(Read about what each Fellow shared in this article).

So what did we learn? How can we transform aging from a largely taboo topic to an inclusive vision for the future? Here are five takeaways.

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Ashoka insight

  1. It’s longevity, not aging
  2. Labels, labels
  3. Open secrets
  4. The power of one
  5. Roll on