Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author with his five books exploring the intersection of psychology and business. His most recent book, “Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder,” led him to creating MEA, the world’s first “midlife wisdom school.”
Chip along with Ingo Rauth, Ph.D (an adjunct professor for Management and Design at IE Business School) have authored a white paper on what they describe as Long Life Learning.
Below are the first two, and the last paragraph from the paper. You can download the paper here.
“With increased longevity and a more volatile world, a growing number of people are bewildered by the middle of their adult life. They are advised that lifelong learning will help them compete in an increasingly competitive workplace, but most lifelong learning programs focus little on the unique challenges and needs experienced by those navigating midlife. There is a gap in the educational landscape that presents an opportunity for established institutions of higher education and educational startups.”
“Some universities as well as private enterprises have started developing curriculum in line with ‘long life learning.’ ‘Long life learning’ focuses on developing a sense of purpose and personal well-being by understanding the positive aspects of aging congruent with established adult development theories to create more resilience through midlife transitions. These new programs foster communities of midlife peers who cultivate, harvest, and share wisdom with one another as the founders of these programs fundamentally believe wisdom isn’t taught, it’s shared. As such, graduates of these programs may be better prepared to live lives that are as deep as they are long. This paper is meant to catalyze the development of new offerings that support individuals throughout midlife and prepare them for elderhood, much as public junior and senior high schools have done for adolescents about to enter adulthood.”
“We live in a time in which higher education is under assault. Maybe it is time to disrupt it in a collaborative manner. To guarantee their survival, traditional educational institutions would benefit from embracing this movement for ‘long life learning.’ Collaborating with startups would allow them the ability to decentralize and develop age-appropriate offerings and programs more effectively. And, in certain cases, converting a small liberal arts college that has historically focused on twenty-year-olds to become a campus of fifty-year-olds may be the way for that college to survive. Or, creating more age-diverse college campuses could lead to an educational ‘intergenerational potluck.’ Maybe community colleges, that have provided utilitarian skill building certificates in ‘adult education’ programs, could broaden and deepen their offerings to include ‘long life learning’ which might help them grow a new community of midlife students?”
You can download the paper here.
Disclaimer: Chip Conley is an investor and advisor to Next For Me.