The purpose of the Center for Productive Longevity (CPL), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, is to serve as the bridge between people 50 and older (50+) in America and the broad range of opportunities that enable them to remain productively engaged where they are qualified and ready to do so. This population segment consists of more than 111 million, one-third of the total U.S. population. With 30 years added to longevity from beginning to end of the 20th century, it is an economic and social imperative that we develop ways that enable these people to continue adding value for their own benefit and for the larger community where they are qualified and ready to do so.
CPL has three principal goals:
- Encourage and stimulate people 50+ to continue in productive activities that add value to themselves and to the larger community.
- Change the negative mindset about people 50+ to recognize and utilize the talents and capabilities that enable a majority of them to continue in value-added activities.
- Integrate this large and growing population segment more effectively into the country’s economic and social fabric.
Human Resource Services, Inc. (HRS), the parent company of CPL, has been focused on the growing number of people 50+ in the U.S. since the latter 1990s because of the aging of the 78 million Baby Boomers and the impact on strategic workforce planning, as well as on the entire country. The topic was on the agenda for meetings of top HR executives in the latter 1990s. Bill Zinke co-authored a white paper in early 2000 with Dr. Elliott Jaques, a renowned social scientist and management consultant, titled The Evolution of Adulthood: A New Stage, that delineated a third stage of adulthood from 62 to 85 to be added to the traditional two stages from 18 to 40 and 40 to 62. Our paper concluded with this paragraph:
“It is our goal to draw attention to a transformational change that is rapidly occurring throughout the world. Because of the dramatic extension of longevity, adult life in this new millennium will unfold through three stages instead of the two stages that have ended in retirement and old age. Countries around the world have received an unexpected bonus–a population segment of wise and experienced individuals ages 62 to 85 with many remaining years of vigorous and healthy life who are ready, willing, and well-qualified to continue working. They will replace what has been an elderly population over 60 to 65 living out their last years in quiet retirement.”
Dr. Jaques presented the paper at a two-day event organized by HRS in Washington, DC in June 2000 which attracted 24 sponsors, more than 70 participants, and substantial media coverage. Other speakers included then-U.S. Senator John B. Breaux and Peter G. Peterson, then-Chairman, The Blackstone Group. A book based largely on the presentations was privately published by HRS in early 2001, and copies with a cover letter signed by Senator Breaux were sent to every member of the U.S. Senate.
However, the Silicon Valley-precipitated recession in early 2001 led to reducing rather than increasing U.S. employment. With the economy booming in 2006, CPL held a second two-day event in June 2007 with 20 sponsors and this title, National Conference on the New Human Resources Frontier: Utilizing Older Workers for Competitive Advantage. Again, we had an excellent group of speakers and more than 70 participants, with two occurrences in early 2008–HRS published a second book based largely on the Conference presentations, and the Great Recession began.
The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL) was created by HRS in 2006 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, and the second Conference was intended to be its launching platform. After a hiatus of several years while the economy slowly recovered, CPL began planning in the latter part of 2011 for a series of four one-day events in different parts of the U.S. in 2012, all titled Spotlight on Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Baby Boomers 50 and Older, held as follows:
- March 27 at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO, a focal point for entrepreneurship in America
- September 14 at Babson College in Wellesley, MA
- October 11 at the Chicago campus of Northwestern University/Kellogg School of Management
- November 15 at the University of Denver–University College
These events attracted more than 400 participants, with excellent comments on the written evaluations and workshops held after three of the events for participants seriously interested in creating a new business.
A capstone one-day event was held in November 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC titled National Conference on the Entrepreneurship Imperative for Engaging People 50 and Older, with outstanding speakers including two from Europe: Sergio Arzeni, Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship in Paris, and Candace Johnson, an American woman living in Luxembourg and extremely successful as an entrepreneur on the global level.
After considering a variety of options, we have decided to proceed under the CPL banner with creating a national network of chapters for people 50+ in 27 major cities throughout the country for a maximum of 75 members each, beginning with an initial meeting for the first one in the Denver Metro Area (DMA) on June 23, 2016. Meetings will be held at the West View Recreation Center in Westminster to avoid the Denver traffic congestion. Below are a Notice and Preliminary Agenda for this event, with 75 participants expected.
The meetings will be focused on the Seven Pillars of Aging Successfully™ and other relevant topics. One important goal is to change the negative mindset that is pervasive in America to recognize that multiple millions of people 50+ have the experience, expertise, seasoned judgment and proven performance (we have coined and trademarked the acronym of DoubleESP™) to continue adding value to themselves and to the larger community in many different ways. Another important goal is to stimulate people 50+ to recognize that many of them have the DoubleESP™ to continue adding value for many more years.