A truly representative inter-generational group of forward thinkers joined thefuturestory “100-Year Career” event at RADA Studios yesterday to lift the lid on the challenges and opportunities of our longer, healthier lives.

The biggest challenges? Changing the narrative, busting misconceptions and shifting mindsets about “the ageing population”. With many of us likely to live to 100, and our kids potentially living to 120, the idea of being past it at 50 and unemployable at 60 just doesn’t make any sense – economically or socially. For a whole host of reasons, retirement is an outdated concept and we – whether you count yourself a Baby Boomer, X, Y or Z – will have to think differently about our later lives.

Herein lies the opportunity.  This generation has the chance to shape the way people live the second half of our lives.  We need to fund it, we need to enrich it, and we need to market it. That’s a huge responsibility, but what an exciting one.

In a couple of hours, thefuturestory community identified just a few areas to start on: employment laws, pension products, shared housing, better work-life blending and the media. And we barely touched on new product development, the circular economy and the environment. Clearly there is a lot to do.

I, through my work at theblueballroom, have just joined this whole debate and I am thrilled to see the BBC is also on topic, but our speakers last night, Jonathan Collie, from The Age of No Retirement and Rachael Saunders from Business in the Community have been working for years, with businesses, private and public sector, charities and government – to break the unconscious bias to age and much more. Their philosophy was complemented by Paula Reid, life coach and explorer, who shared her life mission to live (a long and happy life) to the full – with plenty of examples from her own bucket list to inspire us to do the same.

Thanks to all our clients and friends who joined the event yesterday. Please share your thoughts and questions about thefuturestory of age with me here, or contact me directly at: sparry@theblueballroom.com.

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