Ageing Intelligence Ambassadors Exhibition - Digital Edition

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.

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.

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Introducing<br />

our <strong>Ageing</strong> <strong>Intelligence</strong> ®<br />


To introduce you to <strong>Ageing</strong> <strong>Intelligence</strong> ® we asked 10 people<br />

around the world, who agreed with our manifesto of <strong>Ageing</strong><br />

<strong>Intelligence</strong> ® , to share their life experience with us. They and<br />

their stories don’t want to teach anything or represent any<br />

role model. They simply chose to tell who they are to help us<br />

show how much richness there is in each of us regardless of<br />

our age, our background, our trajectory in life.<br />

So we would like you to meet the ambassadors of <strong>Ageing</strong><br />

<strong>Intelligence</strong> ® . Ten stories of real life, from real people, with<br />

diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Ten profiles<br />

of people like each one of us: extraordinary and unique,<br />

whatever the stage of life we are in.<br />

The launch coincides with United Nations’ International<br />

Day of Older Persons, which celebrates healthy ageing,<br />

and an awareness abd appreciation of older people - this<br />

is particularly important through the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

and in light of how it has affected older people. Here we can<br />

recognise their contributions to their own health and roles in<br />

society, so we can strive for an inclusive and fair society.<br />


Christopher Owens<br />

The Photographer<br />

Specialising in portraiture Christopher produces engaging and insightful<br />

images for both editorial and commercial briefs.<br />

"I always set out to capture the character and personality I meet in the<br />

session. Trying to dismiss any preconceptions I may have about the sitter<br />

allows for a level playing field and gives chance to a more honest and<br />

truthful portrait to flourish. I aim to make images that not only show a<br />

likeness but cut through to the essence of the subject. I want pictures that<br />

the sitter's close friends and family will recognise them in"<br />

After studying an art & design foundation course and photography HND<br />

at Newcastle College Christopher lived in London where he assisted<br />

and was mentored by acclaimed portrait photographer Harry Borden.<br />

In 2007 Christopher was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery<br />

to photograph musicians Maximo Park making him one of the youngest<br />

photographers to be collected by the gallery at the time.<br />

Clients have included The Guardian, Little White Lies Magazine, Stool<br />

Pigeon Magazine, BT Broadband, EMI, Virgin Records, Brewin Dolphin,<br />

NUFC Foundation, Sunderland AFC, Siemens, Square One Law, Sintons<br />

Law, Mincoff's Solicitors, Hotel Du Vin, Hilton, Mill Volvo, Benfield Motors,<br />

Gateshead Thunder Rugby League, Royal Holloway University, National<br />

Portrait Gallery London, Entrepreneurs Forum, Lookers PLC, Newcastle<br />

College, MS Life as well as many independent PR firms and magazines.<br />

Producing this work with NICA has been a wonderful<br />

experience which I shall remember as a moment forever tied to<br />

this time. The opportunity to spend the morning making portraits<br />

in Milan and then Boston in the afternoon was equally as<br />

exciting as it was strange and my experience and knowledge of<br />

photographing people was tested in every session from directing<br />

subject, language barriers to poor internet connections. The<br />

frustrations of wanting to be physically present and relinquishing<br />

much of the control I normally have has been dwarfed by the<br />

positivity of the experience. I’ve been moved by the spirit,<br />

knowledge and generosity of time offered to me by all the<br />

contributors, they have each left a lasting impression on me and<br />

provided some beautiful memories within a dark period of time.<br />

I am privileged to have collaborated with them and the process<br />

has confirmed my belief that a portrait is not simply made in a<br />

camera but on either side of it.

John Cohn<br />

IBM Fellow in MIT-IBM Watson<br />

AI Research Group<br />

John Cohn is an IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group<br />

based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT (’81) and a Ph.D<br />

in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (‘91) where he<br />

was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than<br />

40 technical papers, contributed to four books and has >120 worldwide<br />

patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to<br />

high speed integrated circuit design.<br />

John is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. In<br />

2019, John was awarded the IEEE CAS John Choma Education award<br />

for his efforts at STEM promotion. He is so passionate about promoting<br />

STEM careers that he spent 9 days living and inventing in an abandoned<br />

steel mill as part of Discovery Channel’s technical survival show “The<br />

Colony”. John lives with his family in a restored 19th century schoolhouse<br />

in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and<br />

technology with anyone who will listen.<br />

I've found that the more serious my life and work get, the<br />

more important it for me to make time for Play. I found that<br />

bringing play to my work has helped make me more creative,<br />

more resilient, and has helped me connect better with people<br />

all over the world. My interest in Play has also been a steppingstone<br />

to some of the best jobs I've had it in my four decades of<br />

work. I really love a quote from George Bernard Shaw, he said,<br />

"We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old<br />

because we stop playing".

Mark Culliton<br />

Founder of College Bound<br />

Dorchester &<br />

Boston Uncornered<br />

As the founder of College Bound Dorchester, Mark is the vision behind the<br />

solution of Boston Uncornered. Before becoming CEO in 2007, he was<br />

Vice President for Business Development at Lighthouse Academies, Chief<br />

Operating Officer of B.E.L.L., among other roles in both the public and<br />

private sector.<br />

Mark spent four years in India as a child and served as a Peace Corps<br />

volunteer in Thailand for three and a half years following his graduation<br />

from the University of Michigan. Mark earned his MBA from Yale University.<br />

He serves on the board of Roxbury Community College.<br />

He and his wife, Mary, are raising two teenage boys in Dorchester,<br />

Massachusetts. Easily obsessed, having run 3 marathons in crocs, you<br />

are likely to find him these days hanging upside down at his rock climbing<br />

gym.<br />

As we age we cannot afford to allow what we know to<br />

define what is possible when striving for social justice. We must<br />

learn from our experience and share what knowledge we have<br />

attained, but we must be careful not to get set in our ways or<br />

stuck in our thinking. We must live into our years by continuing<br />

to explore and question and be curious and ensure that we<br />

are not living now dreaming about before. If we have the<br />

courage and humility, we can help yesterday’s truths become<br />

tomorrow’s memories and help usher in a better and more just<br />


Christine Kretz<br />

VP Programs and Partnerships<br />

International Space Station US<br />

National Laboratory<br />

Christine Kretz is the Vice President of Programs and Partnerships for the International<br />

Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory. Christine’s role is to lead a team that<br />

identifies opportunities for leveraging the facilities of the ISS to enable science and<br />

technology research that will benefit life on Earth. Prior to joining the ISS, Christine<br />

worked for IBM, starting in 1998 as a manager in the Research Division where<br />

her responsibilities included IT security for eight labs globally. From the Research<br />

Division, Christine took a corporate position and was named the Global Operations<br />

Manager for IBM Life Sciences, an emerging business area for IBM at that time.<br />

Christine has also held the positions of Healthcare Solutions Executive on the IBM<br />

Global Healthcare Industry team, as well as roles as a Client Executive and Complex<br />

Opportunity Manager in Healthcare / Life Sciences. Most recently, she managed<br />

the Research Division Healthcare and Life Sciences organisation.<br />

Throughout her career Christine has made time for volunteer work and has served<br />

as a paramedic, Girl Scout leader and the manager of the IBM Research Family<br />

Science Saturday program.<br />

Christine holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA in Operations<br />

from Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh where she is a<br />

Director at Large of the Alumni Board and a member of the Business School Alumni<br />

Board.<br />

I’ve been lucky to have good mentors and insights from<br />

friends and colleagues as well as being a mentor myself. As<br />

a younger person, I benefited from the experience of those<br />

older than I and always from my own group of friends and<br />

colleagues. As I get older, I benefit from the insights and ideas<br />

of younger people I’m lucky enough to work with and I hope I<br />

add a value to them from my own experiences. These shared<br />

experiences and variety of insights are what has enriched my<br />

life so much.

Jim Edwardson<br />

Founding Director of the<br />

Institute for <strong>Ageing</strong> and Health<br />

at Newcastle University<br />

Jim was the founding Director of the Institute for <strong>Ageing</strong> and Health –<br />

Newcastle University’s first research institute – and co-founded VOICE with<br />

Lynne Corner. After a PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry and posts at Imperial<br />

College, and St George’s Hospital Medical School, he returned to Tyneside<br />

as Director of the MRC Neurochemical Pathology Unit and Professor of<br />

Neuroendocrinology at Newcastle University.<br />

Active in the early growth of the Alzheimer’s Society he is an honorary Vice<br />

President of the society. Jim’s involvement with carers and people with<br />

dementia brought home the vital importance of public engagement. He was<br />

the first Chairman of the NE Regional Forum on <strong>Ageing</strong> - strapline ‘nothing<br />

about us, without us’.<br />

Jim is now Chair of Newcastle University’s Retired Staff Society and actively<br />

involved in VOICE.<br />

‘None of us is as smart as all of us’ – I don’t know who<br />

first said this, but it’s true, and it is the reason why NICA will<br />

surely succeed as it harnesses the knowledge, life experiences<br />

and wisdom of a global older population.

Ermanno Lazzarin<br />

Founder of ERAL55<br />

Ermanno founded ERAL55 in 1976 after working part-time as a shop<br />

assistant in a surveyor’s shop. He is an icon of mens style in Milan and one of<br />

the few forging a different path from the wider fashion industry’s movement<br />

toward streetwear and casual style. Lately, he himself, his store, and his<br />

private label Sartoria Lazzarin have garnered a loyal following across the<br />

world in Japan, where sophisticated, discerning menswear customers are<br />

embracing his “old school” charm and philosophy around dressing.<br />

I have always thought that fashion is a declaration of<br />

our freedom. The freedom to choose whether to conform<br />

to what others tell us or to be who we are. When I opened<br />

the windows of my store in the heart of Milan, Italy in 1976,<br />

I always did everything so that the fashion I designed and<br />

displayed did not resemble anyone, let alone a model that<br />

repeated itself with the fashion seasons. I did everything so<br />

that those who passed in front of my windows would not look<br />

at them without passion, without love or hate, and that the<br />

reflection of their image in the glass would resemble a man<br />

who is not at all ordinary. In fact, extraordinary, just like any of<br />

us, whatever the culture, the origin, the stage of life.

Paul Parravano<br />

Co-Director of the Office of<br />

Government & Community<br />

Relations at MIT, Boston<br />

Paul Parravano has been part of the MIT community since 1991. His role<br />

in the Office of Government and Community Relations involves guiding and<br />

fostering communication and understanding between the Massachusetts<br />

Institute of Technology and all levels of government, major constituency<br />

groups, and MIT’s surrounding community. He serves as a liaison and<br />

resource for people within MIT who may need to work with external parties<br />

and those in the surrounding region who have a similar need to interact with<br />

the Institute. Mr. Parravano works closely with the MIT Washington office,<br />

accompanying MIT’s President on regular visits to Washington, to meet<br />

with leadership from the executive and legislative branches of the federal<br />

government. He also serves as host for campus visits by elected officials and<br />

other dignitaries.<br />

Aging intelligence provides humanity with the skills,<br />

knowledge, creativity and talent to maximise health,<br />

independence, education, and safety for all. Technology offers<br />

us the tools to accomplish innovative goals for everyone, no<br />

matter their stage in life, or possible level of disability.

Francesca Vecchioni<br />

President of Diversity, journalist<br />

& consultant<br />

Francesca Vecchioni is an expert in communication, media languages, hate<br />

speech and human rights. She is an inclusion trainer, with a deep knowledge<br />

on discrimination, diversity management and unconscious bias and President<br />

of Diversity – a non-profit organisation committed to promoting social<br />

inclusion and organisational well-being through research, training, monitoring,<br />

consultancy and advocacy activities. Francesca is also a diversity and inclusion<br />

consultant for some of the main Italian and foreign companies. By combining<br />

Institutions, Universities, Media and the business world, she created the<br />

Diversity Media Awards (DMA), a research project and media event dedicated<br />

to the representation of all areas of diversity in communication, and the<br />

Diversity Brand Summit (DBS), which identifies the brands considered more<br />

inclusive - always with reference to the areas of diversity -, and measures the<br />

economic value generated on the basis of an annual consumer based research<br />

(Diversity Brand Index). In 2018, with Diversity, she created and promoted<br />

the #diversitywins and “Lega del Lieto Fine” campaigns and conceived the<br />

first experiment of unified network transmission of a TruLive streaming event<br />

shared by the main Italian broadcasters.<br />

There was a definite turning point, which led me to found<br />

Diversity and engage as an activist. It was the moment in<br />

which I fully understood the responsibility that everyone has<br />

to their own personal sphere, and how much this sphere can<br />

always grow. I realized it thanks to motherhood. Before the<br />

birth of my daughters, I was convinced that I should constantly<br />

teach them something, but the truth is that I learned a lot. The<br />

great value of growing, and of going through each phase of our<br />

life, is understanding what we still have to learn. It is to unhinge<br />


Marco Pozzi<br />

Film Director<br />

Marco graduated in Literature at the Catholic University of Milan, and is<br />

currently a film and advertising director, and a university professor where<br />

Marco is in charge of developing creative and cross-media projects.<br />

In 2015 he founded Quelquechose, a cross-media communication and<br />

audio-visual content production studio formed by a team of creative and<br />

communication professionals. He has carried out research in the History of<br />

cinema theories at the Catholic University of Milan and has taught Theory<br />

and technique of film and television direction for over a decade at the ILUM<br />

University of Milan.<br />

Marco was a part of the group “Ipotesi Cinema”, co-ordinated and directed<br />

by Ermanno Olmi. He has also directed commercials and institutional films<br />

for prestigious Italian and international companies and has created video<br />

installations for institutions, museums and companies. Marco has conceived<br />

and co-ordinated the creative development of cross-media communication<br />

projects and apps for institutions, museums and brands.<br />

As a film director he made the short fiction films Assolo, Doom and Cra-cra<br />

obtaining important prizes and awards in important international festivals<br />

(Venice, Clermond Ferrand, Theran, Valencia, Montreal).<br />

I have always preferred Visions to Previsions in the belief<br />

that only visionaries manage to be truly revolutionary. I dream<br />

of a world in which the human being is able to SEE, to really<br />

see what he is looking at. A world that lives the sense of time<br />

and gives meaning to Time, accepting the sense of limit,<br />

finitude. A world that reads crises (ecological, Covid19, etc.)<br />

as an opportunity. A world in which Humanity, Technology and<br />

Ethics go hand in hand. An original, unruly and imaginative<br />

human ecosystem in which <strong>Intelligence</strong> and Consciousness<br />

walk together.

Jeffrey Schnapp<br />

Faculty Director of metaLAB at<br />

Harvard & Co-founder of Piaggio<br />

Fast Forward<br />

Jeffrey Schnapp is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, a knowledge design<br />

laboratory based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard<br />

University. He is also co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Piaggio Fast Forward, a<br />

Boston-based robotics company dedicated to developing a sustainable mobility ecology<br />

with healthy lifestyles and social connectivity available to all, regardless of age or abilities.<br />

Trained as a cultural historian, his work is informed by an approach that places human<br />

factors at the center of innovation in the design, technology, and mobility fields. His<br />

autobiographical entanglements with the theme of mobility include a long-term scholarly<br />

book project entitled Quickening - An Anthropology of Speed, a fifteen-year stint as a<br />

road racer competing in the American Federation of Motorcyclists championship, and a<br />

current passion for gravel biking on Vermont’s backroads. Going on 66, he belongs to a<br />

generation of active seniors who are trying not just to think about the role of technology<br />

with respect to aging and human resilience, but also to shape that technology in the<br />

service of qualitatively meaningful solutions.<br />

My experience has taught me that, contrary to conventional assumptions,<br />

senior citizens are no less engaged by and enmeshed in the world of technology<br />

than are their children and grandchildren. So-called “digital natives” may have<br />

developed a natural affinity for joysticks, apps, and electronic devices, but<br />

they don’t necessarily possess a deep understanding of the technologies that<br />

they rely upon, nor do they necessarily nurture a critical understanding of their<br />

powers, limitations, and effects. Most have an only limited understanding of<br />

“what is going on under the hood” on their smart devices. I encounter few<br />

twenty-somethings but many people in their fifties, sixties, and seventies at the<br />

helm of leading technology firms, individuals whose life experience powerfully<br />

informs their ability to shape products that contribute to human wellbeing<br />

and environmental sustainability. So ageing intelligence, rather than being<br />

external to tech, seems to me integral and it is thanks to the cross fertilization<br />

between the new and the old that the most meaningful forms of innovation<br />

take shape.

Lorella Zanardo<br />

Women’s Rights Activist<br />

Lorella Zanardo is a women’s rights activist and author of the documentary<br />

“ The body of women “ a denunciation of the banal and humiliating<br />

representation of women on television, in a short time it was seen by millions<br />

of people, translated into six languages with great national and international<br />

response. In her book “The Body of Women” published by Feltrinelli Lorella<br />

deepened the theme of the influence of the media in our lives.<br />

Together with other activists, she conceived the educational path “ New eyes<br />

for the media ”, to train adolescents on the subject of image education as an<br />

instrument of active citizenship. For seven years, she has dedicated herself<br />

to raising the level of awareness on the representation of women in the<br />

media.<br />

Lorella is on the Board of Directors of Winconference , an international<br />

organization of professional women. She is a Speaker appreciated at<br />

international conferences on the theme of female empowerment and<br />

women’s rights, a lecturer in Eastern countries during the transition of the<br />

nineties and trainer and consultant on projects of the European Community.<br />

A Member of the Commission for the drafting of the “Internet Bill of Rights”<br />

of the Italian Parliament, Lorella was one of the first women to hold executive<br />

positions in large organisations in Italy and Paris for years. She has dealt with<br />

Diversity Management, Complex Organisations Management and Female<br />

Leadership, and as an entrepreneur created a consultancy company linked<br />

to sports as a team building practice.<br />

I believe that living means taking sides. My lifelong I<br />

tried to be a real citizen, to take part, to struggle against<br />

indifference. “I care” has always been my motto.Therefore<br />

I never spent a single day in life without engaging in what I<br />

considered the important issues in society.

with many thanks to<br />

John Cohn<br />

Mark Culliton<br />

Jim Edwardson<br />

Christine Kretz<br />

Ermanno Lazzarin<br />

Paul Parravano<br />

Marco Pozzi<br />

Jeffrey Schnapp<br />

Francesca Vecchioni<br />

Lorella Zanardo<br />

and<br />

Christopher Owens<br />

© Newcastle University Photography credit: Christopher Owens

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