The Ambassadors

- The Ambassadors: Preparing the Young for Ageing in the 21st Century

 

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Concept and Project summary

Ageing and life after retirement is less and less visible in spite of the fact that the population of the planet is getting increasingly older. The project investigates two interconnected questions: What defines meaningful lives past retirement age? The project does not look for universal answers to the question, but rather like to highlight a wide variety of examples of different examples of people who lead rich, dynamic and satisfying lives when they have retired. Secondly, we are interested in when the change take place that mean that the later part of life becomes meaningful. Do the decisions that define our life in late teens and early adulthood already shape whom we become later in life? Or does it happen later in life? Again, we are not looking for universal answers, but want to highlight important and even contradictory examples. Some people might lead inspiring and rich lives from beginning to end while others change their lives through a life-crises or even near death experience.

Methodology

The main goal of the project is to highlight people who continue to grow and inspire other people in the later part of their lives. The people we are looking for are not the traditional success-stories; individuals who have enjoyed success in the arts, academia or business. We are looking for the invisible everyday heroes who have chosen unusual ways to new and unexpected paths in life.

The research is aimed primarily for university students. We want to provide them with role models who can inspire them to think differently about their life and their future. Here, students who will work with elderly people and/or do research on ageing are of special interest for us, but not necessarily our main focus group.

The research is looking at three interconnected paths:

-    How does the mental and metaphysical choices influence our later life? What do we do to nurture curiosity, new experiences and social life (how do we fight cynicism) and how much is that formed in our youth?

-    How does physical activity shape our well-being in late life? Do we do sports etc. Here somatic practices in dance is of special interest.

-    How do eating habits throughout life affect the two above questions?

Time-line

The process will start with looking for role models. Through our network in Vision Forum where we continuously work across generational borders we already have a great deal of people who can work as inspiration. We want to go deeper into finding more “ambassadors for meaningful ageing.” After that Vision Forum will actively engage in workshops with the Ambassadors both among students. This will include both theoretical workshops in Universities where the students work with Vision Forum’s artists as well as the Ambassadors. We will also carry out practical and physical workshops in artistic educations in several genres including dance, visual art and music.

More information about venues and partners will appear soon.