Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The AAF Thought Leadership Forum: Doing the After-Math

I enjoyed this AAF forum (see Press page). Everyone who participated enlightened me about something – exactly what Thought Leaders might be expected to do.

We all got together for a drink afterward, with the exception of one panelist who had to catch a plane and both representatives from the AARP. At the time, I didn’t take it as a sign – there was no applicable math that could sum up a show/no-show factor.

But something has emerged since.

Ten emails and phone calls to my fellow panelists from AARP later: zero response. I thought I had some interesting things to say (the Forum is linked here so I’m open to criticism). Maybe there are other factors:

1. I actually added nothing of value to the discussions, so there’s no point in further communication.

2. My Senior Creative People partners (all of whom were Event participants) were equally unimpressive.

3. We’re too Senior (old) to merit notice. The AARP representatives who participated in the Forum with us were barely in their 50s.

I tried to contact these folks to get their reaction to some thoughts I had about the new “Senior” minority and its issues with ageism. OK, I also wanted to offer our services, thinking that since AARP’s mission was to advocate for seniors, they could use some help from our kind. They do need help. Their messaging is bland and unimpressive and not likely to motivate the 60s generation who are already trashing AARP invitations – mostly because they’re “too young” to join.

Whatever the case, a return mail or call from AARP would have been appropriate.

During the Forum I offered one word that could sum it all up: “Respect”. But, by AARP’s calculations, it seems to have come out “Disrespect”.

Maybe I should run the numbers again.

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