Half the children born since 2000 in the developed world are expected to see their 100th birthday.  There are over three million Australians above the age of 65 now and that will double by 2050. These facts are forcing all of us to re-think what ‘retirement’ means.
Many Australians either can’t afford to, or don’t want to, hit the golf course or the grey nomad trail. They are in the midst of inventing a new stage of life and work between the end of midlife and anything resembling old-fashioned retirement. This is a time when they make some of their most important contributions, for themselves, for their communities, and for the well-being of future generations.
Marc Freedman, founder of US not-for-profit Encore.org , will be visiting Australia in the first week of June to talk about this ‘encore careers’ phenomenon and its potential for Australia.
Marc is the author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife , in which he says: “This amounts to nothing less than changing the pattern of lives, and with it the nature and possibilities of every stage along the way. It’s time for a shift – a shift in thinking and in culture, in social institutions and public policies, a shift from what worked in the past to what can carry us into the future.”
A key initiative of Encore.org is the Encore Fellowships program. Encore Fellowships are designed to deliver new sources of talent to organisations solving critical social problems. These paid, time-limited Fellowships match skilled, experienced professionals at the end of their mid-life careers with charities and not-for-profit organisations.
During the Fellowship period (typically six to 12 months, half to full time), the Fellows take on roles that bring significant, sustained impact to the charities that host them. While they are working, the Fellows earn a stipend, learn about work in the charitable sector, and develop a new network of contacts and resources for the future.
The network of affiliate Encore Fellows programs is now expanding across the US and soon the UK, with growing global interest and recognition. Here in Australia, former CEO of Australian not-for-profit, Connecting Up, Doug Jacquier is exploring interest in establishing Encore Fellowship programs in local cities and communities. Jacquier says: “Australia has an abundance of mature experience and knowledge in its workforce and Australia’s not-for-profits and charities increasingly need high level skills to grow their capability to address pressing social needs. We need to find a way to help that mature workforce transition to a second or encore career and, at the same time, build the capacity of the not-for-profit sector to do what it does even better.”
For further comment from Marc Freedman or Doug Jacquier or to arrange interviews, contact:
Doug Jacquier, Network Developer, Encore Fellowships Network, Australia
[email protected] 0408 955 541
Encore Fellowships program: http://www.encore.org/fellowships#sthash.5yNKGgjt.dpuf
Marc Freedman: http://www.encore.org/book/marc
 Fears, and Opportunities, on the Road to Retirement - NY Times 3 June 2011
Encore.org is building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue second acts for the greater good. We call them "encore careers" – jobs that combine personal meaning, continued income and social impact – in the second half of life.
While Encore.org is not a job placement service, it provides free, comprehensive information that helps people transition to jobs in the nonprofit world and the public sector.