TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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How will you spend your time and/or make a living between ages 60 and 100?

As improved medicine and machinery continue to expand our lifespans in the developed world, the current model in which we work until age 65 +/- and then "retire" seems sadly outdated. New questions begin to arise, though, when we reflect on how we will each make a living and how we will make a life. I am excited to see what kind of ideas you all come up with.

One particular question related to the model is this: if someone goes back to school to re-tool for a whole new career at, say, 50, will they get hired into career-track positions where they could work for 20 years?


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  • Jul 16 2012: I'm researching aquaponics and geodeisic with the hope to first provide food for my family, then later look to it for marketable organic produce and later possibly open a weekend restaurant with food from the garden/tanks. It's hard for a fifty-something retired secretary to find a place in this work force -- so often, the cost of working is more than the job actually pays. When I look at our largest expense, it is our groceries. So, it seems a sensible place to start.

    I'm also fascinated by Paul Stamets development of mushrooms to save the world. By using a dome garden system and developing worm beds and mushroom beds, the food from the soil that's built should provide the best immune systems for us, and the system provides the best use of irrigation to grow plants -- fish fertilize the water, plants, clean the water, water that is evaporated falls into the soil beds and solid wastes feed the worm bed who break down the extra plants and leaves. Seems like a win/win solution.

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