SHiFT, Vital Aging Network
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
As co-founder of Shift in Minneapolis, Jan established a clearinghouse for ideas, programs and people seeking more satisfaction from work.
In 2007 at age 75, Jan Hively co-founded Shift as a clearinghouse for ideas, programs and people seeking more satisfaction from work. Shift is a network to support people in midlife who seek greater meaning in life and work. Some of Shift’s members want encore careers. Others want to apply their experience and skill sets to civic agencies or nonprofit organizations in exchange for a modest stipend. Still others may simply want to “give back” to the world as volunteers. With the help of more than 40 volunteers, and a board of directors with expertise in advocacy leadership and building nonprofits, Shift aims to be a community resource — a web of interconnected people and organizations — for those on the path of midlife transition. To start Shift, Hively teamed up with David Buck who, at 46, was laid off from his job as a project manager for an urban developer and was looking for greater meaning in his life. Jan Hively is a living testament to her personal credo of maximizing productivity and assuring “meaningful work, paid or unpaid, through the last breath.” After playing leadership roles in government and education for more than two decades, she received a Ph.D. in education for work and community from the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2001 at age 69. Since then, she has helped found three organizations dedicated to empowering older adults: the Vital Aging Network, a statewide network that promotes self-determination, community participation and personal enrichment through education and advocacy; the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network, an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for creative expression by older adults; and Shift. In 2006 Hively was named a Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures for her work as a social entrepreneur. Her focus on aging and work came out of past professional positions in community outreach, planning and administration for public and nonprofit organizations. Read Jan Hively’s profile Visit Shift’s website.
2015 Update: Encore entrepreneur Jan Hively creates networks for older adults to share their strengths to help each other, themselves and their communities. In 2013, Hively and Moira Allan launched the global Pass It On Network in Paris to explore, document and share creative insights and a new way of being as older adults adapt to longer life spans.