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March 2023

Age will be to the next two decades what gender was to the last two – a major demographic shift with global consequences – for careers and couples, companies and countries. And, as with the early days of gender, it’s not getting as much attention as it merits. Time to change that? Read on.

5 Ages of Women
A Century Of Women, Work - And Juggling Family

This International Women’s Day, emerging from a century-shaking pandemic that has upended work norms, it’s helpful to take a step back. A big step. Harvard Professor Claudia Goldin is the perfect person to do so. Economic historian and labour economist, she is uniquely positioned to zoom out and summarise a century of women’s “journey towards equity,” the subtitle of her most recent book, Career & Family. In it, she charts out a sort of Five Ages of Women, distinct phases shaped by history, war and technological evolutions. It’s fascinating, profound – and subtly optimistic… Read More

Also listen to this week's podcast with Professor Goldin as guest on 4-Quarter Lives
Released March 8th, on all platforms.

Remember Men!

The Tragic Disconnect Between Men And Women – No Sex, No Babies, Lots Of Loneliness, Shrinking Populations
The news is full of seemingly disparate themes that urgently need connecting. The first is the nerdy macro-economics of demographics. China is shrinking for the first time in 60 years. South Korea’s birthrate is plummeting towards levels never seen before while that of the US is at a hundred-year low. Turns out, we can't consider the future of women without integrating the evolution and reactions of men. Read More
Ensuring Leadership Buy-In
'Strategic Debates' on Gender & Generations
In a week where the focus will be on women, we like to remind everyone that gender balance is a broader game. It takes leadership - first and foremost. CEOs and their teams need both the will and the skill to balance. Need to engage and skill-up leaders to adapt to the massive demographic shifts at play? Our work at 20-first continues with 'Strategic Debates' for leadership teams. A politically incorrect conversation among Executive Teams to ensure that leaders become both convinced and convincing of the need for change. And comfortable on why and how to build balance – across nationalities, genders and/or generations. No mean feat in a single day. Read more
Getting Generational Balance on the Agenda...


Our 4-Quarter Lives Podcast’s Season 2 has been busy collecting case studies of companies starting to focus on generational balance – of their talent and their customers. It’s starting.
FULLERS - A Company that Thrives on Balanced Teams
Avivah Wittenberg-Cox talks with Dawn Browne. Dawn is the People & Talent Director of Fuller’s, a hospitality company that runs some 200 hundred pubs and restaurants in the UK, across London and Hampshire, and employs 5,000 people. In today’s talent-strapped Britain, Fuller’s has been running contrary to the ageism many people accuse companies of. Listen Now

UNILEVER - Embracing the Future of Work
Morag Lynagh is Unilever’s Global Director of the Future of Work, with particular responsibility for new employment models, age and longevity.  As as an employer of almost 150,000 people, Unilever is one of the first companies to recognise that people have different needs and expectations of work throughout their working lives. Listen Now

BOOK - A $22 Trillion Demographic Opportunity

Susan Wilner Golden talks about her in-depth new book Stage (Not Age) which outlines the $22 trillion longevity opportunity and offers case studies of companies leading the way. Innovation, pioneers and ideas abound.

It's urgent for corporate boards to become more aware of how longevity and age will impact businesses in the years to come. This month, we'll be speaking to the Virtual Advisory Board network, a network of global board members.

INSEAD Lifelong Learning on 
Thriving to 100
Many people hear about longevity and assume it’s about old people adding years to the end of their lives. Instead, we are all now facing the prospect of 60-year careers. This will require entirely new pacing, planning - and pausing. Companies, couples and most individuals haven’t even begun integrating this new reality.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox will engage with her alma mater via INSEAD's Lifelong Learning program, sharing her research on the opportunities of this new 3rd Quarter and its impacts - at every age and stage.  Read More

Lisbon's Top Business School
Avivah will introduce a 'Midlife Rethink' session to Catolica Lisbon's Advanced Management Program in May. As the reality of longer lives and careers sinks in, more and more business schools and universities are exploring how to integrate this theme into their curriculums. If you'd like to explore a similar session in your programme, please contact us.


Midlife Transition Programs Spread Globally

Universities knew it was coming. It’s been in the data for well over a decade, and now it’s about to hit hard. College administrators call it ‘the demographic cliff.’ They point to the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent steep decline in birth rates. A predictable 18 years later, there is projected to be a decline of up to a 15% in freshmen heading off to college… Universities are starting to open to a broader range of ages and stages. There is an urgent need to upskill, plan and pace for the 3rd Quarter. Read More
 After spending a year as a Fellow in Harvard's ALI program, 20-first CEO Avivah Wittenberg-Cox has become an Ambassador for the NEXEL Collaborative. Interested in exploring these ideas at your school? Contact us for an introduction to lessons learned from a decade of pioneering programs.

The Midlife Rethink – 2023 Open Program Calendar

We’ve all had decades of precious life and work experience - but not always a good understanding of how they translate into our future. Nor a compelling narrative of our own journeys. It would help to have a better understanding of a new arc of life – one that is much longer than we think. And how our past and present are the perfect foundation for our future selves. In fact, the only one we have. Read more.

Three 1.5 hour sessions in 3 consecutive weeks in ’23, with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

  • March 13, 20, 27
  • June: 12, 19, 26
  • Book your place now.
Interested in an internal company programme? Please contact us.
20-first Recognised Among the UK’s Top 50 Gender Equity Trailblazers
50 top leaders committed to driving gender balance and equity between men and women have been named in the 2023 Trailblazer50 list compiled by WeAreTheCity. Revealed ahead of International Women’s Day 2023 in support of its #EmbraceEquity theme, the Trailblazer50 list highlights incredible individuals working to make society a better place for women, men and society as a whole.
Read More
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