Calling for a “cultural revolution,” the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging’s new report, The Power of Purposeful Aging: Culture Change and the New Demography, reframes perceptions of aging in the 21ST century.

The report summarizes themes, findings, and vision from the 2016 Purposeful Aging Summit – a gathering of thought leaders from public policy, business, academia, philanthropy, and media. It explains the many physical and cognitive benefits that older people gain when they provide service to others, and the broad social and economic opportunities that derive from their contributions as they age with purpose. It also cites deeply ingrained negative stereotypes as the roadblock to purposeful aging.

“Our report is a call to action,” says Paul Irving, chairman of the Center for the Future of Aging. “It provides research, commentary, and a broad overview of the ways that both older adults and our communities can benefit from the promotion of purposeful aging. And it is an urgent appeal for our society and its institutions to make full use of this abundant human resource.”

The report stems from the 2016 Purposeful Aging Summit in Los Angeles—convened with the support of the John Templeton Foundation—where thought leaders from public policy, business, academia, philanthropy, and media discussed reframing perceptions of aging in the 21st century. They discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by population aging in our communities, the nation, and the world. They considered approaches to broadly engaging older adults in beneficial service. They urged the media, entertainment, and marketing industries to promulgate realistic portrayals of aging today and into the future.

 “A cultural movement is needed to make a broad case for purposeful aging,” says Irving. “Not only to encourage new directions that recognize what it means to age in the 21st century, but to embrace purposeful aging as a way to improve society and enrich the entire life course. We hope our report helps inform–and catalyze–that movement.”

Read the full report here.

Published December 2016, contact: [email protected]