April 12 | “The Longevity Economy: Inside the World’s Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market”
On April 12th, the Stanford Center on Longevity hosted Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Founder and Director of the MIT AgeLab for this year’s Longevity Innovations Speaker Series. The event was jointly hosted by the DCI Innovation Hub and the Center. Dr. Coughlin’s research explores how longer life, technology trends and changing generational attitudes are converging globally to transform business and society. In December 2017, he published a new book, The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market.
During his talk, Dr. Coughlin emphasized that the discussion about aging and elderly are mostly wrong. In his book, he cites the groundbreaking research of Dr. Laura Carstensen, on Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and happiness in older age. The main point is that rather than viewing aging as years of decline, life after 65 (or 75 or even 85) can be full of possibility, exploration and learning. Coughlin believes that the business community has not yet realized this potential. He further emphasized that one of the greatest under-appreciated sources of innovation and new business may in fact be women over 50, and described entrepreneurship as the new women’s movement. According to Coughlin, the longevity economy is not just about the money to be made, but the reality that after age 65, there is much to be done. He cites there are 8000 days after age 65 that an individual should plan on. His vision of the longevity economy is about activating the full life span – so we live not just longer, but better.