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Kate Brigham

Age Irrelevance Ambassador for USA

My interest in AgeTech and the Longevity Economy is part personal, and part practical.

On the personal front, I credit my mother-in-law with kick-starting my interest. Maturing as a female leader in tech has played a defining role too. I’m definitely one of those “Do not go gentle into that good night” sort of people. I crave agency. I want the later decades of my life to be ones in which I can make choices about what, how, when, and where my life unfolds. I’m also the sort of person who, when faced with a problem or challenge, immediately starts looking for (or creating) solutions. In typical product development fashion, I’m starting off with discovery, and wow, is this an interesting, challenging and exciting space.

On the practical front, the world’s population is aging – a lot. Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will nearly double, from 12% to 22% while the number of people aged 0-14 is expected to stay flat. That group of older adults also has a lot of spending power. In 2020 the 50-plus population contributed $45 trillion to global GDP, or 34% of the total according to the AARP’s Global Longevity Economy Outlook report. In 2024, older adults are expected to account for 42% of total spending worldwide. The Surgeon General reports that we are in the midst of an epidemic of loneliness and isolation which causes significant health risks, dramatically increases the likelihood of premature death, and costs the US economy an estimated $406 billion a year, in addition to the estimated $6.7 billion a year in Medicare costs for socially isolated older adults. This creates a huge opportunity to develop solutions that will not just support people as they age, but enable us all to age well, stay well longer, maintain agency and have better options available across the spectrum of healthcare, mobility, employment, housing, transportation and social connections.

I take responsibility for being an agent of positive change. What that means right now, is investing time in building community and fostering creative solutions in AgeTech & the Longevity economy so we’ll all have great options to support living well as we age – and I’ll have a better future to look forward to.

Kate Brigham
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