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As Millions Plan Longer Working Lives, Stanford Summit to Promote a New Social Norm: Encore Careers for the Greater Good

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New Brand Draws Attention to the Pause at the End of Midlife Careers and the Good Work That Can Follow

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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 5 (AScribe Newswire) — Hundreds of people in encore careers, plus leaders in business, education, government, philanthropy, academia and public policy, will gather this weekend to launch a new social movement. The goal: engage millions of boomers in encore careers that combine social impact, personal meaning and continued income in order to produce a windfall of human talent to help solve society’s greatest problems.

The first-ever Encore Careers Summit will be held December 5-8 at Stanford University. During the summit, attendees will honor the winners of the 2008 Purpose Prize, all social innovators over 60 who have made extraordinary contributions in their encore careers.

In addition, attendees will develop practical initiatives to engage experienced workers in solving our most pressing problems and issue a call to boomers to join the movement – and to society to meet people halfway with policies and programs that can make more encore careers possible.

As part of the Summit, Civic Ventures, the think tank sponsoring the gathering, will introduce a branding initiative for encore careers, its name for the new period of social purpose work after midlife careers and before true retirement. The branding aims to unite people behind the concept and build a large community to support it. For more information on the summit and Encore Career campaign, visit , which serves the growing network of people in or looking for encore careers.

The inspiration behind the new brand is a quote from cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson: “Adulthood simply goes on too long without punctuation,” she writes. “The famous midlife crisis is a search for that punctuation, for the feeling that one is making a new start.” That led Landor Associates, a strategic brand consulting and design firm, to a unique logo (see above) with punctuation at its core.

“In the past, people retired or were pushed to the sidelines,” says Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. “Now, given longer life spans and the current recession, people can’t afford or don’t want to retire. Now there’s a pause, a semicolon, a time to rest and renew and transition to a new stage of significant work.”

In addition to online and offline marketing, the new brand will appear in national advertising in The New York TimesFast CompanyThe Atlantic and AARP The Magazine.

The recession, with the loss of jobs and investment value, will certainly have an impact on boomers’ plans, Freedman says. “People were already working or planning to work longer, but the financial downturn will accelerate and cement that trend. Instead of people working in jobs for one or two years, they’ll likely need to take a longer-term view. Boomers will now look at new careers that last five to 15 years, making meaningful and fulfilling lines of work more attractive than ever.”

On December 5 and 6, those attending the Summit will honor the winners and Fellows of the 2006-2008 Purpose Prize, the only national program investing in social innovators age 60 or older. For information on the six-year, $17 million initiative and the 2008 winners, visit: .

Sponsors of The Purpose Prize and the summit include The Atlantic Philanthropies, the John Templeton Foundation, AARP, Hewlett Packard, the New York Life Foundation, Erickson, Legacy Works, the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Stanford Center on Longevity.

About Civic Ventures

Civic Ventures ( is a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.

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United States


AARP, Civic Ventures, encore careers, jobs, Purpose Prize, senior citizens