Age Boom Academy, Edition 2015


Columbia to welcome an international array of aging experts and journalists for the

2015 Edition of the Age Boom Academy


“Global Aging: Danger Ahead?”


For 2015, the year in which the United Nations establishes new Millennium Goals, the Age Boom Academy will focus on the dramatic demographic changes around the world. Throughout the globe, apart from sub-Saharan Africa and East Timor, fertility rates are dropping, longevity is increasing, and the proportion of older adults in the population is steadily on the rise. This population transformation has been evident for over a decade, but its global effects have hardly been recognized other than in glib dismissals like “China’s growing old faster than it’s getting rich.” And myths about the transformation persist.


In June, the 2015 Age Boom Academy “Global Aging: Danger Ahead?” will unite leading international researchers, policy experts and journalists to deepen participants’ reporting and help get beyond clichés to the stories that matter.


Given that demographic change has gone global, analysis of economic and health implications need to be taken to the next level. Our Age Boom panelists will do that by disrupting myths: Cities are for young people?  Families take care of their elders?  Challenges of aging societies are limited to developing countries?  We are convening international experts to help journalists get beyond these myths in their reporting by sharing scientific data in sessions about chronic disease, urbanization, social structures and demographic forecasting.


Competitive fellowships have been awarded to global, national and local journalists, editors and producers in all media (Print, On Air, Online), across a wide range of beats ranging from politics to health care.


The Age Boom Academy is a joint program of the Columbia Aging Center and the Columbia Journalism School. Begun in 2000, the Age Boom Academy is a forum in which to educate journalists about the complex health, social, and economic issues facing our aging population. Nearly 200 journalists have participated in one or more of the annual Age Boom Academies since its inception.


Speakers include:

Isabella Aboderin, African Population and Health Research Center

David Andelman, World Policy Journal

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Deputy Mayor, Health & Human Services, New York City

John Beard, World Health Organization

Maurizio Bussolo, The World Bank

Joel Cohen, Rockefeller University & Columbia University

Lawrence Cohen, University of California, Berkeley

Moïse Desvarieux, Mailman School of Public Health

Ruth Finkelstein, Columbia Aging Center, Mailman School of Public Health

Helen R. Hamlin, International Federation on Ageing

Louise Plouffe, International Longevity Center-Brazil

Gail Reed, MEDICC Review

Jack Rosenthal, President Emeritus, The New York Times Company Foundation

Bruce Shapiro, Columbia School of Journalism

Calvin Sims, International House, formerly of The New York Times

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan, Columbia Aging Center, Mailman School of Public Health

Vegard Skirbekk, Columbia Aging Center, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Paula Span, Columbia Journalism School, The New York Times

Thomas Spoorenberg, United Nations

Ursula M. Staudinger, Columbia Aging Center, Mailman School of Public Health


For information, email our Senior Science and Strategy Officer, Caitlin Hawke: