USING HAPPINESS TO OPTIMIZE LONGEVITY
The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services which optimize long life for us all. This year’s challenge consists of three categories: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security.
Each of these tracks will have its own expert judges, award up to $17,000 in total cash prizes, and offer sponsored travel to Stanford, where finalists will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.
- Create well-designed, practical solutions that address key issues associated with aging
- Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about aging issues
- Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world
Designers and technologists are waking up to aging societies as a major trend of our century, but they most often view aging as what happens to someone else. In our rush to fix problems, we are ignoring possibilities that could lead to greater happiness for individuals in later life. We need to understand the goals and dreams of older individuals from their perspective and create solutions that help them live the best life possible.
Design Track Categories
The challenge will consist of three tracks: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security, reflecting the Center’s belief that people thrive best when they are mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure throughout their entire lives. Each of these tracks will have its own expert judges, award up to $17,000 in total cash prizes, and offer sponsored travel to Stanford, where finalists will present their designs to prominent industry, academic, and government leaders.
CHALLENGE TRACK DESCRIPTIONS
Mind Challenge: “Delight the Mind”
The 2015-2016 Challenge focuses on solutions that improve psychological functioning by encouraging lifestyles and practices that people want to do. Exercising your brain through activities that delight, for example, or encouraging easy-to-adopt lifestyles and fun practices that:
• Improve cognitive performance
• Enhance emotional wellbeing
• Foster civic engagement
Examples may include solutions that:
• Foster intergenerational interaction
• Support connection with family and friends
• Encourage new learning and/or exploring new passions
• Provide a fun, delightful way to incorporate mind-healthy lifestyles, practices and habits into day to day life
Mobility Challenge: “Discover the Motion”
Remaining active physically creates a multitude of benefits: reduction in chronic disease, protection against heart disease and depression, and enabling independence. It is increasingly apparent that even relatively moderate amounts of activity provide significant benefits. The goal of this challenge is to build activity into life by making activities fun.
Examples of the kinds of solutions we envision include:
• Encourage movement through intergenerational activities
• Encourage physical activities by doing for others
• Create devices that encourage “micro-activities” during normal daily life. For example, an exercise device that is fun and easy to use while watching TV
• Build fun games that encourage movement.
• Use sustainability goals to motivate activity
Financial Security Challenge: “Foster Financial Fitness”
Happiness comes in large part from financial security — but it’s often difficult for the young and even middle aged to start and stick with lifetime fiscal plans. This challenge looks for ways to make this planning easier, less stressful, and more successful.
Solutions to this challenge could include:
• Invent ways to get younger people to create a lifetime financial plan
• Models that create milestones at different life points
• Find ways to create continual awareness of how financially fit you are –is there a “Financial Fitbit”?
• Build tools for envisioning financial outcomes based on current decisions
• Find ways to encourage intergenerational conversations about money