Cover art for podcast The Big Middle

The Big Middle

43 EpisodesProduced by Susan FloryWebsite

Journalist Susan Flory's podcast exploring the big issues of longer, healthy midlife, rethinking ageing in a world obsessed with youth.Stereotypes are smashed, mindsets are moved in interviews with the world’s biggest thinkers on all aspects of the longevity revolution.<< Longevity Work Age… read more


Lord Geoffrey Filkin

It may have escaped your notice in this age of information overload but there’s a social revolution happening across the West. The fortunate among us are living in vibrant good health for longer - an extra ten years on average - but society’s got a lopsided, contradictory approach to this reality. Structural inequalities abound. Ageism is endemic.

Geoffrey Filkin, chair and founder of the UK’s Centre for Ageing Better foundation, joins Susan Flory to discuss his manifesto for better longer lives, why employers need to quit chucking workers out the door after 50, and the importance of bounding up escalators.

Hear what when:

00.50 Defines “social revolution” of healthy, longer lives:

“This is one of the greatest successes of our civilisation.. .yet most of the pay for more older people...but really big issue is the incredible opportunity of living longer - average 10 years more than their parents.”

03:15 Structural faults across West - 50s and 60s lumped in with elderly, prematurely shut out of job market; how avoid poverty when pension payouts inaccessible or non-existent?

04.25 Social, health and economic benefits of employing +50s; governments need to put more energy into convincing employers to keep midlifers in work

05.32 My unexpected experience of employment age discrimination in my 50s

07.58 More energy required to combat ageism

“Ageism is rampant and not being challenged sufficiently individuals or by some of the public bowlers that should be championing it.”

09.25 Gender disparity - older women pushed out of labour market earlier than men

10.37 Healthy life expectancy variables: genes, social class, lifestyle, poverty, luck

15.36 Foundation goals and efforts to stamp out employment age discrimination

17.14 My “shocking” experience of being made to feel I’d passed arbitrary employment expiry date

18.29 Ridiculousness of midlife advertising algorithms: copper insoles and coffins

18.58 Inverted age pyramid - not enough young people entering labour market yet 50+ cohort cast aside

19.16 Business asleep at switch to looming labour supply shortfall

“There’s a real crisis that most firms in Britain haven’t yet woken up to. They’re going to have very significant labour and skills shortages. What’s the answer to that? Treat your 50+s much more seriously as a great asset of knowledge and experience and commitment and make it possible for them to stay in work longer.”

20.39 Stereotypes smashed by Andy Briggs, UK government’s Champion for Older Workers, CEO Aviva UK

24.03 Four pillars of Centre’s 10-year strategy

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Hosted + produced by Susan Flory with technical help from Adam@Bespoken Podcasting, Cape Town

Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc

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