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Winning in the Age of Bohonomics

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From Baby Boomers to Bohemian Late Bloomers

“Demographics is the single most important factor that nobody pays attention to, and when they do pay attention, they miss the point”.  – Peter Drucker

“Why does longevity matter?” asks Professor Amlan Roy at the seminar “People Plan: Designing For Finland’s New Economy” organized in the Helsinki City Hall by AmCham  and Mandatum Life.

The governments’ answer is that we need to rise the age of retirement and invest in healthcare. But that is not the answer we hear from Professor Roy. Whilst he does not deny the need for the action presented by the governments he says that the most important question we must ask is “what are people doing during their at least 20 years of life post retirement”.  Prof. Roy repeats “don’t look at people’s ages look at what they do and what they consume” so many times that you cannot but think that he has a point there. Not only does he say it but he presents an impressive study to support his words. Yes, what he says is truly disruptive – yet so Bohemian: people indeed are not groups of different age categories; they are individuals, consuming and working on different things.

The fingers are often pointed at the Baby Boomers. Younger people say that they are afraid what happens when the Baby Boomers retire. Who is going to pay for their terminal care? Seldom, hardly never, have I heard anybody ask: what will they do on their years of post-retirement?

The Baby Boomers is a most interesting group. They are people who perhaps sacrificed fulfilling their dreams to the common purpose of building great societies, infrastructures, markets and democracies – countries and states where it would be good to live in. And they succeeded. Take Finland for example. From a war-torn wreck of a country to a blooming economy, and in a reasonably short period of time. Many thanks go to the Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers saw the rise of the Bohemian. They experienced  the golden age of the music and movies. On their holidays they travelled to Rostock, Woodstock and Human Be-In.  They saw the rise and fall of the Hippie movement. They shared the vision of world peace and contributed to a better world by working in factories to create the wealth that the nations needed to keep up with the development of the markets and social systems. They wanted to see their children educated with better possibilities for good life than they had received in birth.

But the also the hippies are retiring. What will they do? Is the dream still alive and strong? Will they re-invent the movement? Unite to a powerful tribe with flowers in the hair?

From the Boho point of view the Baby Boomers might just be the best thing that is going on in the world. The Baby Boomers are still looking for a chance to start living the dream they once had. The dream where they will make a difference as a human being, as an individual – as a person who does something that has meaning and value. They are one of the key ingredients of the Generation M. M for Movement, a definition by economist Umair Haque. Haque says: “… generation M is a… growing number of people who are acting very differently. They are doing meaningful stuff that matters the most. ” Generation M is obviously the generation of the Modern Bohemians, Bohos, and we believe that a vast number of Baby Boomers are included in this generation. We might as well call them the Late Bloomers. People who make their talent bloom in the late phase of their lives.

There are already learning programs clearly aimed at the Late Bloomers. Such as The Swing which purpose is to teach the world to sing with a target group of Late Bloomers. Surely many of the Baby Boomers wish to make their artistic talent bloom once they have the time and many also the necessary resources.

Yes indeed. The Late Bloomers are a most potential group to make the Boho vision come true. They once helped to build the material world now they can contribute to the mental and spiritual powers of people. As robotization and automation strongly progress the Late Bloomers will be needed as artists, athletes, inventors, leaders, mentors, thinkers, celebrities, philosophers, scientists, role models, supporters, serendipitors, networkers, connectors, authors, readers. Bohemians. Yes we need them mostly as free souls who detach, break loose from the old patterns. People who come out of the closets and boxes, and show that embarrassment is only a stupid word that can be translated as “barrier to creativity”.

Talent is capital for all, not only for the children and the young. Hidden or latent talent can be awakened at any age and also turned into economic activity and – why not – a career. In fact we need to do so in order not only to help the retirees to enjoy a good life but also to help create a new competitive edge for nations, companies and entrepreneurs.

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