Technological changes have economic impact. It's not just that technology allows more goods and services to be produced more efficiently and at greater scale. It's also that these changes disrupt previous assumptions about the conduct of human lives, human relationships, and the methods to save money to buy goods and services. A society in which people expect to die around the age of 100, or even older, needs to make different plans than a society in which people expect to die in their 70s.
Some politicians, in unguarded moments, have even occasionally expressed a desire for retired people to "hurry up and die", on account of the ballooning costs of pension payments and healthcare costs for the elderly. These politicians worry about the negative consequences of longer lives. In their viewpoint, longer lives would be bad for the economy.
But not everyone thinks that way. Indeed, a distinguished professor of economics, from the London Business School, Andrew J Scott, has studied a variety of different future scenarios about the economic consequences of longer lives. He is our guest in this episode.
In addition to his role at the London Business School, Andrew is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research and a consulting scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
His research has been widely published in leading journals in economics and health. His book, "The 100-Year Life", has been published in 15 languages, is an Amazon bestseller and was runner up in both the FT/McKinsey and Japanese Business Book of the Year Awards.
Andrew has been an advisor on policy to a range of governments. He is currently on the advisory board of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility, the Cabinet Office Honours Committee (Science and Technology), co-founder of The Longevity Forum, a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s International Commission on Health Longevity, and the WEF council on Healthy Ageing and Longevity.
Topics addressed in this episode include:
*) Why Andrew wrote the book "The 100-Year Life" (co-authored with Lynda Gratton)
*) Shortcomings of the conventional narrative of "the aging society"
*) The profound significance of aging being malleable
*) Joint research with David Sinclair (Harvard) and Martin Ellison (Oxford): Economic modelling of the future of healthspan and lifespan
*) Four different scenarios: Struldbruggs, Dorian Gray, Peter Pan, and Wolverine
*) The multi-trillion dollar economic value of everyone in the USA gaining one additional year of life in good health
*) The first and second longevity revolutions
*) The virtuous circle around aging research
*) Options for lives that are significantly longer even than 100 years
*) The ill-preparedness of our social structures for extensions in longevity - and, especially, for the attainment of longevity escape velocity
*) The possibility of rapid changes in society's expectations
*) The three-dimensional longevity dividend
*) Developments in Singapore and the UAE
*) Two important political initiatives: supporting the return to the workforce of people who are aged over 50, and paying greater attention to national statistics on expected healthspan
*) Themes from Andrew's forthcoming new book "Evergreen"
*) Why 57 isn't the new 40: it's the new 57
*) Making a friend of your future self
Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration