The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to redesign long life. The Center studies the nature and development of the human life span, looking for innovative ways to use science and technology to solve the problems of people over 50 by improving the well-being of people of all ages. Learn more.
Over the past decade, we have achieved highly productive working relationships within and outside the Stanford community with affiliated faculty, industry leaders, policy makers, and supporters of the Center. We foster dialogues and collaborations among these partners in order to develop workable solutions for urgent issues confronting the world as the population ages.
We organize our work within three research divisions -Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security – because of the centrality of mental fitness, physical health and financial preparedness to long and flourishing lives. By fostering research in areas that have implications longevity, we are able to develop impactful projects that can ultimately influence daily life and contribute to the great potential that longer lives afford.
With each passing year, SCL extends its reach and refines its focus on impact. In the past academic year, we organized a range of interdisciplinary conferences with topics spanning the 24-Hour Activity Cycle to the State of Financial Fraud in America. We hosted award-winning financial journalist, author and entrepreneur, Philip Moeller, as the Distinguished Lecturer and expanded and improved our Corporate Affiliates program.
Of special note, in partnership with TIME Magazine and Peter Hart Associates, we launched the Sightlines Project, which will continue to be a central focus of our work going forward. The project investigates how well Americans are doing today compared to earlier times in each of three domains known to influence long-term well-being: financial security, healthy living and social engagement. The findings rest on analyses of eight nationally representative, high quality, multi-year studies involving more than 1.2 million Americans over two decades. We examine the percentage of Americans in each of six age groups who are doing well on a range of variables. In doing so, we avoid the problem of describing the “average” American while failing to capture the distribution of people who are faring well and not so well. The findings are intended to stir national debate, guide policy development, stimulate entrepreneurial innovation, and encourage personal choices that enhance independent, 100-year lives.
The third annual Design Challenge was a great success. The challenge, “Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity,” required students around the world to optimize behavior by using enjoyable activities. We received 50 submissions, with entries from the U.S., Canada, Greece, Japan, Mexico, India, Singapore, Turkey, and Taiwan. The winner in the Mind division was “Memoir Monopoly” from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, a tablet-based rehabilitation game platform for dementia patients that integrates photos from the players’ lives into interactive challenges that exercise their memory and recognition abilities. In the Mobility Division, “City Cart” from San Francisco State University took home the first prize. City Cart is a re-design of a shopping cart specifically for walking trips in an urban setting.
We are mindful that none of these efforts would have been possible without the generosity and wise counsel from members of the SCL Advisory Council. We are especially grateful to Council Chairman, Jim Johnson, for his remarkable leadership.