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2010 Roundtable at Stanford

Generation Ageless: Longevity and the Boomers

Consequences for our world and ourselves


From family dynamics to the global economy, the graying of the boomer generation will impact every aspect of society. What is next for boomers and the generations that follow in their wake?

As the planet's population surges towards 9 billion in 2050, our sheer numbers will exert tremendous pressure on resources, infrastructures and the ability of leaders to address the issues of the massive shift in demographics.

Living longer and better may be the biggest challenge any individual boomer faces, but the global implications of an aging world population are equally daunting. Few issues are as universal and compelling in the world and in one's own life.

Moderator Tom Brokaw joined a distinguished panel of leaders for the fifth Roundtable at Stanford University on October 23, 2010.

2010 Panelists

John Hennessy

John L. Hennessy is Stanford University's 10th president and inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, former provost and dean of the School of Engineering. Recognizing the need for multidisciplinary research to address today's challenges, he has launched university-wide initiatives in human health, environmental sustainability, and international affairs.


Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw (moderator) served for 21 years as the anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News." Beginning in 2004, he became a special correspondent for NBC News. Brokaw's numerous honors include the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award and the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is also a best-selling author of books such as "BOOM! Voices of the Sixties."


Laura Carstensen

Laura L. Carstensen, Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy and professor of psychology, is founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her own research focuses on how motivational changes influence cognitive processing. She has been selected as a Guggenheim Fellow, received the Richard Kalish Award for Innovative Research, the Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America, and a Stanford Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. She is the author of A Long Bright Future: An Action Plan for a Lifetime of Happiness, Health, and Financial Security.


Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor (Retired), Associate Justice, was born in El Paso, Texas and received her B.A. and LL.B. from Stanford University. She married John Jay O'Connor III in 1952 and has three sons. She served as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona and on the Arizona Court of Appeals prior to taking her seat as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1981. Justice O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court on January 31, 2006. She serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the ABA Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Stanford's Center on Ethics, among others.


Robert Sapolsky

Robert Sapolsky is John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University, with joint appointments in biological sciences, neurology and neurological sciences by courtesy of neurosurgery. He is also a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya. Sapolsky's research focuses on stress, neuronal degeneration and aging. His studies of wild baboons in Kenya have shed light on relationships between personality, stress-related disease and environment. Sapolsky is recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grant, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.


Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer at Facebook where she oversees business operations. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She was instrumental in launching Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm. Earlier, Sandberg was Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and an economist at the World Bank. Sandberg holds a B.A. in economics and an MBA from Harvard. She serves on the boards of the Walt Disney Company, Starbucks, The Brookings Institution and V-Day. Sandberg was named as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune.


Barry Rand

Barry Rand is CEO of AARP, an organization whose mission is to enhance quality of life for its nearly 40 million members age 50 and older. Rand also serves as Chairman of the Board of Howard University and has served as Chairman and CEO of Avis Group Holdings, CEO of Equitant Ltd., and Executive Vice President for Worldwide Operations at Xerox Corporation. Mr. Rand was instrumental in the formation of the Executive Leadership Council, the nation's preeminent organization that recognizes the strengths, success, contributions, and impact of African-American corporate business leaders. He holds a B.A. from American University and an MBA from Stanford University where he was also a Sloan Executive Fellow.