On May 3, the M Center of Excellence and the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging hosted a Summit on Business and the Future of Aging. The day-long event was part of the Milken Institute Global Conference.
With an engaged group of corporate leaders, academics, investors, and philanthropists in attendance, this Summit was designed to identify opportunities to accelerate the development of ideas and actions that demonstrate the valuable role the business community can play in facilitating longer, healthier lives, lived well.
Peter Mullin, Chair of the M Center of Excellence Donor Advised Fund (DAF) Committee, kicked off the Summit by setting an inspirational tone of how purpose will continue to enhance the quality of a longer life. "How will we rewire, not retire? Reboot, not retreat? Embrace wellderly, not elderly? And turn recreation into re-creation? Relish the opportunity of doing something we've always dreamed of, so we can wake up and feel good about the coming day?" Peter went on to state that living longer, but doing nothing with purpose during these additional years, is a missed opportunity. "Let's do something about this new gift, maybe the best of all gifts-the gift of time." There was unanimous agreement with Peter's assertion that "we need a recognition that over-60 is an asset base, not a flawed or tainted group. It's a gold mine." In short, engaging mature adults is good for the individual and good for business, and the companies who capture what Richard Eisenberg from Next Avenue calls the "longevity dividend" will have an advantage.
In addition to Peter, several members of the DAF Committee—Dana Ardi, Hassy Cohen, Bob Johnson, Fred Jonske, and Dawn Trautman—attended the Summit. Jim Morris, Chairman, President, and CEO of Pacific Life, and Campbell Gerrish, a Principal of Winged Keel Group, were also Summit participants.
The Summit is an important step in the M Center's efforts to support transformational products, services, and ideas to empower enhanced health and wealth expectancy. The M Center will continue to focus on this question: What is the point of a longer life if you are in poor health, run out of money, or don't have purpose? It is clear that it's not just how long we live—it's how vibrantly we live long. As people live longer, they will want to maximize the quality of their lives (what Peter defines as health expectancy), they will need to plan ahead to fund these additional years (wealth expectancy), and they will need purposeful engagement that utilizes their expertise and wisdom.