in conversation with Lisa Napoli
Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
$95 Reception + Book + Reserved Seat
$55 Reserved Section Seat + Book
$45 General Admission Seat + Book
$20 General Admission Section Seat
Experience is making a comeback. Learn how to repurpose your wisdom.
Bestselling author and hospitality entrepreneur Chip Conley is Strategic Advisor at Airbnb. At age 26, he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality and turned it into the second largest boutique hotel brand in the world. After selling his company in 2010, he joined Airbnb, and as head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, helped turn it into the world’s largest hospitality brand. Conley has received hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute and is the author of Peak and the New York Times bestseller Emotional Equations. He holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
“Chip Conley embodies the generosity, insight and spirit of an elder. He understands that it’s not an age, it’s a state of mind, and he shares his wisdom here with all of us. Precisely the sort of long-game thinking we need today.” -Seth Godin, Co-author, Business Rules of Thumb
At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn’t write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son. Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”
In a world that venerates the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the “digital natives” nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback. Because at a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess–like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach – never expire.
Part manifesto and part playbook, Wisdom@Work ignites an urgent conversation about ageism in the workplace, calling on us to treat age as we would other type of diversity. In the process, Conley liberates the term “elder” from the stigma of “elderly,” and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path to growing whole, not old. Whether you’ve been forced to make a mid-career change, are choosing to work past retirement age, or are struggling to keep up with the millennials rising up the ranks, Wisdom@Work will help you write your next chapter.
Lisa Napoli is the creator and host of the podcast, Gracefully: Your field guide to growing old. A career journalist who has worked for the New York Times, MSNBC, and public radio’s Marketplace, she’s also the author of two books, Ray & Joan and Radio Shangri-la.