MIT Technology Review: The Longevity Issue

Home » MIT Technology Review: The Longevity Issue

Month of Issue: September/October 2019 (Vol 122, No. 5)
Editor-in-Chief: Gideon Lichfield


Don’t Fear the Gray Tsunami (21 August 2019)
by David Rotman

David Rotman is editor at large of MIT Technology Review


In Singapore, we are facing the same issues as the US where the ageing population is being blamed for higher healthcare costs and hindering economic growth. The terms “gray tsunami” and “demographic time bomb” are also used in local articles. I feel that the way the media portrayed the ageing population contributes largely to the negative stereotypes and ageist mindsets. According to Mark Zuckerberg and Khosla, older people aren’t as creative and innovative as the young. However, findings show that there is no connection between age and productivity. In fact, a person at 50 year old is 1.8 times more likely to found a successful startup as compared to a 30 year old. 

How Old Age was Invented (21 August 2019)
by Joseph F. Coughlin

 Joseph F. Coughlin (@josephcouglin on Twitter) is the director of the IT AgeLab and author of The Longevity Economy


This article mentions that many designers are not designing products that appeals to the older generations. There is an expectation gap between what they want and what the products deliver. Designers should not design a product that treats the older generation as a problem that needs to be solved. This would reinforce the narrative that older adults are passive consumers. Perhaps, involving the older adults in the design process would be the best way to make sure we are designing and addressing their needs in a sensitive way.

The New Midlife Crisis (21 August 2019)
by Rebecca Roache

Rebecca Roache is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London


Besides addressing ageism that depicts the older adults as lonely and irrelevant, we also need to address the prejudices that younger people are facing as well. Perhaps, the best way is to acknowledge that everyone has different skills to provide and all of us can play our part for society.

Don’t Blame Old People for Soaring Health-Care Costs (21 August 2019)
by Tate Ryan-Mosley


This article shows that there is no correlations between age and healthcare costs and we should not associate the older generations with it. I believe that in Singapore’s context, this is true to a certain extent as well.

Late-Stage Startup (12 August 2019)
by Lauren Smiley

Lauren Smiley is a journalist in San Francisco covering humans in the tech age. 


Senior Planet founder Tom Kamber said that the dreams of older adults might be considered as threats to other people in an ageist society. Other people dismiss the older generation as they are afraid of their own ageing, and maybe because of the competition. Besides advocating lifelong learning and active ageing to the older generations, we also need to help cultivate positive mindsets in the younger generations.

Do 80-Year-Olds Dream of Exoskeletons? (12 August 2019)
by Andy Wright

Andy Wright is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. 


Many products designed for the older generations are unappealing. This causes older adults to choose dignity over convenience. Companies rely on their own assumptions when designing products for older people. Perhaps, we should engage the target audience themselves in the design process in order to really understand their needs and design something that they would want to use.