Senior Planet is like any other coworking space. But the difference is that I am pretty much the youngest person around–by decades.
the new business of growing old
When I walked into Senior Planet Exploration Center in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, I notice people at computers tweaking fonts on their Wix websites and others chatting about their latest projects. It’s like any other coworking space: busy, lively, and without an empty table around. But the difference is that at 22 years old, I am pretty much the youngest person around–by decades.
The center is the flagship coworking space and learning center of the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). Dedicated to people 60 or older, it offer members classes like “Start Up!” or “Connecting in the Digital Age” to advance their business skills. It also has workshops on how to use iPads and navigate online banking– and everything is free. As we move forward in a world where people are living longer than ever (globally, the number of people aged 50 and older will rise to 3.2 billion by 2050, a twofold increase since 2015), the idea of relocating to a retirement community near the beach and golfing until the end is now passé. Instead, people continue to work and develop new skills as they age. Institutions such as this coworking space–exclusively photographed here for Fast Company by Celine Grouard–are a crucial part of supporting the rich lives older people have, and will increasingly have.