Do you want to live to 100? A conversation with Professor Lynda Gratton

In this Connected Places podcast episode, focused on healthy ageing, Prof. Greg Clark speaks to Prof. Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School (LBS) and best-selling author.

During the episode, they’ll be exploring what we need to do now if we are to live to 100. What do businesses, policy makers and place leaders need to be thinking about healthy ageing now, as we prepare for the age of longevity? Where are the opportunities for innovation in how we imagine and shape the homes, workplaces and communities of the future? Finally, what can the UK learn from health systems and business practices around the world, especially the oldest population on the planet: Japan?

Over the last 20 years, Lynda has written extensively about the interface between people and organisations and her writing has been translated into 15 languages. She directs ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies’ at the London School of Business, considered the world’s leading programme on human resources. Her work covers the link between business and HR strategy, the new ways of working, the rise of complex collaboration and the impact of a changing world on employment and work.

In 2016 she and her co-author, Professor Andrew Scott published “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity” which became a bestseller in Japan. It was followed last year by “The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World”. Lynda is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and has chaired the WEF Council of Leadership. She was also invited by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to serve as the only foreigner on Japan’s “Council for designing the 100-year-life society”.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

Show Notes

Conversation topics/themes:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of living a 100-year life for the individual, and what governments, businesses, and we as individuals need to do to prepare for living longer lives than our forebears.
  • What longevity means in societal terms, both in terms of societal expectations and social policy.
  • What an age-friendly city looks like, how certain cities are more age-friendly than others, and what they look and feel like for older people.
  • The currently technology frontiers that are contributing to the vision of the ‘hundred-year year life’ (robots, materials, bio-med etc.) and what the emerging business models look like.
  • As innovations are helping us live longer lives as individuals (food, medicine, health, habitat, water, environment) what are the innovations that are going to enable whole societies to live and thrive for longer?
  • How Japan might show us a vision of the future in terms of mobility, cities, real estate and tech. Key differences with the UK, and what are the limitations are in any country for people living a 100-year life.
  • What Britain’s local leaders and place-makers can be learning from abroad, including Japan and other countries that are important peers to Britain.

To read Lynda’s recent articles in MIT Sloan Management Review on the future of work post-COVID, which she mentioned in her interview, click here.

To learn more about the Catapult’s Future of Housing programme, and to access case studies, insights and numerous articles, click here. You can also download our report on Homes for Healthy Ageing which we released last year.

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