Around the Institute

Aspen Ideas to Go Podcast: Long Life in the 21st Century

August 27, 2015  • Tricia Johnson, Guest Blogger

The “Aspen Ideas to Go” podcast is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute — including Aspen Words, the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, and various events around the country. For a curated listening experience subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to each episode on the Aspen Ideas website 

This Aspen Lecture, available on the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast, features Laura Carstensen, Fairleigh Dickinson professor in Public Policy at the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. She is also director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

We are approaching a watershed moment in human history; a time when old people outnumber children and living to 100 is commonplace. There are major challenges associated with this dramatic and sudden increase in life expectancy, yet, Carstensen says we must not lose sight of the fact that long life presents unprecedened opportunities. If we use science and technology to solve problems associated with aging and we develop new social norms and lifestyles, she asserts that the entire life course can be redesigned in ways that dramatically improve quality of life at all ages.

The Aspen Lecture convenes some of the world’s greatest minds in an interdisciplinary series that explores topics ranging from the Big Bang to representative democracy to Shakespeare.