Inspiring achievements from older people

Here is a firmly established, inspirational idea from the USA that we could well do with importing into the UK. Any takers?

Civic Ventures has just announced the 2010 winners of its Purpose Prize. Five $100,000 and five $50,000 prizes will go to social entrepreneurs over 60 who, in their encore careers, are using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on society’s biggest challenges. Now in its fifth year, the six-year, $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life.

Winners include:

  • A woman who ended her plans for retirement when she realized neighbours needed help negotiating better mortgage terms in order to avoid foreclosure
  • A long-time arbitrator for an international law firm who is working with Afghans to rebuild orchards and vineyards – and their economy
  • A former housekeeper who became an activist – and a mayor-appointed commissioner – to fight port and other industrial pollution in her low-income neighbourhood
  • A former owner of a tool-and-dye shop who returned to his native West Virginia for a peaceful retirement, only to find himself fighting a coal industry engaged in the destructive, disruptive practice of mountain top removal

“Purpose Prize winners are courageous, creative, passionate and strategic – all the qualities needed to make headway on some of our greatest challenges,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Civic Ventures and author of the upcoming book The Big Shift (April 2011, Public Affairs Books). “It is the combination of these qualities, their decades of experience, and the sheer size of the baby boomer population that make social innovators in their encore careers a promising and invaluable asset to society.”

The Purpose Prize, funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, is a program of Civic Ventures’ Encore Careers campaign (, which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining social impact, personal meaning and continued income in the second half of life.

Summaries of all winners, videos and photographs are online at
Civic Ventures is a national think tank on boomers, work and social purpose that introduced the concept of encore careers that combine purpose, passion and a paycheck.

One Response to Inspiring achievements from older people

  1. Pingback: Great achievements by senior people show that age is no barrier to success by Maria C Collins | Life Paths 360

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