James Firman's keynote speech at the 2016 Certified Senior Advisor Conference in Washington D.C.
For more than 30 years, James Firman, EdD, has been a leading force for innovation in services, programs, and public policies for older persons. Under his leadership, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has developed many nationally acclaimed programs to improve the health, independence, and economic security of older adults. NCOA has also developed core competencies in collaborative leadership, fostering and scaling evidence-based innovations, and advocacy.
In 2015, NextAvenue named James Firman to their inaugural Influencers in Aging list. He was one of 50 thought leaders, innovators, writers, advocates, experts and others recognized for their work changing how we age and think about aging. At the 2016 CSA Conference, James enthralled audience members with an impassioned speech against giving into preconceived social norms on what it means to age. James argues that a lack of expectations for an entire generation of older adults is the worst form of ageism.
Throughout his speech, James Firman challenges the conventional notions surrounding what it means to grow old:
- What will baby boomers and older adults do with their gift of longevity?
- What is the purpose of this phase of life?
- What do baby boomers and older adults want? What do they need?
- What do we expect of them?
- How can we help them to be healthier, more financially secure and to get more out of life?
- What will it take to transform individual lives as well as community and societal approaches?