Reinvent the Neighbourhood

The shift to Work-from-home (WFH), as it becomes the new way of work, could cause a change analogous to the move from farm to factory in the 19th century and from factory to office in the 20th century - except it is happening in weeks rather than decades. Neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities can and must use this crisis to re-invent themselves or fall behind in the New Normal. Read 4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott's full article here as he explores the issues we are currently facing.


The Core vs The Periphery

In his third "Letter to the Mayor",  4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott wades into the question of what is the optimal size, density and ethos of towns and cities. Do we want ever larger, denser, smarter cities, do we want endless sprawl, or is there a "missing middle"? Read the full paper here as Dominic tries to place the question in context.

Slow Down The Streets

One silver lining in the Covid-19 crisis has been the massive reduction in pollution and traffic in every town and city due to the lock-down. Over 50 cities around the globe are going much further. For example, Oakland, CA has set aside 74 miles or 10% of its streetscape, for "Slow Streets", where car-traffic is limited, and priority is given to biking and walking. In this paper 4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott makes the case that every town and city has a choice in preparing for the post lockdown: either pursue the "Slow Streets" approach, or see the level of traffic and pollution rise to levels higher than pre-Covid. In the latter case, the opportunity of coming out strong and resilient will have been squandered.

Read the full article here Slow Down The Streets

The Flipped Workforce

Post Covid-19, might the 'new normal' for work look like? How can towns and cities reposition themselves to become more attractive to workers and families? 4Gen partner Dominic Endicott shares his perspective on how he thinks the geography of work will likely change, as and when we return to a new normal. It is centered on the US, but it applies broadly. As bad as things are, NOW is an important time for every town and city to 'retool' and 'reimagine' what it could be. Use Q2 2020 to develop and test a plan for the 'new normal' and be ready for roll-out by Q3 2020. While doors are closing, windows are opening.

Read the full article here The Flipped Workforce and the Future of Anywhere USA

Harnessing the Longevity Dividend

4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott shares a presentation on why Longevity and Digital, 'Age Tech', is the next frontier market here

Age Tech and the Longevity Economy

Read our manifesto that summarizes our thinking on Digitising the Longevity Economy and the Age Tech Digital Transition. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback too.

What is your Glide Path?

It seems that we often lurch between doing nothing and then doing something precipitous and with unintended side-effects. Is there perhaps an alternative - to purposefully pursue a Glide Path, somewhere between order and chaos, both in our individual strategies and in those we pursue in groups? This essay articulates the idea. I would welcome examples of how individuals or groups have indeed found their Glide Path - from crafting a new phase of life to changing an entire city

Read the full article here The 4-Generation Glide Path

Investing in Age-Tech

4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott, was interviewed on podcast about Age-tech and the new opportunities 4Gen are looking for

‘It is a fund focused on what we call AgeTech, which I see as the intersection of the longevity economy and digitization. To some extent it builds on what we saw at GreatCall, where we saw a very large company being built, premised on targeting segments of the population that weren’t well served and bringing digital solutions to that. My belief is that this is going to be an exploding and very large segment.

‘I’ve teamed up with a group from Northstar Ventures in the UK, to start 4Gen Ventures. And our goal would be to raise the first fund somewhere in the range of £50M to a £100M, and to invest in somewhere between 10 and 20 companies, typically at the later part of seed or early part of Series A, but we’ll also be starting a few companies from scratch.’

Listen to the whole podcast here

Age-tech: the next frontier for technology disruption

4Gen Partner Dominic Endicott talks to Forbes about the importance and potential of Age-Tech, and why he believes that ‘Age-Tech’ is the next frontier market for technology disruption in the quest to make longevity accessible to everyone

‘Several key principles are critical: foremost is to design services valued by all age groups and not viewed as “products for old people”. Think about Apple, whose US Age-Tech revenue likely exceeds $15B. Its innovations in the iWatch, face-based authentication and iPad line of products are particularly appropriate for older users, but it is not perceived as a company for older people. Amazon’s US Age-Tech revenue likely exceeds $30B, and its acquisitions of Ring and Pill Pack, both billion-dollar purchases, allow it to deepen its position in the home and health spending wallet, which skew to older customers, but again it is viewed as age-agnostic. A second key element of Age-Tech is to combine a highly intuitive user experience with often complex behind-the-scenes sophistication. For example, GreatCall provides intuitive communications and wellness services designed to be used by people well into their 80s and 90s, and yet takes advantage of the latest advances in software and hardware developments. A third element I would highlight is personalization: as we age, the differences in health, income and wealth tend to increase, which means that it will be increasingly important to adapt services to the specific needs of each group.’

Click here to read the full article

Facing up to a 4 Generation Society

This article, co-written by 4Gen partner Dominic Endicott appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of strategy+business.

A profound but mostly unrecognized demographic and economic trend is unfolding around the world right now. The average human life span is growing enough that for the first time in recorded history, four generations can routinely expect to be alive at the same time. To be sure, this trend is countered somewhat by the increasingly older ages at which many women give birth; in 2010, the mean age of mothers at the birth of their first child was 25 or higher in most industrialized countries. Even so, with more people living into their late 90s, the 4-Gen society that is taking shape can be expected to last at least one more generation, and probably much longer.

The experience of the last similar transition — the 20th-century shift from a 2-Gen society to a 3-Gen society — suggests that the impact will be immense. In 1900, when the average global human life span was 31, relatively few adults had grandparents who were still alive. At the end of World War II, the average global life span had risen to 48, and its growth accelerated after 1945; in 2019, it is above 70. In industrialized societies, the relationship between adults and their grandparents is now taken for granted.
This transition has been, by many standards, a massive net positive for humanity. Since the end of World War II, even as the global population has increased from 2.3 billion to 7.7 billion, inflation-adjusted per capita income has risen from US$4,000 to $11,000 per year, and GDP has spiked from $9 trillion to more than $100 trillion. Billions of lives have grown richer; new global wars have so far been avoided. And the predominant demographic theme of the past 30 years has been the rise of hundreds of millions of newly middle-class people in China, India, and other emerging societies, and the multitrillion-dollar economic transformation that followed.

Of course, we don’t know whether the 3-Gen transition caused, was caused by, or merely correlated with these benefits; nor do we know for sure whether they will continue. And we can’t overlook the negative elements of the last transition: climate change, suburban sprawl, greater income inequality, the decline of some previously dominant national economies, and the stresses that go with a more interconnected world and a more mechanized culture.
The next transition may involve even greater challenges. There has never been a modern society in which people routinely lived into their 90s. The longevity revolution is putting massive strains on all of our major social systems — employment, retirement, education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and food, as well as the environment. Humanity’s ability to manage this shift over the next 30 years, and the extent to which it increases or decreases well-being and overall quality of life, probably depend on the decisions we make collectively today. And that in turn depends on how well we understand the forces and factors arising from the new 4-Gen world.

You can read the full article here