Congratulations to serial social entrepreneur Odile Robotti, Milan-based visionary whose Kaumatua program launched in November. The program recruits older adults for a variety of volunteer programs, leveraging their experience and wisdom; its name comes from New Zealand’s Maori people, for whom elders (kaumatua) have special roles in supporting younger generations.

Italy’s leading newspaper, La Repubblica, covered the launch, quoting Odile, “Our mission is to help mature Milanese adults to unleash their full potential for the benefit of the younger generation, [and] our ambition is also to become a cultural movement. We want to liberate older adults from negative stereotypes. The answer is not to mimic the young, changing the physical appearance with botox and torn jeans, but to offer what one knows how to do, one’s own time and ability. ” Kaumatua is a program of Milano Altruista, the leading online connector for volunteer opportunities, and part of the Hands On Network. Read more here; if your Italian is rusty, copy and paste into Google Translate.  Contact Odile here.

The late-November Brisbane Age & Work Symposium, organized by Geoff Pearman and his Partners in Change team, attracted 80 participants taking a fresh look at longer working lives. Queensland Minister of Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman participated, announcing the Mature Age Works Mean Business Award and 10 additional business ambassadors promoting the benefits of older workers.

Partners in Change also launched a powerful hashtag, #celebratelongevity, answering a challenge from the World Health Organization’s Director of Ageing and Life Course John Beard. At the 2018 IFA Conference, Beard called for a hashtag supporting older adults, noting the power of #metoo and other viral hashtags.  Contact Geoff at

Published: December 3, 2018