Greater Longevity is a Call to Action for Governments, Industry, Global Institutions
NEW YORK (Jan. 26, 2011) – The Global Coalition on Aging announced its launch today as a pioneering new initiative to raise awareness and address the social and economic impact of global population aging. Founding members are AEGON, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Galderma, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Nutricia, Pfizer, and Universal American Corp. Deloitte Consulting LLP is serving as an advisory member.
The Global Coalition on Aging will provide leadership, research, and advocacy to help nations and industry advance sustainable solutions that address the unprecedented demographic transformation already underway. The Coalition is unique in its focus on aging’s impact on all aspects of life and society: the workplace, health, and long-term financial security.
“The emergence of the Coalition is tremendously exciting and fills a critical need at a critical time,” said Dr. John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course for the World Health Organization. “It is unique, not just in the breadth of its interests in aging, but also in its philosophy that the best approach is for people to remain engaged and productive as they grow older. We look forward to working closely with the Coalition to press for change in the policy arena.”
The Coalition will foster a re-shaping of public policies to align to the new demographic realities. Over the next three years, the Coalition will roll out a strategic plan to drive social and policy changes in four key areas:
- Education and work
- Financial planning and security
- Health and wellness
- Technology, innovation, and biomedical research
“We will share this plan with business, governments and other stakeholders who want to join us in this important new venture,” said Coalition Executive Director Michael Hodin. “We will advance innovative solutions to improve health and wellness, expand work opportunities, and provide ongoing education and financial planning to turn what could be a fiscal and political crisis into platforms for economic growth and intergenerational collaboration.”
It is estimated that there will be two billion people over the age of 60 by mid-century, and they will outnumber children for the first time in history. “These demographic realities call for far-reaching work, lifestyle, business, and governmental changes,” said Nicholas Eberstadt, demographer and Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. “We are still living with public policies and social infrastructures that were designed for a different time with different demographics.”
In the United States alone, the number of people over 65 will double from 40 million today to 89 million – one in every five Americans – by 2050. Similar shifts are underway across the globe, though the pace of change differs from country to country. Populations in Europe, Japan and South Korea are further along the aging curve, while countries like China and India, which have younger populations, will experience the aging phenomenon a generation or two later.
According to Baroness Sally Greengross, a Member of the UK House of Lords and President of the International Longevity Centre United Kingdom, the Coalition is making “a great contribution with its optimistic view of aging. These leading global companies are committed to helping this generation and the next live differently, more productively and with greater fulfillment for themselves and society, into their eighties and beyond.”
“As the longevity miracle shapes the 21st century, the Global Coalition on Aging is well positioned to draw upon the best corporate strategies, partner with stakeholders across society and work with governments and policymakers to promote pragmatic solutions,” Hodin said.