U-M Society 2030 consortium kicks off third year

Young woman and senior man with tablet pc. Photo by Thinkstock.ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Society 2030, an innovative consortium bringing together University of Michigan researchers with corporate leaders to prepare for society’s changing age structure, kicks off its third year on September 19 with a meeting focusing on emerging assistive technologies, including robotics.

“Our focus is to provide the information and connections our corporate and academic members need to elucidate the issues we’ll be confronting and to envision solutions for the challenges we’ll face as the baby boomers age,” says Wayne McCullough, a founding organizer of Society 2030 and director of corporate and foundation relations at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

“These solutions include both research partnerships, and the development of human resource and product development strategies that will help position corporate members for future growth. They will also address many of the social and familial issues that we need to confront.”

The keynote speaker at the Society 2030 meeting is Dan Ferris, U-M professor of biomechanical engineering and movement science.  Ferris will describe cutting-edge technologies now in development that have the potential to extend human functioning and movement, including the use of robotic exoskeletons.

“The changing age structure of our society has important implications for all of us,” says U-M psychologist Toni Antonucci, chair of the Society 2030 Consortium, U-M associate vice president for research, social sciences and humanities and a research professor at ISR.  “By 2030, about one in five Americans will be 65 or older, and the impact of this demographic revolution will affect families, communities, and organizations of all types.”

Corporate members of Society 2030 include Ford Motor Company, Visteon, Denso, NuStep, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Corning Corporation, Amway Corporation, and Domino’s Pizza.

To read more about the group, see MBusiness Link, a publication of the U-M Business Engagement Center: http://bec.umich.edu/mbusiness/58/

 

Contact:  Diane Swanbrow, Swanbrow@umich.edu, (734) 647-9069

 

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