Klondike ==> 49ers ==> Senior Creatives
America has another Gold Rush just waiting to happen!
It’s a gold rush that will be uncovering, connecting and investing the untapped time, talent, energy, and resources of older American creatives who want to be a vital part of an economic and innovation resurgence in the USA.
Vast numbers of older Americans are creatives, also called doers. They’re people who want to learn, make things, build stuff, or start businesses. They don’t want to spend their days just playing golf or sitting at home watching TV. These individuals are bundles of restless energy who have an itch they can’t scratch — they want to be more productive but don’t where to start.
Maybe they’re not given the opportunity to be creative at work, or they don’t feel they’re working on stuff that matters. If retired, they may feel like there’s a lot more they want to do with their life. They might be an entrepreneurial person who grew up in a time when most people planned to work in one profession or job for all their life, so they didn’t even consider creating a new company. Or maybe they are someone who enjoys new technologies, like 3D printing, robotics, virtual reality, or microelectronics, and they’d like to be involved with that technology in a startup venture or innovation project.
These gray-hair creatives fit into one of three categories.
- Baby Boomers who have retired.
- Baby Boomers who have not yet retired.
- Older members of the post-Boomer generation who have retired or are thinking about it.
The recent article “Retiring Retirement” talks about the growing ranks of healthy people who’ve passed the 65 year mark without even noticing it. Many in this group are still going strong and look forward to ten or twenty more productive years.
“…The percentage of citizens age 65 and older is expanding…from less than 10 percent in 1950 in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan to a respective 20, 30, and 40 percent by 2050…“We’re going to see something we’ve never seen before—people in their 60s, 70s and 80s who want to continue working and remain connected.”…Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65, and every day, more and more of them are just as fit as me. Society may still view able, competent, sound-of-mind seniors as happy curiosities. But the fact is we are quickly becoming a sizeable demographic…“Today’s seniors are healthier, better educated, and more productive than ever,” Johnson says. “The challenge we face is finding ways to harness their talents…”
From my point of view, the challenge is not so much “finding ways to harness their talent” as it is CONNECTING.
- Connecting with the sound-of-mind senior creatives.
- Connecting senior creatives with each other and with younger people.
- Connecting senior creatives with projects, ventures and adventures.
Senior Creatives & NE Wisconsin Disruptive Innovators
In yesterday’s post on this blog I talked about the initiative I’m launching to connect disruptive innovators in NE Wisconsin. Closely related to that initiative is the issue described in today’s post — connecting sound-of-mind senior creatives.
A few of the senior creatives are disruptive innovators who want to be on the bleeding edge, love to work with emerging technologies, and shoot for 10X world-changers rather than 10% incremental improvements. But the majority of senior creatives are more interested in working on useful creative projects, products or ventures which are less risky and less likely to fail.
Both personalities are needed; neither one is better, and neither is good or bad. Success comes about when the risk-takers and the risk-averse work in the same direction, sometimes together and sometimes separately.
We’re focusing primarily on NE Wisconsin for the project to connect disruptive innovators. I’m sure the network we build will include disruptives from outside this region, but most of the effort will be local.
However, it feels like there are nationwide possibilities for an initiative to catalyze this new American gold rush. Before deciding how to approach this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I’m going to talk with smart people and bounce a few ideas around. Then we’ll develop a laser-focus plan for connecting senior creatives in the upcoming 21st century gold rush.
If interested, join me for exciting times ahead!
[As always, if you want to discuss topics covered in this post, contact me at bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com.]
For those Baby Boomer Creatives who aren’t sure if now is the right time to get involved in fun, interesting, exciting, or innovative ventures and projects, listen to “Wasted On The Way” by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
I am older now
I have more than what I wanted
But I wish that I had started long before I did
And there’s so much time to make up everywhere you turn
Time we have wasted on the way