“Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury—rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility.”
― Peter H. Diamandis, Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Aging in Place
I have always said: If you want a BIG Opportunity, find a BIG Problem…Aging in Place is both. Recently I’ve come across the extraordinary work of Peter H. Diamandis. He too, is fond of saying something similar:
There is no problem we can’t solve it’s just a matter of being smarter, bringing the right people together, the right technology, the right capital, every problem can be solved. Once you get over the initial dismay of the problem, the shock of oh my God what am I going to do about this? If you can flip your mind, say OK there is an opportunity here, right…Problems are Gold Mines.
Aging in Suburbia
The aging of boomers presents a number of challenges (aka problems), not the least of which is where this first suburban generation will want to grow old. A recent National Association of Home Builders report focusing on baby boomer housing preferences found that the majority of boomers want the suburban, single-family lifestyle. This preference was fine for younger able-bodied individuals who could jump in their cars and drive to goods and services whenever the need arose. However, it’s not that simple when chronic infirmities are now a part of the equation.
So far, this is a problem in search of solutions. Aging-in-place professionals and governments have been slow to respond, and silos prevent the kind of cross pollination of IDEAS needed to solve this cultural dilemma that’s just off shore brewing. This is going to take “Moon-shot thinking,” the kind guys like Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler are engaged in.
3D Printing to the Rescue
I have mentioned in prior posts that one way to potentially solve this TITANIC National Priority problem of Aging in Suburbia and “Care Deserts” is to bring goods and services to the burbs–serve the masses where they are. So, unless this is happening to you, or someone you love, the problem isn’t on your radar screen…Yet…But it will be, sooner than you could ever imagine. When your time comes, and you’ve worked through the initial dismay of the problem, the shock of oh my God what am I going to do about this? If you can flip your mind, say OK there is an opportunity here, right…Problems are Gold Mines. Suddenly, you have what I like to call “the burden of insight” a new sense of urgency and what’s possible.
I’ve envisioned how drones could deliver medications, food (meals on drones), and other lifesaving services, to the aging-in-place older adult, but how about 3D Printing? Peter Diamandis talks about how 3D printers could go into space and set up shop once they arrived. This would eliminate the challenges (weight and expense) of taking goods and services to far off destinations; you instead 3D print them when you arrive at your final destination. This got me thinking, the problem is similar in that transportation of goods to a distant location is costly and challenging–making the parallel, why not have 3D printers in suburban homes that could print goods on-demand for an aging population?
For example, in medications; say your MD writes a code script for Coumadin, when your smart-pill container runs out the 3D printer goes to work printing your next month’s supply–no need to drive to town, no need to go to the pharmacy. What other kinds of applications are possible for 3D printing that would facilitate aging in place? This is just one example; the sky is the limit for creative solutions and opportunities to do well while doing good.
“Right now, and for the first time ever, a passionate and committed individual has access to the technology, minds, and capital required to take on any challenge.” -Peter H. Diamandis
Problems are Gold Mines…
Guest Post by: Patrick J. Roden. PhD aginginplace.com