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The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage beyond Midlifeby Marc Freedman
Synopses & Reviews
Marc Freedman, hailed by the New York Times as “the voice of aging baby boomers [seeking] meaningful and sustaining work later in life,” makes an impassioned call to accept the decades opening up between midlife and anything approximating old age for what they really are – an entirely new stage of life, which he dubs the encore years.
In The Big Shift, Freedman bemoans the fact that the discussion about longer lives in America has been entirely about the staggering economic costs of a dramatically aging society when, in reality, most of the nation’s 78 million boomers are not getting old … at least not yet. The whole 60- to 80-year-old period is simply new territory, he writes, and the people in this period constitute a whole new phenomenon in the 21st century.
The Big Shift is animated by a simple premise: that the challenge of transitioning to and making the most of this new stage—while deeply personal—is much more than an individual problem; it’s an urgent social imperative, one affecting all generations. By embracing this time as a unique period of life – and providing guidance, training, education and support to the millions who are in it – Freedman says that we can make a monument out of what so many think of as the leftover years. The result could be a windfall of talent that will carry us toward a new generation of solutions for growing problems in areas like education, the environment, and health care.
With personal stories, visionary thinking, and practical advice, Shift offers a new perspective to all the people entering their 40s, 50s, and 60s asking the question: Whats next?
Marc Freedman, hailed by the New York Times as the voice of aging baby boomers [seeking] meaningful and sustaining work later in life,” offers a recipe for how we can transform Americas coming midlife crisis into an opportunity for individuals and society.
Shifting to a much longer lifespan isnt as easy as it may seem. Once, people moved from work to retirement to the afterlife. Today millions of boomers are navigating their way to an entirely new stage of life and work, one that could last as long as midlife. They need to work, but they want work that matters and dont know how to find it. Whats more, they are thinking as much about who theyll be” in the coming stage, as what theyll do.”
Unlike the transition from adolescence to adulthood, managing this process for many is a do-it-yourself project. It doesnt have to be this way. Drawing on powerful personal stories, Shift provides not only direction but a vision of the perspectives, pathways, and policies required to help millions find their way in a new map of life.
About the Author
Marc Freedman is founder and CEO of Civic Ventures. An award-winning social entrepreneur, frequent commentator in the national media, and the author of Encore, Prime Time, and The Kindness of Strangers, Freedman spearheaded the creation of Experience Corps and The Purpose Prize. He lives in San Francisco with his family.
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