Conference description

Dear members of the community:

Over the past several months, FOCIS has led several broad discussions on the dramatic changes in our regional, state and national economies and their consequent impact on the lives on Americans. Alice Rivlin led a conversation on the Michigan economy in April 2010, and Daniel Pink was the headline speaker for a half-day conference on job creation and workforce development in November. The next logical step in our examination of economic issues is to focus more intently on workers’ transitions against the backdrop our nations’ recovery from the global economic downturn and an emerging new normal for retirement and jobs.

FOCIS is pleased to present, Retirement in Transition: Work, Relax or Reboot?, a two-day symposium addressing the changes facing the retiring American worker, the difficult choices to be made by workers approaching retirement, their extended work cycles and the encore careers that many aging workers choose to pursue once their traditional careers have ended. American workers have historically worked toward retirement as the last stage in of the working life cycle. Many Americans now are reconsidering the retirement they anticipated for many years, while others view retirement as a stepping stone to many other things in life’s stages.

The program features a variety of high-profile presenters, including Robert Reich, professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley and former US secretary of labor, who will deliver the keynote FOCIS address. Other speakers include Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIA-CREF and former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Bank; Marc Freedman, CEO of Civic Ventures and noted voice on the changing face of retirement; and Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State University. These and other retirement experts will address the considerable impact that an array of new realities have on perceptions and expectations about retirement and the implications for individuals, corporations, and non-profit organizations such as, hospitals and other health care organizations, colleges and universities as well as others.

FOCIS and its public programs have achieved enormous success in engaging communities in Southeast Michigan. This fall, our goal will be to engage a state-wide audience of human resource professionals, small business executives, students and everyday citizens. However, the success of FOCIS is judged not just by the numbers of participants taking part in various activities, but by the quality of the answers that emerge in response to FOCIS questions and the degree to which we succeed in creating an engaged community dialogue. The upcoming symposium is a great opportunity to stimulate public dialogue about issues that affect our future; exchange ideas with businesses leaders, local governments and research institutions; and promote solutions to our problems for the good of all.

Please join us.


Irvin D. Reid
Director, FOCIS
Eugene Applebaum Chair
in Community Engagement