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Marc Freedman, author and Civic Ventures founder, headlines upcoming LearningLife Fest

Freedman3.JPGThe idea of working beyond traditional retirement age is nothing new to most baby boomers.

What is new is the rapid increase of interest in, and adoption of, "encore careers." Encore careers, as defined by Civic Ventures founder and CEO, Marc Freedman, is "work that combines income and personal meaning with social impact." Civic Ventures is a think tank and program incubator whose goal is to help "society achieve the greatest return on experience."

The 2008 Encore Career Survey, conducted by the MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures, found that between 5.3 to 8.4 million boomers had moved from their traditional career to this new stage of work.

On Saturday, May 16, LearningLife will present the Encore Fest--a day designed to help attendees define their second act, whether that's paid work, volunteer work, or a combination of both.

Setting the stage for the day will be internationally renowned sociologist Phyllis Moen, co-author of The Career Mystique: Cracks in the American Dream with Patricia Roehling. She will talk about how we might live and work in the second half of our lives, especially in light of current economic challenges.

Marc Freedman will be the keynote speaker. Freedman is the author of several acclaimed books on the baby boomer generation, including Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life and Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America.

"Marc Freedman is a pioneering thought leader of the longevity revolution , and we are honored that he will be joining us for the LearningLife Fest," says Andrea Gilats, LearningLife director. "But not only is he an important thinker, he is a person of action. He offers policy recommendations, practical advice and tools, and he's developed some of the first encore career programs, including Experience Corps."

Also at the Fest, a panel of local "action figures"--people who have found greater meaning in their lives through innovative approaches to volunteer work and encore careers--will discuss their unique paths to greater engagement and meaning. The panel will be headed by former St. Paul mayor Jim Scheibel, who also served as vice president of the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he directed both VISTA and Senior Corps.

Audiences will be able to engage in a moderated Q&A with Moen, Freedman, and the panel speakers. The cost is $75, which includes lunch and materials. The event will be held at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul campus. More information and registration is available on the Fest Web site.

As the May 16 date approaches, look for more details and interviews with members of the Encore Fest cast in this newsletter.

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