My new book of the same name will be published shortly, so I thought I’d offer up a few thoughts on the themes that have emerged during the writing of this book.
The main theme of the book is to imagine what the world will look like when ageism has been dispatched to the position of a historical footnote.
When our world embraces a more mature economy where more mature people are engaged productively in work, business ownership, freelancing. Where more mature people can contribute to the world for as long as they choose.
A world without the Grey Sideline — that imaginary line on the edge of the economic playing field where mature people are benched because their skills and abilities are not valued.
In the book, I explore the intersection of three key stakeholder groups — government, organisations and individuals — coming together to solve the issues and aligning a push to end ageism and move into that post ‘ism’ world.
I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into research in preparation for this book. Building on our ten thousand surveys of business owners, and 300 one to one interviews with mature people. I’ve also pored over and read research from around the world on the topic, and been fortunate to interview more than a dozen leaders from around the world in the mature age, longevity and ageism space. From campaigners to activists, demographers to economists.
What are the main themes for each stakeholder group? What will each have to do to proactively engage on this topic and make a difference?
The government will have to tighten up policy and engage on this issue with programs and awareness that goes beyond superficial lip service. They will have to correctly understand the issue and invest in strategies that tackle the real issues.
Organisations will have to implement inclusion and diversity programs that include age. They will have to become skillful at managing intergenerational workforces. But beyond that, they will have to redesign their workplaces — office, warehouse, manufacturing, and hybrid office/home working — to be more age-friendly.
Individuals will have to ensure they remain curious, committed to long-life learning, willing to be flexible in the way they earn an income.
On the other side of the individual coin, everyone old and young will have to park any ageist attitudes and move beyond judging the person by their birthdate, skin and hair colour. Each individual will have to be judged on their value and ability, experience, wisdom or fit for the job — not their age.
I’m proud of the way this book — Maturity Blues — is shaping up.
I’m incredibly grateful for the many individuals including Lee Rogers, Chip Conley, James Michael, Gabriela Domicelj, Kate Christie, Marlene Krasovitsky, Ross Lambie and Brad Schurman who have agreed to interviews.
I’m committed to continuing to contribute to this goal, and to work alongside the many other fine individuals I’ve met who share this purpose such as David Tarr; Natasha Ginnivan, Diana Dunbar Place, James Michael, John Lonergan, Geoff Pearman, Wendy Mayhew and many many others.
Our team will show up for organisations like the World Health Organisation, National Seniors and the EveryAge Counts team here in Australia.
Maturity Blues will be published very soon. You can pre-order copies by visiting our website — www.silverandwise.com.au.
Best wishes and speak soon.