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Helen Hirsh Spence

After devoting 35 years to leadership in public/private education, Helen brings her passion for long-life learning to Top Sixty Over Sixty, her social enterprise. Helen speaks at conferences, facilitates retreats, and delivers seminars and workshops that are rooted in research and in practice. She has a proven record in designing state of the art, original programming for varied audiences. Helen is also a strong performer in multicultural environments; fluency in French, German and Spanish helps break down barriers. She is a proud wife, mother, and grandmother who revels in getting older! Visit Helen @ https://www.topsixtyoversixty.com/

Founder/CEO, Top Sixty Over Sixty, Helen Hirsh Spence

Tell us a little something about your business...

Top Sixty Over Sixty is a for-profit social enterprise that provides businesses and individuals with the solutions to thrive in a rapidly ageing world. The longevity revolution is here. We are living on average 30 years longer than our grandparents did. In the US, 10,000 people turn 65 every day; in Canada 25% of the population will be over 65 by 2026. There are now five generations working alongside each other for the first time in history, and yet most diversity, equity and inclusion strategies (DEI) omit age.

To increase productivity, innovation and an improved bottom line, Top Sixty Over Sixty helps companies get ahead of the demographic curve by providing solutions that transform their multigenerational workforce into cohesive, intergenerational teams

When was your lightbulb moment?

Unlike my unconscious expectation, my life didn’t end when I stopped working. In fact, ending my first 30 year career was more like a gift. I could finally explore all avenues of work, creativity, volunteerism, and entrepreneurship. I had time to think outside the proverbial box and reinvent myself as long as I didn’t let my many internalized ageist beliefs get in the way. I didn’t realize that over my 60+ years, I had been brainwashed by all media (TV, radio, advertising, movies, etc.) into believing that ageing was something shameful. I didn’t want to be or look “old” because I had bought into the myths that older adults’ value diminished with age. I limited my own potential.

One day, on hearing talk about the “top 30 under 30”, “40 under 40”, I got angry. Why weren’t older adults being celebrated in the same way? I realized that by creating the Top Sixty Over Sixty, I could bring attention to the numerous contributions of those over age 60. This was the genesis of our social enterprise.

.Up until now, we have been working on ageism awareness, overcoming internalized ageism, thought leadership and speaking engagements. We are currently starting to explore sponsorship to launch a campaign or an event to recognize older adults and use our brand for its initial intent.

What are your three words of advice?

Purpose- I believe that we always need purpose or meaning to live life well. As we get older, having a sense of purpose is often related to legacy and this keeps us productive, connected to others and is protective against cognitive decline.
Creativity is a skill that can be learned at any age and is necessary to deal with today’s world problems.
Gratitude. Being grateful provides a sense of perspective by acknowledging how good we have “it” compared to others. It helps us to focus on the positive.

Three words of advice...

It is never too late to start anew again. Life is not a nice, neat, linear package. Always look for the silver lining in every cloud.

After devoting 35 years to leadership in public/private education, Helen brings her passion for long-life learning to Top Sixty Over Sixty, her social enterprise. Helen speaks at conferences, facilitates retreats, and delivers seminars and workshops that are rooted in research and in practice. She has a proven record in designing state of the art, original programming for varied audiences. Helen is also a strong performer in multicultural environments; fluency in French, German and Spanish helps break down barriers. She is a proud wife, mother, and grandmother who revels in getting older! Visit Helen @ https://www.topsixtyoversixty.com/

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