Age Wave Futurist and Author

Ken Dychtwald

At a glance:

Over the past 35+ years, Dr. Ken Dychtwald has emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce implications of the age wave.

Over the past 35+ years, Dr. Ken Dychtwald has emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce implications of the age wave. He is a psychologist, gerontologist, documentary filmmaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of sixteen books on aging-related issues, including Bodymind, Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Society, Age Power: How the 21st Century will be Ruled by the New Old, The Power Years: A User’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life, Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, and a children’s book about adult metamorphoses, Gideon’s Dream: A Tale of New Beginnings. His most recent book is entitled A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement and Success. He is currently working on a new book Global Aging: Triumph or Tragedy. In 2007, he had his debut as a documentary filmmaker and host with the highly rated/acclaimed PBS special “The Boomer Century: 1946-2046.”

In 1986, Ken became the founding President and CEO of Age Wave, a firm created to guide companies and government groups in product/service development for boomers and mature adults. His client list has included more than half of the Fortune 500. His explorations and innovative solutions have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors−from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to automotive design and retail merchandising to financial planning and health insurance. He was recently chosen to serve as Chairman-elect of the American Society on Aging−the largest association of professionals serving the needs of older adults.

Ken Dychtwald has served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and he is the recipient of the distinguished American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership in the field of aging. American Demographics Magazine honored him as the single most influential marketer to baby boomers over the past quarter century. He was a featured speaker at both the 1995 and 2005 White House Conferences on Aging. His article in The Harvard Business Review, “It’s Time to Retire Retirement,”was awarded the prestigious McKinsey Award, tying for first place with the legendary Peter Drucker.

During his career, Dr. Dychtwald has addressed more than two million people worldwide in his speeches to corporate, association, social service, and government groups. His strikingly accurate predictions and innovative ideas are regularly featured in leading print and electronic media worldwide, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Financial Times, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, South China Morning Post, The Standard, The Straits Times, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, Today Show, PBS, NPR and BBC.

Through his highly acclaimed presentations, his breakthrough research and consulting initiatives, and his leadership within both the social science and business communities, Ken Dychtwald has dedicated his life to battling ageist stereotypes while promoting a new, vital and purposeful role for life’s second half.

If you’d like to bring in Dr. Ken Dychtwald as your next keynote speaker, please fill out the “Request More Information” form on the right.

  • How the Modern Family Is Transforming Aging, Retirement and Community

    We are all familiar with families like the Cleavers or the Simpsons—Dad, Mom, and 2.5 kids happily living under one roof in the suburbs. But over the past 100 years, significant demographic and economic changes have dramatically transformed the American family and communities across the country. How is today's modern family—or post-nuclear family—different? How do—and will—family changes impact health and care needs, the workforce, housing, legacy, leisure, social services, and financial planning? What are the implications for businesses and aging service providers? This presentation covers four trends that will transform today's families: Unprecedented longevity, family complexity, financial interdependence, and women's rising influence.
  • Optimizing Generational Diversity: Four Cohorts Rethink Work, Money, Family, Retirement and Success

    For the first time in history, four generations of active adults are simultaneously participating in the workforce and marketplace. Each has its own lifestyle values, attitudes about work and money, means of connecting and communicating, role models and marketplace preferences.

    This high-impact presentation will examine: What key social forces have shaped each generation and produced their distinct, core lifetime characteristics? What does each generation hope to get from—and give to—their jobs/careers? How do you manage and motivate each generation, from "encore" workers seeking stimulation and self-worth, to older workers looking for balance and purpose, to mid-career workers trying to reboot their enthusiasm for a longer and more demanding worklife, to young workers struggling to enter the workforce during tough economic times. How does each measure success? Can flexible work arrangements, innovative learning, sabbaticals, mentoring, retraining, and creative compensation and benefits programs attract and retain valuable talent?
  • The Cure for Our Aging Healthcare System

    Whether we live long lives with vitality and purpose or sickness and suffering will depend to a great extent on our ability to reshape the skills, services and incentives of our current healthcare system. This new presentation provides a visionary glimpse into the future, outlining the critical course corrections required to create healthy aging and productive longevity.

    Topics to be covered include: Why we must accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to prevent, delay and eliminate the horrific diseases of aging (such as Alzheimer's); why training healthcare professionals to become "aging-ready" will both saves lives and money; how the boomers' proclivity toward control and self-care can help make disease prevention a national priority; how new technologies and emerging community-based services can enable us to shift from hospitals and nursing facilities to home-based care; why establishing a humane approach to end-of-life care has reached a critical tipping point.
  • Re-Visioning Retirement: New Timing, New Purpose, New Planning, New Funding

    With the convergence of rising longevity, today's uncertain economy, and insufficient savings by many, the retirement clock has been reset. But highly acclaimed current Age Wave research reveals a surprising finding: This could be a good thing, for individuals, the consumer marketplace and financial planning professionals.

    This presentation will explore: Why financial "peace of mind" has become far more important than "wealth" in the new American dream. What impact the modern family will have to and through retirement? How women's rising financial power is transforming the field of retirement planning. How the adult life stage demands of eldercare, sibling care, grandparenthood, singlehood and retirement will dramatically impact retirement preparation and funding. How to safeguard a successful retirement while avoiding the five retirement "wildcards" that could shatter their dreams.
  • How the Age Wave Will Transform the Marketplace, the Workplace and Our Lives

    Increasing longevity, declining fertility and aging baby boomers are triggering an enormous "age wave." This demographic tsunami has the potential to create groundbreaking marketplace and work/talent opportunities—and equally compelling social and financial challenges.

    This informative and entertaining presentation will explore: How will people use their newfound "longevity?" Why will the "cyclic" lifeplan replace the traditional "linear" model? How will aging boomers change established paradigms of work, leisure, learning and retirement? What's the most effective way to market and sell to "middlescent" boomers? Why is managing a four-generation workforce the new diversity mandate?
  • A New Vision for 21st Century Aging: Five Course Corrections Needed for a Century of Successful Aging

    The 20th century is over — and most solutions to 20th century aging don't work anymore. Are we prepared for the coming age wave? Can our country afford to have tens of millions of us living to 80, 90 or even 100+? Will existing entitlement programs survive long enough for young generations to reap even part of what they have been paying in? Can our current healthcare system handle the onslaught of chronic degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's? What should the role of medical science play in wiping out late life diseases? Who are the emerging role models of the new aging? Are our leaders capable of distributing limited government resources fairly among many generations, each with its own distinct needs, styles, fears, complaints, expectations and political priorities? This mind-stretching presentation will explore both the problems that the age wave brings — and their five interlocking solutions.

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