our Ageing Intelligence ®
To introduce you to Ageing Intelligence ® we asked 10 people
around the world, who agreed with our manifesto of Ageing
Intelligence ® , to share their life experience with us. They and
their stories don’t want to teach anything or represent any
role model. They simply chose to tell who they are to help us
show how much richness there is in each of us regardless of
our age, our background, our trajectory in life.
So we would like you to meet the ambassadors of Ageing
Intelligence ® . Ten stories of real life, from real people, with
diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Ten profiles
of people like each one of us: extraordinary and unique,
whatever the stage of life we are in.
The launch coincides with United Nations’ International
Day of Older Persons, which celebrates healthy ageing,
and an awareness abd appreciation of older people - this
is particularly important through the COVID-19 pandemic
and in light of how it has affected older people. Here we can
recognise their contributions to their own health and roles in
society, so we can strive for an inclusive and fair society.
Specialising in portraiture Christopher produces engaging and insightful
images for both editorial and commercial briefs.
"I always set out to capture the character and personality I meet in the
session. Trying to dismiss any preconceptions I may have about the sitter
allows for a level playing field and gives chance to a more honest and
truthful portrait to flourish. I aim to make images that not only show a
likeness but cut through to the essence of the subject. I want pictures that
the sitter's close friends and family will recognise them in"
After studying an art & design foundation course and photography HND
at Newcastle College Christopher lived in London where he assisted
and was mentored by acclaimed portrait photographer Harry Borden.
In 2007 Christopher was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery
to photograph musicians Maximo Park making him one of the youngest
photographers to be collected by the gallery at the time.
Clients have included The Guardian, Little White Lies Magazine, Stool
Pigeon Magazine, BT Broadband, EMI, Virgin Records, Brewin Dolphin,
NUFC Foundation, Sunderland AFC, Siemens, Square One Law, Sintons
Law, Mincoff's Solicitors, Hotel Du Vin, Hilton, Mill Volvo, Benfield Motors,
Gateshead Thunder Rugby League, Royal Holloway University, National
Portrait Gallery London, Entrepreneurs Forum, Lookers PLC, Newcastle
College, MS Life as well as many independent PR firms and magazines.
Producing this work with NICA has been a wonderful
experience which I shall remember as a moment forever tied to
this time. The opportunity to spend the morning making portraits
in Milan and then Boston in the afternoon was equally as
exciting as it was strange and my experience and knowledge of
photographing people was tested in every session from directing
subject, language barriers to poor internet connections. The
frustrations of wanting to be physically present and relinquishing
much of the control I normally have has been dwarfed by the
positivity of the experience. I’ve been moved by the spirit,
knowledge and generosity of time offered to me by all the
contributors, they have each left a lasting impression on me and
provided some beautiful memories within a dark period of time.
I am privileged to have collaborated with them and the process
has confirmed my belief that a portrait is not simply made in a
camera but on either side of it.
IBM Fellow in MIT-IBM Watson
AI Research Group
John Cohn is an IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group
based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT (’81) and a Ph.D
in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (‘91) where he
was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than
40 technical papers, contributed to four books and has >120 worldwide
patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to
high speed integrated circuit design.
John is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. In
2019, John was awarded the IEEE CAS John Choma Education award
for his efforts at STEM promotion. He is so passionate about promoting
STEM careers that he spent 9 days living and inventing in an abandoned
steel mill as part of Discovery Channel’s technical survival show “The
Colony”. John lives with his family in a restored 19th century schoolhouse
in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and
technology with anyone who will listen.
I've found that the more serious my life and work get, the
more important it for me to make time for Play. I found that
bringing play to my work has helped make me more creative,
more resilient, and has helped me connect better with people
all over the world. My interest in Play has also been a steppingstone
to some of the best jobs I've had it in my four decades of
work. I really love a quote from George Bernard Shaw, he said,
"We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old
because we stop playing".
Founder of College Bound
As the founder of College Bound Dorchester, Mark is the vision behind the
solution of Boston Uncornered. Before becoming CEO in 2007, he was
Vice President for Business Development at Lighthouse Academies, Chief
Operating Officer of B.E.L.L., among other roles in both the public and
Mark spent four years in India as a child and served as a Peace Corps
volunteer in Thailand for three and a half years following his graduation
from the University of Michigan. Mark earned his MBA from Yale University.
He serves on the board of Roxbury Community College.
He and his wife, Mary, are raising two teenage boys in Dorchester,
Massachusetts. Easily obsessed, having run 3 marathons in crocs, you
are likely to find him these days hanging upside down at his rock climbing
As we age we cannot afford to allow what we know to
define what is possible when striving for social justice. We must
learn from our experience and share what knowledge we have
attained, but we must be careful not to get set in our ways or
stuck in our thinking. We must live into our years by continuing
to explore and question and be curious and ensure that we
are not living now dreaming about before. If we have the
courage and humility, we can help yesterday’s truths become
tomorrow’s memories and help usher in a better and more just
VP Programs and Partnerships
International Space Station US
Christine Kretz is the Vice President of Programs and Partnerships for the International
Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory. Christine’s role is to lead a team that
identifies opportunities for leveraging the facilities of the ISS to enable science and
technology research that will benefit life on Earth. Prior to joining the ISS, Christine
worked for IBM, starting in 1998 as a manager in the Research Division where
her responsibilities included IT security for eight labs globally. From the Research
Division, Christine took a corporate position and was named the Global Operations
Manager for IBM Life Sciences, an emerging business area for IBM at that time.
Christine has also held the positions of Healthcare Solutions Executive on the IBM
Global Healthcare Industry team, as well as roles as a Client Executive and Complex
Opportunity Manager in Healthcare / Life Sciences. Most recently, she managed
the Research Division Healthcare and Life Sciences organisation.
Throughout her career Christine has made time for volunteer work and has served
as a paramedic, Girl Scout leader and the manager of the IBM Research Family
Science Saturday program.
Christine holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA in Operations
from Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh where she is a
Director at Large of the Alumni Board and a member of the Business School Alumni
I’ve been lucky to have good mentors and insights from
friends and colleagues as well as being a mentor myself. As
a younger person, I benefited from the experience of those
older than I and always from my own group of friends and
colleagues. As I get older, I benefit from the insights and ideas
of younger people I’m lucky enough to work with and I hope I
add a value to them from my own experiences. These shared
experiences and variety of insights are what has enriched my
life so much.
Founding Director of the
Institute for Ageing and Health
at Newcastle University
Jim was the founding Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health –
Newcastle University’s first research institute – and co-founded VOICE with
Lynne Corner. After a PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry and posts at Imperial
College, and St George’s Hospital Medical School, he returned to Tyneside
as Director of the MRC Neurochemical Pathology Unit and Professor of
Neuroendocrinology at Newcastle University.
Active in the early growth of the Alzheimer’s Society he is an honorary Vice
President of the society. Jim’s involvement with carers and people with
dementia brought home the vital importance of public engagement. He was
the first Chairman of the NE Regional Forum on Ageing - strapline ‘nothing
about us, without us’.
Jim is now Chair of Newcastle University’s Retired Staff Society and actively
involved in VOICE.
‘None of us is as smart as all of us’ – I don’t know who
first said this, but it’s true, and it is the reason why NICA will
surely succeed as it harnesses the knowledge, life experiences
and wisdom of a global older population.
Founder of ERAL55
Ermanno founded ERAL55 in 1976 after working part-time as a shop
assistant in a surveyor’s shop. He is an icon of mens style in Milan and one of
the few forging a different path from the wider fashion industry’s movement
toward streetwear and casual style. Lately, he himself, his store, and his
private label Sartoria Lazzarin have garnered a loyal following across the
world in Japan, where sophisticated, discerning menswear customers are
embracing his “old school” charm and philosophy around dressing.
I have always thought that fashion is a declaration of
our freedom. The freedom to choose whether to conform
to what others tell us or to be who we are. When I opened
the windows of my store in the heart of Milan, Italy in 1976,
I always did everything so that the fashion I designed and
displayed did not resemble anyone, let alone a model that
repeated itself with the fashion seasons. I did everything so
that those who passed in front of my windows would not look
at them without passion, without love or hate, and that the
reflection of their image in the glass would resemble a man
who is not at all ordinary. In fact, extraordinary, just like any of
us, whatever the culture, the origin, the stage of life.
Co-Director of the Office of
Government & Community
Relations at MIT, Boston
Paul Parravano has been part of the MIT community since 1991. His role
in the Office of Government and Community Relations involves guiding and
fostering communication and understanding between the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and all levels of government, major constituency
groups, and MIT’s surrounding community. He serves as a liaison and
resource for people within MIT who may need to work with external parties
and those in the surrounding region who have a similar need to interact with
the Institute. Mr. Parravano works closely with the MIT Washington office,
accompanying MIT’s President on regular visits to Washington, to meet
with leadership from the executive and legislative branches of the federal
government. He also serves as host for campus visits by elected officials and
Aging intelligence provides humanity with the skills,
knowledge, creativity and talent to maximise health,
independence, education, and safety for all. Technology offers
us the tools to accomplish innovative goals for everyone, no
matter their stage in life, or possible level of disability.
President of Diversity, journalist
Francesca Vecchioni is an expert in communication, media languages, hate
speech and human rights. She is an inclusion trainer, with a deep knowledge
on discrimination, diversity management and unconscious bias and President
of Diversity – a non-profit organisation committed to promoting social
inclusion and organisational well-being through research, training, monitoring,
consultancy and advocacy activities. Francesca is also a diversity and inclusion
consultant for some of the main Italian and foreign companies. By combining
Institutions, Universities, Media and the business world, she created the
Diversity Media Awards (DMA), a research project and media event dedicated
to the representation of all areas of diversity in communication, and the
Diversity Brand Summit (DBS), which identifies the brands considered more
inclusive - always with reference to the areas of diversity -, and measures the
economic value generated on the basis of an annual consumer based research
(Diversity Brand Index). In 2018, with Diversity, she created and promoted
the #diversitywins and “Lega del Lieto Fine” campaigns and conceived the
first experiment of unified network transmission of a TruLive streaming event
shared by the main Italian broadcasters.
There was a definite turning point, which led me to found
Diversity and engage as an activist. It was the moment in
which I fully understood the responsibility that everyone has
to their own personal sphere, and how much this sphere can
always grow. I realized it thanks to motherhood. Before the
birth of my daughters, I was convinced that I should constantly
teach them something, but the truth is that I learned a lot. The
great value of growing, and of going through each phase of our
life, is understanding what we still have to learn. It is to unhinge
Marco graduated in Literature at the Catholic University of Milan, and is
currently a film and advertising director, and a university professor where
Marco is in charge of developing creative and cross-media projects.
In 2015 he founded Quelquechose, a cross-media communication and
audio-visual content production studio formed by a team of creative and
communication professionals. He has carried out research in the History of
cinema theories at the Catholic University of Milan and has taught Theory
and technique of film and television direction for over a decade at the ILUM
University of Milan.
Marco was a part of the group “Ipotesi Cinema”, co-ordinated and directed
by Ermanno Olmi. He has also directed commercials and institutional films
for prestigious Italian and international companies and has created video
installations for institutions, museums and companies. Marco has conceived
and co-ordinated the creative development of cross-media communication
projects and apps for institutions, museums and brands.
As a film director he made the short fiction films Assolo, Doom and Cra-cra
obtaining important prizes and awards in important international festivals
(Venice, Clermond Ferrand, Theran, Valencia, Montreal).
I have always preferred Visions to Previsions in the belief
that only visionaries manage to be truly revolutionary. I dream
of a world in which the human being is able to SEE, to really
see what he is looking at. A world that lives the sense of time
and gives meaning to Time, accepting the sense of limit,
finitude. A world that reads crises (ecological, Covid19, etc.)
as an opportunity. A world in which Humanity, Technology and
Ethics go hand in hand. An original, unruly and imaginative
human ecosystem in which Intelligence and Consciousness
Faculty Director of metaLAB at
Harvard & Co-founder of Piaggio
Jeffrey Schnapp is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, a knowledge design
laboratory based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard
University. He is also co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Piaggio Fast Forward, a
Boston-based robotics company dedicated to developing a sustainable mobility ecology
with healthy lifestyles and social connectivity available to all, regardless of age or abilities.
Trained as a cultural historian, his work is informed by an approach that places human
factors at the center of innovation in the design, technology, and mobility fields. His
autobiographical entanglements with the theme of mobility include a long-term scholarly
book project entitled Quickening - An Anthropology of Speed, a fifteen-year stint as a
road racer competing in the American Federation of Motorcyclists championship, and a
current passion for gravel biking on Vermont’s backroads. Going on 66, he belongs to a
generation of active seniors who are trying not just to think about the role of technology
with respect to aging and human resilience, but also to shape that technology in the
service of qualitatively meaningful solutions.
My experience has taught me that, contrary to conventional assumptions,
senior citizens are no less engaged by and enmeshed in the world of technology
than are their children and grandchildren. So-called “digital natives” may have
developed a natural affinity for joysticks, apps, and electronic devices, but
they don’t necessarily possess a deep understanding of the technologies that
they rely upon, nor do they necessarily nurture a critical understanding of their
powers, limitations, and effects. Most have an only limited understanding of
“what is going on under the hood” on their smart devices. I encounter few
twenty-somethings but many people in their fifties, sixties, and seventies at the
helm of leading technology firms, individuals whose life experience powerfully
informs their ability to shape products that contribute to human wellbeing
and environmental sustainability. So ageing intelligence, rather than being
external to tech, seems to me integral and it is thanks to the cross fertilization
between the new and the old that the most meaningful forms of innovation
Women’s Rights Activist
Lorella Zanardo is a women’s rights activist and author of the documentary
“ The body of women “ a denunciation of the banal and humiliating
representation of women on television, in a short time it was seen by millions
of people, translated into six languages with great national and international
response. In her book “The Body of Women” published by Feltrinelli Lorella
deepened the theme of the influence of the media in our lives.
Together with other activists, she conceived the educational path “ New eyes
for the media ”, to train adolescents on the subject of image education as an
instrument of active citizenship. For seven years, she has dedicated herself
to raising the level of awareness on the representation of women in the
Lorella is on the Board of Directors of Winconference , an international
organization of professional women. She is a Speaker appreciated at
international conferences on the theme of female empowerment and
women’s rights, a lecturer in Eastern countries during the transition of the
nineties and trainer and consultant on projects of the European Community.
A Member of the Commission for the drafting of the “Internet Bill of Rights”
of the Italian Parliament, Lorella was one of the first women to hold executive
positions in large organisations in Italy and Paris for years. She has dealt with
Diversity Management, Complex Organisations Management and Female
Leadership, and as an entrepreneur created a consultancy company linked
to sports as a team building practice.
I believe that living means taking sides. My lifelong I
tried to be a real citizen, to take part, to struggle against
indifference. “I care” has always been my motto.Therefore
I never spent a single day in life without engaging in what I
considered the important issues in society.
with many thanks to
© Newcastle University Photography credit: Christopher Owens