Public Release: 

Global business of aging will be focus of AGHE's March meeting

The Gerontological Society of America

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) -- the educational unit of The Gerontological Society of America -- will hold its 44th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference from March 1 to 4, 2018, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference provides a forum for professionals in the field of aging to present their work and share ideas about gerontological and geriatric education and training. The theme for 2018 is "The Global Business of Aging." For more information about this event, visit Below are some program highlights.

Charrette Planning for Age-Related Design: Atlanta Case Study
Thursday, March 1, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

AGHE's Age-Friendly Design Committee takes a service-learning approach to address design needs and environmental features that are utilized by older adults in Atlanta, Georgia. Local partnership cultivation is underway with Atlanta community partners with the intent to improve age-friendly design outcomes and collaboration between gerontologists and design professionals.

Opening Plenary Session: "Transforming the Business of Aging Through Training, Education, and Skills Development"
Thursday, March 1, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Featured Speakers: Michael Hodin, Global Coalition on Aging; and Lois Reitzes, WABE

As the global silver economy grows to over $15 trillion, an "aging strategy" that leverages market opportunities presented by today's rapidly aging societies is key to business success. Hodin will offer insight for winning business strategies that create flexible career models and support older adults in today's quickly aging societies. Through training and education in school or online, companies can gain competitive advantage, add value to society, and effectively navigate the Silver Economy. We are just at the beginning of what can be a positive relationship between aging and economic growth. WABE's Lois Reitzes, the longest running voice on Atlanta radio, will add her distinctive voice as host of the Opening Plenary Session.

Spotlight on Gerontology Programs Around the Globe
Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. to Noon
Featured speakers: Birgit Pianosi, Huntington University; Annelies Harps-Timmerman, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences; and Sam Togba Slewion, United Methodist University

An increasing demand for innovations in aging services, programs, and policies are motivating societies to work toward becoming more age-friendly. This International Spotlight Session will highlight innovative initiatives in three countries: Canada, the Netherlands, and Liberia. Pianosi will discuss how communities in Northern Ontario, Canada, are working toward making businesses more age-friendly. Harps-Timmerman will discuss the entrepreneurial orientated competence profile of the Windesheim University Applied Gerontology program in the Netherlands and how it aligns with the AGHE competencies. She will also offer examples of implementation. Slewion will present on aging activities in Liberia, including a project to control Ebola, increased participation in the electoral process, and approaches and strategies to address the economic challenges facing older people in Liberia.

Fast Pitching: Judging the Global Business of Aging Competition
Saturday, March 3, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

With 50+ers having nearly 50 percent of their lives left to live, enjoy, and contribute, savvy individuals are targeting this global market. This past year, the AGHE Business & Aging Committee's Global Business of Aging Pitch Competition encouraged students and faculty to become engaged leaders in the global 50+ market by developing and pitching the next innovative product, service, or technology capturing the global 50+ stage. Products to encourage independence and healthy, lifestyle solutions were highly encouraged. Join a select group of judges from Aging2.0 in judging pitch finalists of the 2018 Global Business of Aging Competition as they virtually pitch their product and are questioned by the judges. Audience members will be able to vote on the best overall product and pitch based on provided guidelines during the pitch competition. For pitch competition details, visit

Closing Plenary Session: "A Psychologist in Public Health: How I Learned to Love Healthy Aging and Stopped Fearing Epidemiology"
Sunday, March 4, 10:00 to 11 a.m.
Featured Speaker: Valerie J. Edwards, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More than ever, gerontologists are finding work in a wide variety of settings and working with interdisciplinary teams. Edwards will describe her career path in public health, lessons learned, and the importance of lifelong learning.


The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) is the educational unit of The Gerontological Society of America, the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. AGHE seeks to advance gerontology as a field of study at institutions of higher education through conferences, publications, technical assistance, research studies, and consultation with policymakers. It is currently the only institutional member organization dedicated to gerontology and geriatrics education worldwide.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.