What Age Friendly Communities and Social Network Can Learn From TEDTalks

Age Friendly Communities

Age Friendly Communities

TEDTalk Tips For Communities

Authors Note – Often we hear of breaking information silos across organizations and companies. I’m a firm believer we need to take it further and explore sharing across sectors I find TEDTalks a great resource.

How Laughter Creates Conversation

Recently, I heard cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott research on laughter. While discussing her work she explained laughing accesses an ancient evolutionary system to make and maintain social bonds. When we laugh together we create behavioral contagion. Through laughter, we send messages such as I understand you, I agree with you. In addition, neuroscientists know laughter is associated with play and social interactions such a conversations. What if communities create ways for residents to engage, talk, and perhaps laugh? My suggestion – Given these points, begin a series of community-based getting to know you events. Specifically and based on this research host Laughter Yoga events!

What We Can Learn From Starbucks

When people you know and like talk about something that makes it remarkable. By making something remarkable you can get an idea to spread. Each of these ideas was a product that spread by their users talking about it. In fact, the products became remarkable. In particular, Starbucks who invented the third space. Not work, not home, Starbucks the third space. By creating a destination it became easy to say meet me at Starbucks. My suggestion – With this in mind create third spaces in the community to spread the idea of age-friendly communities.

Using Social Networks For Building Communities

After I heard the TEDTalk by Nicholas Christakis a physician and social scientist the idea for this blog post began to crystallize. In his talk, Christakis spoke of his study based on the Widowhood Effect.  Also known as “Dying of A Broken Heart” an increase in the probability of a person dying a relatively short time after their long-time spouse has died. In his research, he saw this as a broader phenomenon occurring in social networks. Our networks provide us with social capital that enables us to thrive in our communities. My suggestion – Ultimately we need to explore how to use social networks to spread the concept of age-friendly communities.

My Thoughts

Christakis said, “social networks are required for the spread of good and valuable things like love and kindness and happiness and altruism and ideas.” If Age-Friendly Communities are designed to support all residents we also need to embrace how we share the benefits during the planning phase of the program cycle. In addition, health promotion, wellness, and community-based services can benefit from spreading their ideas recognizing communities and building relationships with their influencers. Similar to Christakis I believe in spreading ideas through social networks is a tool for creating eliminating ageism and increasing older driver awareness.

About Technology Entertainment and Design (TED)

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

Important Link

TEDTalks – How Things Spread

About Me

Currently, I am the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging. My claim to fame? First gerontologist to speak at South by Southwest. Another accomplishment?  Freewheeling After Sixty the first book to make it easier for older adults to give up driving. Lastly, this summer I’ll be speaking at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging on Let’s Talk Sexy: It’s Part of Aging.

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