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The new Business of Aging essay series compiled by the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging features leaders in aging that expose outdated assumptions about longevity, outline solutions to foster an intergenerational workforce, and share strategies to develop relevant products and services.

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Dean Pinchas Cohen contributed an essay on universities’ role in innovation to the series:

Aging is big business.

A growing demand for everything from comfortable shoes to on-call caregivers prompted a New York Times headline to declare baby boomers as the hottest start-up market in 2016.

In fact, the sum of all economic activity devoted to serving the needs of more than 110 million Americans over age 50 now exceeds $7.6 trillion, a staggering amount that surpasses the total gross domestic product of any nation except the U.S. and China, according to an AARP/Oxford Economics report.

As we consider the drivers of the new longevity economy—what the AARP describes as a powerful force of people, products, and services that are changing the face of America—it is important to acknowledge the crucial roles that universities play in fostering this entrepreneurial enterprise that recognizes aging as an age of opportunity.

Read the full essay here.

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