Advances in science and technology are creating healthier and longer lives.
Andrew Scott, is the co-author of the new book The New Long Life with Lynda Gratton. In their first book, The 100-Year Life, they laid out the sweeping changes that longer lives are introducing that will lead individuals governments, educational institutions, and corporations to adapt in innovative ways.
Their new book is a practical guide on how to navigate and thrive in an era of longer lives. They introduce a new framework for a multi-stage life, encompassing working longer (and differently), ageing well, cultivating good health and meaningful relationships.
We discuss with Andrew:
- How we should be thinking about ageing in this era of longevity
- How a multi-stage life unfolds
- How people can create a new map of life – and get better at navigating transitions
- With lifelong learning becoming more important, what makes for a supportive learning environment
- The impact that technology and AI will have on longer lives
- How governments, educational systems and corporations need to change with longer lives
- How he sees intergenerational relationships evolving in the future
- What are we learning from COVID-19 that relates to longer lives – and what he’s doing differently in the pandemic
Andrew joins us from London.
Andrew J Scott is Professor of Economics, former Deputy Dean at London Business School and Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research.
His research focuses on longevity, an ageing society, and fiscal policy and debt management and has been published widely in leading journals. His book with Lynda Gratton, The 100-Year Life, has been published in 15 languages, is an Amazon bestseller and was runner up in the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2016 and Japanese Business Book of the Year Award 2017. His recent 2020 book, The New Long Life, considers how the challenges and opportunities of social and technological ingenuity might shape a new age of longer lives.
He was Managing Editor for the Royal Economic Society’s Economic Journal and Non-Executive Director for the UK’s Financial Services Authority 2009-2013. He has been an advisor on policy to a range of governments and government departments. He is currently on the advisory board of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility, the Cabinet Office Honours Committee (Science and Technology), co-founder of The Longevity Forum, a member of the UK government’s Longevity Council and the WEF council on Japan and a consulting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
With a unique perspective as a global economist, professor, and government advisor, he draws upon a range of disciplines. His ground-breaking work on longevity, economics, and the value and effect technology and longevity combined, will have on the wider society, is shaped by his professional connections to academia, industry, social pioneers and policymakers around the world.
Andrew previously held positions at Oxford University, London School of Economics and Harvard University. His MA is from Oxford, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and his D.Phil from Oxford University.
On the Longevity Dividend
“…we discovered to a new degree, that age is malleable. There are things we can do to help how we age, how we exercise, how[ we change] our environment, how we live our life. And that means we’re aging differently. Yes, there are more older people, but how our aging is changing – and that’s a great opportunity to be seized. And if you think about what’s really happened, did I say most of these years of extra life are healthy? Not all of them. So that period at the end of life has got longer, which is a challenge. But most of those years have been healthy. So what’s really happened is we kind of added something on to middle age – from sort of 50 plus – that’s where most of those extra years of life have come from. And people tend to think that aging is about just the end of life’s got longer, but really it’s about all of life.”
On Measuring Age Differently
“And the metaphor I give is, imagine your day went from being 24 to 32 hours long. That’s not just about what you do differently at the end of the day. It’s what you did differently over the whole day. And that’s I think the challenge we’ve got, – how do make the most of this longer life and in particular, how do we invest in making sure that our future self is as healthy as possible? So there are new risks around, but there are also great opportunities, but the public narrative tends to focus on the negative. Oh, we must be older because we’re living longer – as opposed to the good news that we’re living better. At the heart of this is our reliance upon chronological age – we measure age chronologically – how many candles on your birthday cake, which means you’re living for longer, you’re kind of older. But we really need to think about biological age. Are we fit and healthy? I also would argue that we need to think in a more forward-looking manner, not how many candles are on our birthday cake, but how many more birthday cakes do we still have to come – and using that people are got a lot more future they need to prepare for. So it’s an opportunity.”
On the Multi-Stage Life
“So we’ve said there’s going be a multi-stage life – and a multi-stage career, where you may have three or four different stages to your career. One may be focused around making money. One may be about balancing your family responsibilities. One could be doing something entrepreneurial. And of course, that’s already beginning to emerge. You’re seeing people at 50 plus being one of the most popular age groups for starting up a company, for instance. And just, as I said earlier, we invented teenagers and pensioners. We’re starting to see people behave very differently in their forties, fifties, and sixties, and doing these mid-career transitions. So many people that come up to me and either said, You know, this is exactly what I’ve been doing or saying, I realized now I’ve got another 25 years ahead of me. I need to reskill retool, take a break, and do something else.”
On Navigating Transitions
“I think it’s going to be a really big skill cause you know, the longer life goes on, your ability to think long term is going to become ever more important. Your ability to invest in your future self is going to be key. And that’s something that not everyone finds easy. And then as you say, transitions will become more common. And how do I plan for them? What can I expect and how do I deal with them? I think one of the challenges here is that we don’t really know how to live these long lives. Because our parent’s generation isn’t going to really give us much of a guide because we’re on average living longer than them. So you need to look around and sort of see what people are doing. See what experiments are happening. Just as it took a long while to work out what to do with teenagers and how they spend their time, and how it took a long while to work out what retirement was, what kind of exploring these sort of mid-life transitions as well.”
The New Long Life Book
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