The mission of the Mind Division is to harness the human capital represented in a growing number of mature and talented older citizens. Absent significant disease, aging is associated with an increase in knowledge and expertise, emotional stability and heightened motivation to engage in meaningful work. At the same time, the speed and efficiency of new learning typically declines with age, as does sensory functioning affecting hearing and vision. Such changes can hamper the effectiveness with which people engage with work, families and communities.
The Center aims to develop and evaluate infrastructures that channel the strengths of older people into families, workplaces, and communities. This includes improving cutting-edge technologies that compensate for deficits in hearing, vision and balance. We work to understand and improve how older people make important decisions about health care and financial matters. We also pursue efforts to distinguish normal from disease-related aging in cognition, so that interventions and policies are targeted appropriately.
Mobility is strongly associated with quality of life – the ability to move about independently at home and at work, to move about our community, to travel to distant places. Embedded in the concept of mobility is physical fitness across the life course, which is central to the notion of healthy aging. Maintaining physical fitness is a major focus of the division, including projects on exercise, reducing sedentary behavior, optimal nutrition, and measurement of fitness through wearable devices. Beyond lifestyle choices, research in the biology of aging holds promise that therapeutics may emerge that may be able to extend the period of physical fitness and delay the onset of functional decline. Technological advances also may be able to enhance functionality even in the face of physical decline associated with chronic disease.
The Mobility Division looks to improve the lives of people in all of these ways by leveraging Stanford research, bringing individual disciplines together to create larger solutions, and working with industry and government to translate academic research into products to benefit individuals and society.
In addition to encouraging and supporting research, the Mobility Division strives to be a source of unbiased, scientifically-based information amid a proliferation of confusing, and often conflicting, messages related to changes that occur during aging and how to delay, arrest, or even reverse such changes.
In an age of unprecedented longevity, a focus on lifelong individual financial security has never been more crucial. The mission of the Financial Security Division is to bring a unique interdisciplinary perspective to financial security issues facing our society by rethinking the perceived problems around an aging population, especially retirement planning and the need to work longer. By understanding the role that research, education and policy can play in solving these issues and by looking at the problems from multiple perspectives, we will drive the dialogue forward in order to facilitate a healthier state of long-term financial security for the individual and society.
We bring together the best thinkers, policymakers, and business leaders to drive innovation and change around financial security issues. We focus our efforts on three topic areas: financial capability; the new career lifecycles; and common financial pitfalls such as fraud. For each of these areas, we identify key research and policy issues, catalyze research around practical solutions, disseminate information to key stakeholders and thought leaders, and discuss ways to encourage evidence-based policy decision. More specifically, for financial capability, we will explore how to help individuals become wise consumers of financial information and prepare for financial milestones such as retirement. For the new career lifecycle, we will redefine the concepts of “work” and “retirement” in order to reflect the reality of increased longevity. Finally, our work on common financial pitfalls such as fraud will consolidate research from a range of disciplines to form a unified understanding of fraud and effective fraud prevention.
The aim of the Sightlines Project is to characterize how well Americans are doing over historical time in three key areas known to optimize longer lives: Healthy Living, Financial Security, and Social Engagement. The inaugural report illuminated where Americans need the most support. In response, since the last Advisory Council meeting, we have begun to embark upon next steps including: 1) showcase findings from Sightlines and other relevant work through our new website in order to proliferate new research, inform key influencers for policy development and program implementation, and inspire national conversation about living long and living well; and 2) conduct more in-depth analyses to determine whether and how Sightlines findings differ by various demographic contexts such as gender and geographic region to better identify subgroups that are most vulnerable.
Distinguished Lecture – Courtney Martin: “The New Better Off”
Courtney E. Martin is an author, entrepreneur, and weekly columnist for On Being. Her latest book, The New Better Off, explores how people are re-defining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.
Courtney has authored/edited six books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women, and her work appears frequently in national publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre.
She lives with her family in a co-housing community, called Temescal Commons, in Oakland. Read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.
“Monster in the Mind” Screening
Last month, we co-sponsored a screening of the film “Monster in the Mind” with Stanford’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. After the 60-minute version of the film, Stanford Center on Longevity Faculty Affiliates Drs. Victor Henderson and Frank Longo had a Q&A session with the over 160 attendees that were present. This event was free to the public and was extremely well-received.
AUGUST 17, 2017
Vote For The Encore Prize To Help Kids – Forbes
JUNE 30, 2017
What age is considered “old” nowadays? – CBS Money Watch
DECEMBER 26, 2016
Finding reasons to be cheerful gets easier with time – Chicago Tribune
DECEMBER 21, 2016
Retirement Wellness: Toward a More Complete Framework – Forbes
NOVEMBER 2, 2016
6 retirement strategies from a local pro – CBS MoneyWatch
OCTOBER 20, 2016
Do brain-training exercises really work? – CNN
OCTOBER 11, 2016
Let’s retire retirement – BlackRock blog
OCTOBER 3, 2016
The Weak Evidence Behind Brain-Training Games – The Atlantic
OCTOBER 3, 2016
Brain Game Claims Fail A Big Scientific Test – NPR
SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Seizing Longevity’s Competitive Advantages – Next Avenue
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
A critical missing piece in 401(k) plans – CBS MoneyWatch
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
How Higher Education Can Aid Life Transitions – Next Avenue
The remarkable speed with which the Stanford Center on Longevity was established reflects a generous founding gift from Stanford alumnus Richard Rainwater, who recognized one of the most urgent needs of our time: adapting our society to a rapidly aging population. His gift enabled the Center to begin immediately with a core staff and with key programs in place.
Going forward, the Center’s work continues to benefit from individuals and organizations that recognize the importance and urgency of redesigning long life. During 2016-2017, the Center received generous funding from individual donors as well as from AARP, Airbnb, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Allianz, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Care Innovations, Davis Phinney Foundation, Encore.org, Eskaton, Fidelity Investments, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Great West Financial, Halbert Hargrove, Home Care Assistance, Lixil, Mercer, The National Institute on Aging, Optum, Orange, Prudential, Qualcomm, The Society of Actuaries, State Street Global Partners, Target, Transamerica, and Whole You, Inc.
Gifts help the Center embark on new research projects, develop educational programs, collaborate with faculty and disseminate research findings so they can be put into practice. To discuss opportunities for partnering with the Center, please contact:
Nancy Easterbrook, Director of External Affairs
Phone: (650) 721-7997
Stanford Center on Longevity
Littlefield Center, Room 350
365 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Gifts to the Stanford Center on Longevity are tax-deductible under applicable rules. The Center is part of Stanford University’s tax-exempt status as a Section 501 (c) (3) public charity.