Beginning today, Time Goes By is taking its first-ever-in-ten-years hiatus as is the companion blog, The Elder Storytelling Place.
The reason is that I am in Providence, Rhode Island today for a conference about “connected aging” at the Business Innovation Factory. Three thousand miles is a long way to travel for a one-day meeting, but this invitation was particularly intriguing to me.
”At the Business Innovation Factory (BIF),” wrote one of the organizers, “we believe that we need to look at aging differently, that by framing the aging through the lens of care and increasing weakness, we’re missing whole opportunities to facilitate healthy aging – ones that support optimal personal choice in how we age...”
No kidding. Anyone who has been hanging around this blog for even a short length of time knows that I could have written that myself. The invitation continues:
”We believe that the future of aging can be characterized by how we contribute to our communities, families and professional environments.
“Additionally, we believe that by focusing here, we also can improve general health as we age. By framing the 'connected aging experience,' we believe we can influence everything – from a sense of well being to meaningful contributions to independence, social connection can open up opportunities for living a fulfilling life at all ages.”
That's as close to the guiding principles of this blog as anything I have seen.
In the main, conferences are about sitting in a large room or auditorium while “experts” deliver presentations to the attendees. There's nothing wrong with that format; over the years, I've learned a lot in such settings.
But the people at BIF have a different idea – not to mention that I'm as susceptible to kind words as anyone else. They also wrote:
”It will be a day-long session with an intimate group (around 12 participants) including a mix of elders, people working with elders and folks in other areas that could impact the aging experience. We would love to harness your deep expertise on aging as we try to transform this space.”
So that's where I am today, flying home tomorrow and, undoubtedly, prostrate with fatigue on Wednesday although I have every expectation of being equally energized from a productive day of stimulating work with a group of like-minded people interested and concerned about the future of aging.
The Elder Storytelling Place is on hiatus for this entire week, returning with new stories next Monday 11 November. Time Goes By will return on Thursday or – maybe on Friday.
See you then.