Stephen Johnston, Co-founder, Aging 2.0

April 22, 2020

“The Future of Aging is a much-needed, intensely human book. Technology and the healthcare industry are placed in a supporting role, while individuals’ nuanced stories are brought to life.  Rejecting the ‘aging tsunami’ alarmism or technology-driven quick fixes, it takes a nuanced, human-centric systems-thinking approach that will help people navigate issues raised by the unprecedented aging of societies. It provides plenty of case studies, ‘weak signals’ and practical suggestions, all of which share a common theme of nuance and individual agency. “It’s complicated” is a key message, “but it’s not hopeless” is another. It illustrates the main themes with portraits of personas, grounding its futuristic predictions in day-to-day lived experiences. It highlights less tangible but important topics that make life worth living, such as loneliness, stigma, resilience, sex, purpose and identity, and helps us think about aging in a new way, for example, highlighting the enhanced emotional resilience of older people. Aging is not the persevere of the medical industrial complex or the government, but something for all of us to own, and the source of new opportunities in media, technology, apparel, design and beyond. It warns against fear-based narratives that pathologize aging or sew dissatisfaction, denial and disgust (thereby fueling growth in anti-aging products). It is a comprehensive, well-researched and thoughtfully designed book that leaves the reader informed, curious and cautiously optimistic about the potential for meaningful systems change and human resilience and ingenuity.”