Encore.org is in the midst of a decade-long partnership with the Foundation designed to realize Sir John Templeton’s vision of purpose in retirement as the new norm for later life in America. This work began with The Purpose Prize, about to celebrate its tenth year. This milestone coincides with the next phase of mainstreaming efforts spreading the underlying idea of The Purpose Prize—encore careers, or second acts for the greater good—to the widest possible audience and embedding them in core institutions of society.
These efforts have been informed by a theory of change focused on rewriting the societal narrative for post-midlife years; catalyzing needed institutional changes supporting the passage to purpose; and building a movement capable of expanding and sustaining this work. Drawing on momentum generated over the past three years, we are embarking on a set of initiatives aimed at advancing this work:
• A cultural change campaign focused on generative purpose, the powerful impulse of many older people to invest in creating a better future for younger generations, and in so doing, demonstrating how the longevity revolution can be a win-win for all generations;
• An effort to catalyze much-needed social innovation in the encore arena, using a new prize program to stimulate the development of better pathways and opportunities helping encore-seekers move from aspiration to action;
• An initiative to leverage the leadership of the encore movement in ways that not only sustain and scale this enterprise but also develop—through strategic convening and related activities—prominent societal sectors with natural self-interest in this ideal.
Taken together, these efforts will bring us to a tipping point where the path to purpose is the one of least resistance, and emerges as the new default position for the years beyond midlife. To support our efforts, we request $4,181,921 from the Foundation to fund part of a larger three-year $16 million endeavor.