The fountain of youth is with youth

Search How to Live Forever online and you’ll get one billion 30 million hits – most about conquering disease and death, the mind-blowing efforts of longevity scientists. My guest is a leading expert on longevity but his views on the subject are firmly rooted in social science.

Marc Freedman is a social entrepreneur, president and CEO of, originator of the encore career idea – second acts for the greater good. He’s a master storyteller whose ideas, deep research and deeply personal stories are presented in his latest book How to Live Forever – The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.

We spoke in a plush bar – you’ll hear chatter and clattering – at a swish hotel in London.


  • The additional years of The Big Middle are often seen as “a season without a purpose”
  • The roots of radical age segregation or how “we screwed up magnificently”
  • Beat the “grievous wound” of “age apartheid” by getting next to all generations
  • Youngtown (1956) and Sun City (1960) retirement enclaves in Arizona, where pets were allowed but kids were banned as “human contraband”
  • Of age segregation, “we can fix this and it can fix us” – how?
  • On Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant’s “biology flows downhill”
  • Social activists “hidden in plain sight” comprise a global movement trying to undo age segregation and resurrect the multigenerational role of olders, the “critical link in humanity”

    “We need to find new ways to do some of these old things, ways that are not nostalgic but are timely…We’ve got to adapt the grandmother hypothesis to the modern family world.”

  • Culturally, “we’re at a tipping point” with many ahead of norms “espousing an ideal” of how things could be

    “Rather than trying so hard to be young, to live to 150 or 150-thousand, we need to be there for those who actually are young. The real fountain of youth is with youth; it’s not in some test tube in Silicon Valley.”

  • Call to action

    “The parallel need is to be as creative about bringing people together as we’ve been about splitting them apart. We need to do it now because that’s the only way we’re going to navigate these new demographics.”


Follow The Big Middle

Sponsored by


2 Replies to “Marc Freedman”

  1. Jeanette Leardi

    Another wonderful episode, Susan. It is so encouraging to hear Marc Freedman discuss his valuable work in spreading the word about intergenerational engagement. Great questions and insightful answers. That’s become my mental “tagline” for The Big Middle!

    • Susan Flory

      Awwww – thank you Jeanette. Love it! He is an exceptional person – big of heart and actions. Wonderful that he was in London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *