Would you want to live to 150? Top quotes on what it means to grow old

Old

(Vlad Sargu, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Jamie Fullerton, Official Writer at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019


Last year, the World Health Organization defined ageing as a condition that could be treated. Scientific research suggests that a future in which humans live until 150, and perhaps beyond, is close. Is this something to celebrate? Will we all be retiring at 90 and living 60 more years as frail burdens to society? Should we be stockpiling birthday candles?

Here are some of the most insightful quotes from the World Economic Forum’s recent session at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions about the issue.

“If we look at the past century, we managed to double the life expectancy. For the US, in 1900 life expectancy was around 47; now it’s around 80. We managed infectious diseases and made huge leaps in cancer [treatment] … this shows us how much has happened already. The forecast looks even more promising in terms of what we can achieve. Some stats are predicting that, in 2050, it’s [life expectancy] going to reach 95.” – Simone Schuerle-Finke, assistant professor, Responsive Biomedical Systems Laboratory, Institute of Translational Medicine; Branco Weiss Fellow, ETH Zurich

“Currently, ageing is not defined as a disease, but the WHO declared at the end of last year that it’s a condition that is treatable. There’s a huge push from scientists in ageing research to define ageing as a disease.” – Simone Schuerle-Finke

“If you think about ageing as a disease, you have a misconception about life. The ageing of the body and mind is a natural process, and it’s about how we come to terms with it accordingly. I have less mental capacity now [as an older man] than I did when I was Simone’s age, and my children have greater mental capacity now than I do, and that’s fine. I have less fluid intelligence, but I have more accumulated wisdom and knowledge. The notion that ageing is a disease leads one to misconceive the shape of one’s life.” – Jerry Muller, author and professor of history, The Catholic University of America

“As we live longer we don’t want to add years to the ends of our lives, we want to add to the middle of our years. Add when we’re more vibrant, when we’re working.” – Bob Kain, chief executive officer and co-founder, Lunadna

“The idea of living to 120, 130 or 150 seems to me to be highly undesirable: A nightmare scenario in terms of how people think about their lives and the things that give meaning and purpose. Some people leave their mark in the world through creativity, but most leave their mark by … having children and nurturing them and, if all goes well, becoming grandparents. [You should] see your life as not just a segment that ends with death, but as part of a larger narrative.” – Jerry Muller

“[We’re having] a discussion about whether we want to [live longer] or not, but it’s already happening. We have to get prepared now for how we deal with it. [We’re seeing the] fastest rates of age [life expectancy] increase since the 1960s … we all have different ideas of whether it’s desirable, but it’s happening.” – Simone Schuerle-Finke

“If we live to be 150, individuals will have more than 100 years spent in careers … I don’t think we’ll get to be 90 in a nursing home then live for another 40 years. We’ll be in our 40s … then change career, maybe have the opportunity to have multiple lives in that middle part of life.” – Bob Kain

“I envisage a model of coming back to lifelong learning. A system where we have an educational part, you work, you have another education part, you work. Right now, at age 50, what the person learned 30 years back is outdated. So, you keep updating continuously. Then it becomes normal to shift careers. I find it incredible that some [people] leave high school, having their last education at 16, and there’s no connection back to that – they just keep working to retirement. This won’t be sustainable; it will benefit society on many levels to keep on with education as we go on.” – Simone Schuerle-Finke

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Coronavirus Global Response: Commission joins the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX)

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Mobile technology in medicine: a step to upgrade and the small steps forward

State aid: Commission approves €200 million Danish loan in support of the Travel Guarantee Fund for travel cancellations due to coronavirus outbreak

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Why trade wars have no winners

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Croatian Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Hospitals in Yemen attacked, disrupting healthcare for thousands of vulnerable civilians

EU to host international donors’ conference for Albania to help with reconstruction after earthquake

The increasing drug prices in Europe

2030 development agenda: Major breakthrough for world of work

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: #NoTobacco Day, China’s economy, family farming, #ClimateAction

The pill of gender bias – hard to swallow

UN urges protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during migration

Cultural Intelligence: the importance of changing perspectives

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

Africa must become more resilient to climate risk. Here’s how

EU consumers will soon be able to defend their rights collectively

Millions of people eat octopus- here’s why we shouldn’t

Brexit: Citizens’ rights remain a key priority for MEPs

New UN initiative to support financial systems that ‘work better for everyone, everywhere’

Iraq: Solutions needed ‘urgently’ to quell ongoing violence, break political deadlock

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

Microplastic and nanoplastic pollution threatens our enviroment. How should we respond?

Privatization of the health sector and the right to receive treatment

ECB: Euro area should smooth out the consumption and income shocks of its members

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Gaza: deadly violence continues to escalate, top UN officials work to restore calm

The benefits of exercise in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic

How traditional Islamic giving can play a role in the future of aid

Towards the new era of medicine

European Commission presents comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation

UN agency assists Central American caravan migrants, voices concern for receiving countries

The impact of refugees on the European healthcare system

Is decentralization a panacea for development?

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

One year on: EU-Canada trade agreement delivers positive results

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

EU-China Leaders’ Meeting: Upholding EU values and interests at the highest level

The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

Iran: women hunger strikers entitled to medical care, UN rights experts urge

These are the fastest trains in the world

Handwashing is saving lives – but for too many people, it remains a luxury

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

Guterres says UN stands ready to support Brazil’s search and rescue effort in wake of tragic dam collapse

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

How mobile money is rebuilding lives in Sudan

EU Directive makes haircut on uncovered deposits a standard in bank bail-ins

Coronavirus: the truth against all myths

Voice tech and the question of trust

My unlimited China

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

Climate adaptation could make the world more peaceful

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s