Advocacy, Social Action, Policy

Civic Ventures has attracted attention for pushing what it calls Encore Fellowships, which help workers reaching retirement age serve stints at nonprofits. Intel is giving the concept a big boost. The company is taking part in a pilot program that lets all Intel employees who are eligible to retire apply for such fellowships. Hewlett-Packard and Agilent have also sponsored Encore Fellows, but Intel is the first company to make such a broad commitment.

There are many nonprofit organizations that are focused on helping people in their 60s and beyond live long and prosper, both individually and collectively. A generation ago, these organizations either didn't exist or were much less robust than they are today. Civic Ventures provides inspiration and advocacy for designing the best second half of your life.

Purpose Prize Winners Recognized by Major Media

The 2011 Purpose Prize winners are making big news.

Since the five winners were announced November 3, media outlets from across the country have been highlighting the remarkable work that earned these social innovators the $100,000 award.



Gerald L. Hill , Indigenous Language Institute
President, Board of Directors
Indigenous Language Institute
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

The doors of the Los Angeles County prison closed behind Gerald Hill in 1972 when as a college senior he was sentenced to 90 days following a protest against an art museum exhibit of the scalp of a Cheyenne Indian and a burial display using actual human skeletons. Hill’s first — and last — criminal conviction convinced him that Native Americans can be most effective from the right side of the justice system.

Architect Edward Mazria has been recognized for his work to move the building sector to a more sustainable path. He has done this by setting voluntary targets via his nonprofit Architecture 2030. Now he has won a 2011 Purpose Prize, an award given by Civic Ventures to social entrepreneurs over 60.

Nancy Sanford Hughes, the founder of StoveTeam International, has received a $100,000 national prize for her work. Hughes was one of five winners of the 2011 Purpose Prize, awarded to social entrepreneurs who are older than 60. The prizes are awarded by Civic Ventures.

Civic Ventures is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people find meaningful, purpose-filled work in the second half of life. Each year the organization selects five people over who have made extraordinary contributions in their encore careers focusing on solving critical problems in education, health care, the environment and more. The organization has announced its 2011 Purpose Prize $100,000 winners.

Life stages are artificial, argues Marc Freedman, the 53-year-old social entrepreneur dubbed “the voice of aging baby boomers” by The New York Times. “There was no adolescence before 1904,” Freedman points out before launching into an explanation of his nonprofit’s mission: creating institutions and public policies geared toward boomers who may be past retirement age but are by no means elderly.

Tough new economic realities have transformed career reinvention from a virtue into a necessity for millions of older Americans who aren't ready to retire or simply can't afford to quit working. Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, talks about how this phenomenon may – for some – lead to more personally meaningful work.

Retirement is no longer viewed as a brief period of rest at the end of life. It has become an integral element of the American dream, says Civic Ventures founder and CEO Marc Freedman, who has studied the cultural history of retirement. “People scrimped and saved and deferred gratification to get to it as soon as possible – not even 65 or 62, but in your 50s,” Freedman says. (This piece also appeared in The Fiscal Times.)

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