The Committee on Global Thought is a Co-Sponsor of:
New Utopias: How Would You Make the Most of Your Longer Life?
In a utopia, our “golden” years are filled with strong social bonds, good health. and security. How do you envision your last third of life? With great gains in longevity in the 20th Century, how do we build societies that are less age-segregated, and that offer opportunities to older adults to be productive in the labor force and/or engaged socially. At 70, you may be caring for a 95 year-old parent. Or you may be battling multiple chronic diseases. Or you may be healthy, working part time and cashing in on your longer life. As we begin to go beyond the discussions of the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older individuals around the world, it is time to focus on the often-neglected or misunderstood topic of later life, its implications for different societies and its possibilities for individuals and communities. At a time of unprecedented global aging, our panelists —scholars with specialization in the medical, and cultural issues of aging -will discuss, with your input, new visions for an optimistic future that re-centers our only growing natural resource — older adults — and the last third of life as the enormous opportunity for individuals and societies that it is.
This program is co-organized by the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging center, the Columbia Committee on Global Thought, and Columbia Global Centers | Paris.
The New Utopias series is presented by Columbia Global Centers | Paris, the Alliance Program and the European Institute.
Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health and DeLamar Professor of Public Health Practice, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine
Director, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center
Senior Vice President, Columbia University Medical Center
Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health since 2008, is a leader in the fields of epidemiology and geriatric medicine. She additionally serves as the Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Trained in cardiovascular and chronic disease epidemiology and geriatrics, she has dedicated her career to the science of healthy aging and creating a health span that matches our increased life expectancy, prevention of frailty, disability and cardiovascular disease, and defining how to transition to a world where greater longevity benefits people of all ages. Click here to read her full biography.
Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Program on Aging and Development, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi
Associate Professor of Gerontology at the University of Southampton
Dr. Isabella Aboderin holds a dual appointment as Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Program on Aging and Development at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Nairobi, and is Associate Professor of Gerontology at the University of Southampton.
Dr. Aboderin is the Regional Chair for Africa of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), Technical Advisor to the Global Commission on Aging in Developing Countries, Member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Aging Societies, Board Member of HelpAge International, and Advisory Board Member of the World Demographic and Aging Forum (WDA). She holds a PhD from the School for Policy Studies from the University of Bristol, UK, an MSc in Health Promotion Sciences from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a BSc in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the University of Bristol. Click here to read her full bio.
Director of the Board, Global Center for Modern Aging
Former Director, WHO Department of Ageing and Life Course
John Beard, MBBS PhD, works globally with academia, policy makers and the private sector to reimagine the second half of life. He is a Professor with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, commissioner with the US National Academy of Medicine Commission on Healthy Longevity and visiting professor at Toulouse and Peking Universities. From 2009 to 2019, he was Director of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization in Geneva where he led major global initiatives including the World report on ageing and health which provides the foundation for the current UN Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-2030. In 2012, he founded the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities which now covers over 250 million people. Click here to read his full bio.
Vishakha N. Desai
Chair of the Committee on Global Thought
Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President
Senior Research Scholar, School of International and Public Affairs
Dr. Vishakha N. Desai is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar for the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and current Chair of the Columbia Committee on Global Thought. From 2004 through 2012, Dr. Desai served as President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global organization dedicated to strengthening partnerships between Asia and the U.S. In 2012, in recognition of Dr. Desai’s leadership in the museum field, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. An internationally renowned scholar of Asian art, she has published and lectured extensively on the intersection of traditional and contemporary arts and policy in diverse countries of Asia. Click here to read her full biography.