How Technology and Innovation Will Invent a New Future of Old Age

Since 1900, the industrialised world has gained nearly 30 extra years of longevity. Ageing has become a disruptive force in many countries and economies, not only because there are more walkers and wheelchairs than baby buggies in some parts of Europe, or because people over 60 in China are more numerous than the entire population of Russia. There are also fewer young people who need to support the ageing societies around them; and citizens in Japan, North America and Europe have growing expectations to not only live longer and better than previous generations, but also to remain engaged rather than ‘retired’ from society. These disruptive demographics will challenge government, business and societal assumptions of what ageing is and requires from everyone. In 1999, Joseph Coughlin, who has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications and reports on the topic, began the AgeLab at MIT – a multi-disciplinary group gathering researchers, business partners, universities, and the ageing community in order to design, develop and deploy products, services and policies to invent how we all will live, work and play tomorrow. At Falling Walls, he explains how technology, business and policy will redefine old age as a new opportunity.

Joseph Coughlin

MIT

Joseph Coughlin is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. His research explores how global aging, technology and consumer behavior drive innovations in business and government. He also teaches policy and planning in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and its Engineering Systems Division. Coughlin was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” one of the Wall Street Journal’s “12 Pioneers Inventing the Future of Retirement” and a Money magazine “Game Changer.” He has advised numerous corporations as well as the World Economic Forum. With Lisa D’Ambrosio, Coughlin edited the recently published “Aging America and Transportation: Personal Choices and Public Policy.” He writes the “Disruptive Demographics” blog on BigThink.com. Before MIT, he was with EG&G, a Fortune 1000 science and technology company. Coughlin holds a B.A., A.M. and Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Oswego, Brown University and Boston University, respectively.

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