The Business of Aging + Academia: Recap of a Collaborative Presentation

This past March, I was an invited speaker at the 2018 Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for the 2018 Annual Conference was the Global Business of Aging, a topic near and dear to me, given my degrees in both Business Administration and Gerontology.

I was delighted to be one of the speakers for the Presidential Symposium opening of the conference representing both Aging2.0 (my HQ hat) and Aging2.0 Washington, DC Chapter (my volunteer hat). Other presenters who opened the conference included Dr. Janice Wassel, Beth Ludden, Catherine MacDonald (Aging2.0 Richmond Chapter), Alison O’Neil (Aging2.0 Atlanta Chapter), and Dr. Lisa Hollis- Sawyer.  It was an honor to present alongside these incredible aging innovation experts! We set the stage for the AGHE conference with our collaborative presentation highlighting the importance integrating the longevity economy into the gerontology curriculum.

This opening presentation included an overview of the Aging2.0 mission, programs, and opportunities to engage. Moreover, the eight Grand Challenge topics were described. Each speaker emphasized the emerging opportunities in the aging industry beyond the ‘traditional careers,’ encouraged entrepreneurship education, and described unique partnerships and impactful approaches. For more details on each presenter’s talking points, please contact me at or Dr. Jan Wassel*.

I was excited to share the following tips with the audience:


Furthermore, it is important to share current, relevant information with students and empower them to engage in this topic:

And finally:

Dr. Hollis-Sawyer closed the presentation with important lessons learned and applications to Gerontology Education:

Some key questions that stemmed from the presentation include:

- What precautions should we take when working in the Aging and Business industry?

- When should we begin to introduce the business of aging into the curriculum? Undergrad? Graduate school? 

- How can we encourage students to think about innovation on a global scale?

- What other questions or comments do you have?

What are YOUR thoughts? Join the discussion on Twitter (@aging20) or by commenting below. 


*Special thanks to Dr. Jan Wassel for the valuable resources and for your support with this opening presentation at AGHE!