The United Nations’ age-related efforts have historically focused on poverty, health and social isolation. Its 27th celebration of the International Day of Older Persons adopted an encore-resonant theme: Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society. Marc Freedman’s keynote remarks focused on longer lives as an asset to our societies, and the longevity dividend that results from engaging older adults in social-impact work. Citing programs in Singapore, the UK and the US, Freedman called for a “revolution of social and cultural innovation” to engage millions of people 50+ in tackling social problems. View highlights here and here.

In addition to Freedman’s keynote, UN Population Affairs officer Sara Hertog shared insights from the 2017 UN Population Ageing survey. A panel discussion featured Donna Butts, Generations United CEO, as moderator, with panelist Ed Rogoff focusing on the power of encore entrepreneurs, Germany’s Frank Leyhausen speaking about European programs that engage older adults in volunteerism and Tanzania’s Livingstone Byekwaso discussing challenges faced by older adults in his country.

This year’s program underscored the links among the contributions of older persons, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process.

Contact: Betsy Werley, Encore Network lead.

Published: October 24, 2017