Encore.org is spearheading efforts to engage millions of people in later life as a vital source of talent to benefit society. Our ultimate goal is to create a better future for young people and future generations.
How We Do It
- We use the power of personal stories and other communications techniques to challenge conventional thinking about aging and create a new narrative for later life, characterized by individual renewal and social impact.
- We create and support pathways to connect people in later life with opportunities for work that benefits society.
- We serve as a hub and resource for leaders in various sectors and geographies who share the encore vision.
- We create and operate innovative programs to showcase the encore vision.
While many see our aging society as a problem, we view it as a solution. Those in and beyond midlife represent a powerful source of talent with the accumulated skills, experience and wisdom to tackle some of society’s most urgent challenges. By embracing this unique opportunity, we can transform a zero-sum prediction into a win-win strategy, creating a better future for generations to come.
Neither young nor old, the vast population moving into midlife offers an extraordinary resource. Millions are determined to apply their experience to make a difference for others. And they are looking for a new model combining elements of work, service, and social impact – an “encore” or “encore career.” Some are able to do so as unpaid volunteers or in roles in their communities or families. But for many, encore work can bring a new source of continued income.
Since 2011, when the first baby boomers turned 65, some 10,000 Americans have passed that milestone each day, a trend predicted to continue through 2020. Over the next decade, we will evolve from a population where one in ten Americans are over 65 to one where one in four are. By 2030, more Americans will be over 65 than under 15. This same demographic shift is unfolding in many corners of the world.
But this opportunity will endure beyond the current generation. For the first time in history, many of us have an extra 20 or 30 “bonus” years of active, healthy life, after having developed extensive skills, knowledge and life experience. Encore.org has set out to define this new stage of life and work, to create new pathways and to transform existing institutions in ways that will help millions make the transition from “what’s last” to “what’s next?” and to help our society take advantage of an unprecedented human resource windfall.
As one approaches later life, there is a natural urge to think about legacy – about how we will be remembered, how we can influence the lives of young people and how we can leave a mark. The encore vision is rooted in this concept of “generativity,” which is why our animating idea is about leveraging the experience of older adults to improve our world now and for future generations.
At a time when there are so many critical problems in our education and health care systems, in our government, in our environment and on our streets, we can’t afford to let decades of experience go to waste.
There is more background on the encore movement in these books by Marc Freedman – Encore: Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life and The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.
Got questions about Encore.org? Visit our FAQs page for answers.