Have you ever thought about starting fresh with a new career? Maybe it’s time for a complete change? If you’re in the “second half of life,” you may be thinking about taking on work or creating a business to help people or focus on a cause that’s meaningful to you.
Civic Ventures is a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. The organization introduced the concept of encore careers, which combine meaning, continued income and social impact. Civic Ventures awards The Purpose Prize, which provides “five social entrepreneurs over 60 $100,000 each for using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on some of society’s biggest challenges.” Now in its sixth year, the $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life.
(The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation, funds the prize, a program of Civic Ventures.) Twenty-eight judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the five winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees.
I’m delighted to be an invited guest to The Purpose Prize awards ceremony in December in Sausalito, CA. The organization will host approximately 300 attendees of the invitation-only ceremony. We will hear from Purpose Prize judges, including NBC’s Jane Pauley and Sherry Lansing, CEO of The Sherry Lansing Foundation and former chair of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group.
Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing information and videos about Purpose Prize winners. I hope their stories will inspire you…While you may not want to create a non-profit organization yourself, these successes remind us that age is not a true barrier to accomplishing your career goals.
Purpose Prize Winner: Jenny Bowen (pictured),Ã‚Â 66, Half the Sky Foundation, Berkeley, Calif.
Winner of The Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, sponsored by AARP
When Bowen, a screenwriter, saw a photo in The New York Times in 1996 of a starving girl in a Chinese welfare institution, she took immediate action. Within 18 months she and her husband had adopted a 20-month-old girl named Maya from Guangzhou, China. Maya couldn’t walk or talk, but after a year of loving care, she was a happy, healthy child. In 1998 Bowen launched Half the Sky Foundation to radically transform the way China cares for its 800,000 orphans. Today the organization operates in 51 Chinese cities, providing infant care, preschool programs, free medical services for disabled children and financial support for foster families caring for AIDS orphans. So far, the group has improved care for more than 60,000 orphans.
photo and video courtesy of Civic Ventures.