What a great online session we had with our What’s neXT?! Community and Chip Conley, once the guiding force within airbnb and now the creator of the Modern Elder Academy, an author, and celebrated TED speaker. All the organization and hard work paid off when 200 people turned up virtually to hear Chip speak eloquently about both ageism and the challenges of middle age. His view is that this middle period in our life, which he dubs “middlessence,” is when our wisdom should be, but is rarely, valued. He is so full of provocative thoughts. He’s redefining the word elder as we move from the concept of ‘knowledge workers’ to ‘wisdom workers,’ and recognizes that as we get older, we need to focus not on proving ourselves, but instead improving ourselves. He understands the need for age diversity and intergenerational collaboration in the workplace to balance the digital intelligence (DQ) of younger people with the emotional intelligence (EQ) of older adults.
We were equally privileged to hear the thoughts of four leaders in the aging ecosystem before and after Chip’s presentation. They included Ramsey Alwin, Director, Thought Leadership at AARP, and Jim Emerman, VP of Encore.org, both in the USA, Michael Nicin, Executive Director of the National Institute on Aging in Canada and Patrick Thompson, Senior Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better in the UK. And last but not least, we heard from the reasons we are here, the members of our community. Thanks to all for attending, and more importantly, contributing. This is how we’ll achieve our mission!