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From the Editor: Summer 2016

"We all need to "disrupt aging” and change perceptions and achieve a better match between longer life expectancy and the active participation of older persons in our societies."

We are in the middle of an unprecedented demographic transition. A critical percentage of the world population is now living longer than ever before, while birth rates are dropping in the majority of OECD countries. According to some recent estimates, in 2050 people age 65+ will constitute more than a quarter of the overall population, and the share of individuals age 80+; will more than double.

Aging needs to be considered under the light of another rising trend: increasing inequalities in relation to income, health and skills, and how they compound over the course of people's lives and define quality of life. The long-term challenge is how to design policies today that are flexible enough to adapt to the uncertainties of tomorrow's world of work, while ensuring adequate living standards for retirees.  We all need to "disrupt aging” and change perceptions and achieve a better match between longer life expectancy and the active participation of older persons in our societies.

This year, AARP once again serves as a Knowledge Partner of the  OECD and we are working together to further establish aging and demographic change as an international policy priority. AARP views the opportunity to engage with other leaders and influencers in business, government and trade unions, key nongovernmental organizations, members of academia, civil society and media as critical to shaping the broad implications of aging. AARP’s CEO Jo Ann Jenkins is featured as a speaker on “Disrupt Aging” at this year’s Forum, taking place in Paris, France on May 31- June 1. Check out our newly released video showcasing the collaborative efforts of AARP and the OECD to “Disrupt Aging” Around the World: A Conversation with OECD’s Angel Gurría

In this edition of The Journal, co-sponsored by the OECD, we feature insights from key speakers at the OECD Forum 2016, which is entitled “Productive Economies, Inclusive Societies.” We invited speakers from different sectors of society to respond to the following:


“By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and over will exceed the number of children aged ten or under. And by 2050 will exceed 2 billion. Keeping the title of OECD Forum 2016 in mind "Productive Economies, Inclusive Societies," what do you see as the key opportunities to disrupt aging, to change the conversation about what it means to grow older, through age-inclusive thinking?”

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins sets the scene in an excerpt from her national best-seller Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age. Jo Ann asserts that we need to toss out antiquated beliefs and stereotypes about aging and “spur new solutions so more of us can choose how we want to age.”

Julie Louise Gerberding
, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health at Merck & Co., Inc, (MSD) examines health and aging and the importance of sustaining the “Precious Natural Resource” we have through longevity. She notes that “aging well” is our new challenge.

Catherine Collinson, President of Transamerica Institute and Executive Director for the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement shares findings from the new study, A Retirement Wake-Up Call: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2016 and points out that an inclusive society cannot be achieved without a fundamental rethinking of retirement. 

Rodolphe Gelin
, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of Research at Aldebaran Robotics, explores the role of robotics in an aging society and the role they can play in helping people live independently.


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