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A Conversation with Marc Freedman on “The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife”

Resource type: Video

On 14 June 2011, The Atlantic Philanthropies held for a discussion with social entrepreneur Marc Freedman, hailed by the New York Times as “the voice of aging baby boomers [seeking] meaningful and sustaining work later in life.” He spoke about his new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, which addresses the years between midlife and anything approximating old age in positive and progressive new ways.

In The Big Shift, Marc Freedman issues an impassioned call to accept the years opening up beyond midlife for what they really are: a new, encore stage of life.  He views the tens of millions of people in this encore stage as a human capital resource that can be applied to a range of social problems.  He seeks to convert the classic “midlife crisis” into an opportunity for individuals and society.

Drawing on powerful personal stories, The Big Shift provides not only direction to those who are navigating this change, but also a 10-step plan to change perspectives, create pathways and establish policies that will help millions of older adults move into social purpose jobs.


About Marc Freedman                                                                  

Marc Freedman is CEO and founder of Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. He spearheaded the creation of Experience Corps, now one of America’s largest nonprofit national service programs engaging people over 55, and The Purpose Prize, which annually provides five $100,000 prizes to social innovators in the second half of life.

The New York Times calls The Big Shift “an imaginative work with the potential to affect our individual lives and our collective future.” The Wall Street Journal says it’s “invaluable and inspiring reading.” And USA Today hails Freedman as “a natural storyteller, a deep researcher and a forward thinker.”

Freedman’s earlier books include Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of LifePrime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America, and The Kindness of Strangers: Adult Mentors, Urban Youth, and the New Voluntarism.

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Marc Freedman