Lets say you want to change the way the world sees, thinks about, and makes the most of aging. Audacious goal!
One person working alone would be instantly overwhelmed by the tidal surge of anti-aging propaganda that floods our society every single day. This is a job for a community – not a person – and it needs to be a community imbued with energy, enthusiasm, and optimism.
I wish we could order a “world-changing community” online. But when we search Amazon we find that they are “out-of-stock.” It looks like we are going to have to build this community by and for ourselves.
In the past, human communities were intensely local entities focused on managing specific needs for food, shelter, safety and meaning. Living, as we do, in the digital age, we now have access to new kinds of community: the community of shared interest. ChangingAging was founded as a community of shared interest and we have always done our best to help people hear and be heard.
For many years, ChangingAging co-founder Kavan Peterson and I have been passionately interested in leveraging ChangingAging’s digital network to do even more. We wanted to expand our efforts into local communities where people live and work. Our recent national tours have been an experiment in that effort.
We hit the road with the Second Wind Tour in 2014 and visited 25 cities. The energy was amazing. We will be visiting 35 cities (including 5 in the United Kingdom) with 2015’s Age of Disruption Tour. The fall season is coming up fast– will we be coming to your town? Check Here.
What have we learned so far?
During our travels two powerful lessons stand out. First, the combination of a digital platform and live local events is amazingly powerful. It creates a whole that is vastly greater than the sum of its parts. It stimulates new conversations and communicates new insights.
Second, local means local. The tour bus wouldn’t be rolling without support from national sponsors like AARP, but it’s our local partners that bring the house down. The Tour’s stop in each city must be connected to the people and organizations that make that community tick. The Tour is nourished and enriched through local relationships.
We have come to recognize and appreciate the importance of pursuing a three-pronged community outreach strategy to engage with local “changing aging” allies in these areas:
- Health Care: provider organizations and their staff members.
- Higher Education: faculty, students and community.
- Local Affinity Groups: primarily pro-aging advocates (such as Village-to-Village organizations, senior centers, Age Friendly city sponsors, etc.) and arts groups, coalitions and the artists who sustain them.
As we prep for the Fall’s Tour swings we want to drive in these three “Lanes.” We do know some (very cool) people in many of the cities we will visit but there are vastly more cool people we don’t know yet and this is where the ChangingAging community can get involved. Here’s how easy it is…
Take a look at this list of cities.
- Chattanooga, TN10/6
- Nashville, TN10/7
- Louisville, KY10/8
- St. Louis10/9
- Oklahoma City10/19
- Austin, TX10/21
- San Antonio10/22
- Jacksonville, FL11/2
- Orlando, FL11/3
- Tampa, FL11/4
- West Palm Beach11/5
Maybe you live in or near one of these cities. In that case, welcome to the Tour! Maybe you know people or organizations in one of these cities. Take another look at the Lanes: Health Care, Higher Education and Local Affinity Groups. Can you make an introduction that could help us make an even bigger impact this fall? Let’s work together — contact the Tour here.
Working together– that’s the only way to truly Change Aging.