Baroness Susan Greenfield, renowned British scientist and broadcaster, will be a keynote speaker at Australia’s cutting edge Creative Innovation Conference in Melbourne this week. According to the Weekend Australian, the baroness has come to Australia especially for the conference, in partnership with Melbourne University’s Neuroscience Institute, and her work in mind and consciousness, and most recently how technology impacts on brain development, will provide a challenging and thought provoking perspective at the conference that has quickly become a leading forum in Australian and international thought leadership.
Susan Greenfield’s work encompasses neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, and her observations and enquiries have wide-ranging social, scientific and technological ramifications. Her research into consciousness and how it is affected by cognitive degenerating diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, leads to considerations about what consciousness is, and how society might be affected by longer and more productive lives if these diseases can be understood and conquered. Recently, she has been turning her attention to the possible effects of technology and social media on brain development, human culture and social functioning.
With increased understanding of, and defences against, aging diseases of the brain, the working life of human beings could well be extended, especially as science and medicine continue to increase human health and fitness, leading to longer life expectancy as well.
In the Weekend Australian article, in answer to the question, “Will 100 be the new 70?”, Greenfield says, “Yes, and the question then becomes: what are we going to do with the second 50 years of life? We should be re-thinking old age in positive ways, rather than just killing time with golf and Sudoko.”
So if 100 becomes the new 70, as a society we need to be ready to view age differently, and to find effective ways of maximizing and applying the wealth of knowledge and experience that will become a huge social resource if people can live longer and have a longer intellectually and physically useful and productive life. And this clearly has huge ramifications for how we view the workforce and think about our career spans and older workers and what they might and could provide. It has far-reaching effect for all of us.
This kind of thought-provoking research and discussion is the hallmark of the Creative Innovation Conference, now in it’s third year. The brain-child of Melbourne’s Tania de Jong, and sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank, the conference brings together intellectuals, business leaders and innovators from around the world and provides an opportunity to meet, challenge, think and envisage the way the future is shaped.
Creative Innovation 2012 will be held at the Sofitel in Melbourne from 28th – 30th November, where Baroness Greenfield will be joined by a host of international and local speakers including CSIRO’s Dr. Megan Clark, and UCLA strategist, Professor Richard Rumelt.
Lynette Jensen is a director and co-founder of Genesys Australia and is committed to helping people achieve work-life balance through good job fit. In addition to contributing to this blog, she also writes regularly for HR Daily Community and Dynamic Business Magazine. Her articles have been re-published in India & the United Kingdom.
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