Alongside climate change and inequality one of the biggest challenges facing the world today paradoxically arises from one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century. For the first time in human history, thanks to advances in medical science and public health, the majority of people will live into their 70s and 80s and there are more people alive aged over 60 than under 5.
Rather than celebrating this extraordinary achievement, however, we see an ageing society as a threat, we worry about a growing care burden and the challenges of financing these longer lives, we fear a shrinking economy and a society riven by intergenerational conflict. These concerns are all entirely legitimate if we don't make urgent and major reforms to every aspect of society and the economy.
Evergreen provides a roadmap for these changes. It argues that we have the potential to tackle these issues to create a healthier, happier and more productive society in the future. In part 1, Scott outlines the health and demographic trends which have brought us to this point, establishes the key myths and misunderstandings which have clouded our approach so far, and identifies the key issues which need to be addressed. Part 2 outlines the longevity agenda and focuses on the science of living longer and healthier and the transformations needed for our health systems, economy and personal finances to be able to sustain these changes. The final part looks at the social, political and philosophical issues around delivering an evergreen society.