The New Map of Life

The New Map of Life.

Did you know that demographers predict half of today’s kindergarteners (in the developed world) will live to be 100?

Century-long lives are quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Unfortunately, our social systems weren’t designed with a century-long life in mind.

“The New Map of Life,” a new report just out from the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCOL), is a comprehensive exploration of 100-year life spans. The report shines a much-needed light on what interventions and investments need to be made across different levels of society—and throughout all stages of life—to ensure human lives are as fulfilling, engaging, and productive as possible.

Nine research fellows at Stanford have spent the past two years surveying data in key domains that intersect with longevity, including work, education, early childhood, and more. The research shows the opportunities possible with longer lives, assuming we invest in change now.

Designing and implementing new social systems and infrastructures to make our society longevity-ready is clearly a long-term investment and presents a big challenge. But it’s necessary: the 100-year life is already here, and these investments will span entire lifetimes and have broad impacts on people of all ages for generations to come. Click here to check out “The New Map of Life” and to learn more! And, here’s a New York Times article that has just come out about this study.

On the other hand, I only wonder if a “map” – unless it’s digital – is the right metaphor for an evolving species. Might we need a “compass” or a north star to guide us even when we don’t find ourselves on the map? In any case, a map and a compass (a program like MEA) is probably the right fit for this new era of longevity.

– Chip Conley

This article first appeared in Chip Conley’s Wisdom Well blog