2007 : WHAT ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT?

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Futurist, Business Strategist; Senior Vice President for Global Government Relations and Strategic Planning, Salesforce.com; Author, Inevitable Surprises
Futurist, Business Strategist; Cofounder. Global Business Network, a Monitor Company; Author, The Long Boom

Growing Older

I am very optimistic about growing older. I turned 60 this year and several decades ago I would have looked forward to a steady decline in all my physical and mental capabilities, leading into a long and messy death. The accelerating pace of biological and medical advances that are unfolding in front of us are heavily focused on reducing the infirmities of aging and curing or transforming the diseases of old age from fatal to chronic. It means that ninety really will be the new sixty and there is a good chance that I will be among the vigorous new centenarians of mid century, with most of my faculties working fairly well. Vision, hearing, memory, cognition, bone and muscle strength, skin tone, hair and of course sexual vigor will all be remediable in the near future. Alzheimer's may be curable and most cancers are likely to be treatable if not curable. And regenerative medicine may truly lead to real increase in youthfulness as new custom grown organs replace old less functional ones. And within a few decades we are likely to be able to slow aging itself, which could even lead to life beyond 120.