Summer Reading, Encore Style

Dear Friends,

As we round the shoulder of summer into August, I’d like to share some reading highlights, rich with compelling “encore” intersections. 

First of all, I’m delighted with AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins’s warm welcome of The Purpose Prize to the AARP family. I’m also pleased that Barb Quaintance will head the Purpose Prize going forward. Barb is a longtime ally, having been the Managing Director of the AARP Experience Corps. Experience Corps was the first program that incubated and later spun off to AARP; we’re confident The Purpose Prize is in excellent, caring hands.

Second, take a look at this wonderful feature that ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer and online at, showcasing the outstanding, socially transformative work of Purpose Prize winner Rev. Violet Little and Purpose Prize fellow Lily Yeh. We’re proud to have been among the first to recognize their talent and abiding commitment to social justice – and are thrilled that their stories continue to motivate readers.

Rabbi Rachel Cowan (writing with Dr. Linda Thal) urges a close look at the inner, spiritual work of living a purposeful life in the encore years. Their book, “Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit,” challenges readers to search inward, suggesting that an intimate, unflinching personal inventory supports a life (and work) of greater purpose.

Finally, please take some time to read about (or simply read) a new book that resonates strongly on multiple encore themes, “Agile Talent,” by Harvard Business Review online contributors Jon Younger, Norm Smallwood and Marshall Goldsmith. Agile talent, in their view, are professionals who provide vital strategic support without joining a staff or working full-time. Sounds an awful lot like the fellows of the Encore Fellowships Network to me!

Agile talent, the authors argue, makes up an increasingly greater proportion of the specialized, professional workforce and could add up to half of all U.S. workers by 2040 (podcast here). The authors’ advice on supporting and working with agile talent aligns closely with our Encore Talent Works toolkit, a new resource for the nonprofit sector. 

As Shakespeare knew best, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Here’s every good wish that you enjoy these last summer weeks. 

Warm regards,


This post was part of our August 5, 2016 e-newsletter. Full text available here.