2011 Winter Forum

You don’t have to be a marketing guru to know that youth sells. Everything it seems, including cities, are sold to the youth. Picture crowded sidewalks in the vaunted Creative City—a bunch of stylish 20 and 30 somethings, right? But as important as the energy and innovation of youth is, there’s something really important that the young don’t have: the wisdom of experience. Isn’t this an area where Sarasota could perhaps shine even brighter? Could it be that the Sarasota’s “silver sector” is the key to economic growth?

SCOPE, our exceptional local think tank, thinks so.

Since early 2005, SCOPE’s initiative, Aging – The Possibilities has focused on the role of older adults as untapped assets in our community. How do we maximize both the substantial talent of this population and the opportunities for individuals to age in place while retaining an active and independent lifestyle?  Over 900 residents participated in this initiative.

SCOPE’s annual Winter Form on Aging will be held on Friday, February 25, at the Chelsea Center in Sarasota. Featured speakers are Drs. George Vaillant from Harvard Medical School and Helen Kivnick from the University of Minnesota. Interested in how Sarasota might be able to grow its economy on the strength of its senior citizens? Check out SCOPE’s website for more information and to sign up for the winter forum.

SRQ has always attracted successful retirees from diverse professional backgrounds. And in recent years, anchored by the success of New College and Ringling School of Art & Design, a young creative class has indeed been developing. Aren’t there ways to bring them together more (through mentoring, or even collaborative efforts)? To encourage a greater sense of community across boundaries such as age (and, likely, aesthetics)? To involve everyone who’s willing in the building of an urban village? We’ve seen glimpses of it first hand in Laurel Park, where hipsters, families, and retirees live cheek to cheek. But couldn’t different demographic groups combine their respective strengths and leverage them into something really dynamic?