Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 13, 2012

U-M Society 2030 consortium kicks off third year

Society 2030, an innovative consortium bringing together U-M researchers with corporate leaders to prepare for society's changing age structure, kicks off its third year Sept. 19 with a meeting focusing on emerging assistive technologies, including robotics.


More information on Society 2030.

"Our focus is to provide the information and connections our corporate and academic members need to elucidate the issues we'll be confronting and to envision solutions for the challenges we'll face as the baby boomers age," says Wayne McCullough, a founding organizer of Society 2030 and director of corporate and foundation relations at the Institute for Social Research (ISR).

"These solutions include both research partnerships, and the development of human resource and product development strategies that will help position corporate members for future growth. They will also address many of the social and familial issues that we need to confront."

The keynote speaker at the Society 2030 meeting is Dan Ferris, U-M professor of biomechanical engineering and movement science. Ferris will describe cutting-edge technologies now in development that have the potential to extend human functioning and movement, including the use of robotic exoskeletons.

"The changing age structure of our society has important implications for all of us," says U-M psychologist Toni Antonucci, chair of the Society 2030 Consortium, associate vice president for research, social sciences and humanities, and a research professor at ISR. "By 2030, about one in five Americans will be 65 or older, and the impact of this demographic revolution will affect families, communities, and organizations of all types."

Corporate members of Society 2030 include Ford Motor Co., Visteon, Denso, NuStep, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Corning Corp., Amway Corp. and Domino's Pizza.