Old woman sitting on the beach looking away at copyspace. Senior female sitting outdoors


What’s the Big Idea? Spring 2017

Our Maturing Society

The number of people 65 and over is expected to explode in the coming decades. Our rapidly aging population creates challenges, opportunities and new expectations for old age. Engage in discussion with leading experts on aging as they share research from a demographic, business, health, and a workforce development/entrepreneurial perspective.

Thursdays, April, 13, 20 & 27. 7–8:30 pm, at the Friday Center.
Fees: $10 per session or all three for $25.

Bracing for the Silver Tsunami

THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 7-8:30 PM. COURSE #3440

Maturing baby boomers, the 81 million people born between 1946 and 1964, will turn 65 at a rate of more than 8,000 per day over the next twenty years. Thanks to major medical advances and increases in active living and healthy eating, a person turning 65 today is expected to live on average another 18.7 years, six years longer than a person turning 65 in 1940. The aging of the boomer generation combined with increased longevity is ushering in a huge wave of older adults, a silver tsunami which will dramatically transform all of our nation’s social, economic, and political institutions. Both the challenges and opportunities undergirding our nation’s impending silver tsunami will be discussed.

James H. Johnson, Jr., is the William R. Kenan Jr., Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his PhD from Michigan State University, his MS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his BS from North Carolina Central University. His research interests include community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the US workplace, inter-ethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and public policy in urban America, and workforce diversity issues. He has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and three research monographs and has co-edited four theme issues of scholarly journals on these and related topics. His latest book is Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angles. 

Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society

THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 7-8:30 PM. COURSE #3441

This is not your father’s retirement and certainly not your grandfather’s. We are all advantaged by birth cohorts who are already enjoying life as octogenarians. There is no precedent in human history. The degree to which modern medicine has contributed to this happy state of affairs is neither trivial nor substantial. The degree to which medicalization and overtreatment can impair longevity and compromise well-being is also not trivial and can be substantial. Counter-intuitive? Cognitive dissonance? We will discuss amongst ourselves.

Nortin M. Hadler, MD, MACP, MACR, FACOEM, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as attending rheumatologist at UNC Hospitals until 2015. A graduate of Yale College and The Harvard Medical School, he trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, and the Clinical Research Centre in London. He was certified a Diplomate of the American Boards of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, and Geriatrics. His most recent books are Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America and Stabbed in the Back: Confronting Back Pain in an Overtreated Society.

Senior Entrepreneurship is not an Oxymoron: The 21st Century is the Age of Experience!

THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 7-8:30 PM. COURSE #3442

Seniors are not rocking chairs – they’re rocking the economy! The world has changed for seniors and they, in turn, are changing the world. Today’s 50+ year-olds who have been given the gift of an additional 20–30 years of longevity and good health are keen to add meaningful life to those years, to remain self-reliant, and to give back to their work, communities and their world. They may have never identified themselves as entrepreneurs, but in many ways they have been entrepreneuring all their lives: in their work; managing a home; raising a family; nurturing reciprocal relationships; and so much more. Their longevity is an unprecedented social and economic opportunity. There is no blueprint for what to do with an additional 20-30 years. Seniors around the globe are entrepreneuring their way into a new life, optimizing their life and work experience and creating businesses of their own—from micro- to multimillion-dollar ventures. Join us for this lively and engaging discussion!

As a septugenarian, Elizabeth Isele is Founder and CEO of The Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship, a comprehensive, cross-sector (business, government, education and research) ecosystem to support cross-generational experience and entrepreneurship. She also serves as Senior Fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College and Associate Fellow for the “Silver Economy” at Chatham House: The Royal Institute of International Research. Her passion to ignite an Experienced Economy™ by unleashing the potential of 50+ year-olds to drive economic markets and generate social and environmental impact is grounded in data and metrics. Elizabeth has been a trusted advisor for the Obama White House, and continues to be for Congress, the European Union, the US State Department, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the W-20, G-7 and G-20 world forums, as well as many other governments, universities, private sector corporations and NGOs worldwide.


Lectures are held at the Friday Center, which offers ample free parking. The Friday Center is located approximately three miles east of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, just off Highway 54 East (Raleigh Road). The Center is a short distance from Interstate 40 (from Raleigh, I-40 exit 273A; from Greensboro, I-40 exit 273). See Map and Directions to the Friday Center.


For information, contact:

Jill Conrad (conradj@email.unc.edu), Registration Manager
Professional Development and Enrichment Programs
The Friday Center
800-845-8640 or 919-962-2643


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