Ken Dychtwald is the nation's foremost visionary and
thinker in marketing, lifestyle, and implications of the age wave. He is an accomplished
author and speaker.
Dychtwald's interest in aging initially grew out of his
pioneering work from 1973 to 1979 as Cofounder and Co-Director of the Sage
Project, a non-profit social service organization funded by the National
Institutes of Health and devoted to teaching the elderly how to improve the
quality of their lives by taking charge of their mental and physical health. In
the late 1970s, as his work branched out into other aspects of gerontology, he
was struck by how many of the social, economic, and physical problems of aging
were preventable. He repeatedly saw how a lifetime of disregard for personal
health usually led to chronic disease. Aging, he came to realize, was not
something that begins on one's 65th birthday. Rather, all of the choices we
make regarding how we care for ourselves, how we manage our lives, and even how
we think about our futures ultimately shape who we become, both personally and
culturally, in our later years.
By the early 1980s, Dychtwald had become a member of
various scientific and social service advisory panels, a frequent lecturer at
academic and business conferences, and a consultant with numerous universities,
hospitals and corporations. In 1982, while serving as an adviser to the federal
Office of Technology Assessment, the think tank connected with the U.S.
Congress, he felt a jolt when he realized that the next population of elders
would not be his grandparents' or parents' generation; they would be the baby
boom generation...his generation. Just as our social institutions were
unprepared for the initial baby boom, Dychtwald feared that our gerontophobia
might blind us to the true impact of 78 million boomers barreling toward an
entirely new version of maturity. He realized that we were about to confront a
demographic shift of enormous magnitude: increasing longevity, declining fertility,
and the aging of the baby boom were triggering an enormous "age
wave." This wave had the potential to create vibrant new stages of life
and an unending stream of new business opportunities - and an equally
compelling potential for social, economic and political crisis.
In 1986, in partnership with his wife, Maddy
Kent-Dychtwald, Dr. Dychtwald became the founding President and CEO of Age
Wave, a firm created to guide Fortune 500 companies and government groups in
product/service development for boomers and mature adults. In recent years, he
has served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and is the recipient of the
distinguished American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership
in the field of aging.
In May 2001, Dr. Dychtwald became a Senior Advisor to
North Castle Partners, a private equity firm focused on investment
opportunities in the "healthy living and aging" sectors. In addition,
he has been actively involved in pioneering research efforts exploring the implications
of key demographic trends. He recently completed the groundbreaking
Re-Visioning Retirement Project, a landmark survey and segmentation of today's
and tomorrow's retirees, developed with Harries Interactive and sponsored by
AIG SunAmerica. Dr. Dychtwald has also announced his collaboration with the
Concours Group, the global IT and HR consultancy, to lead the Demography is
De$tiny Project, a visionary research and development venture exploring the
profound effect that demographic shifts will have on all aspects of workforce
and management dynamics.
During his career, Dr. Dychtwald has addressed nearly two
million people worldwide in his speeches to corporate, association and
government groups, and appears frequently on national television and radio
programs. Like a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, his explorations and innovative
solutions have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors
from vitamins and cookies to automotive design and retail merchandising to
mutual funds and health insurance. A highly sought-after public speaker and
consultant, he is consistently praised for his unique ability to blend cutting
edge social science and marketing wizardry with world-class presentation
showmanship. His strikingly accurate predictions have been featured in many
prestigious publications, including "The New York Times," "The
Wall Street Journal," "USA Today," "The Financial
Times," "Fortune," "Time," "Newsweek,"
"Business Week," "Inc.," "U.S. News and World Report"
and "Advertising Age."
During the past 30 years, through his sought-after
presentations, his breakthrough research and consulting initiatives, and his
leadership within both the social science and business communities, Ken
Dychtwald has dedicated his life to battling ageist stereotypes while promoting
a new and vital image of maturity.