Today’s seniors have greater expectations than logging on to Facebook or learning how to set up an email account. Just look to Senior Planet — the wildly successful non-profit tech-themed community center, founded by Tom Kamber. Senior Planet is an example of the growing interest in how technology can benefit seniors’ interests, as well as how it can help with new pursuits in business and education. For the past 15 years, Kamber has building curriculums that focus on helping seniors orient with new technologies and leverage platforms to work towards their developing interests.
Here is how four Senior Planet attendees apply technology to their creative pursuits mixed:
- Calvin Ramsey, Insurance Salesman turned Playwright – Ramsey uses Senior Planet’s scalable learning classes and technical support to advance his playwriting by emailing scripts to director and actors, building a website, Skyping with classrooms, and marketing to lists of contacts.
- Madelyn Rich, Maker, and Entrepreneur – Rich is a fiber artist and entrepreneur who creates gloves, and leveraged classes at Senior Planet to get her wares on Etsy and co-launch the Senior Planet Holiday Bazaar.
- Rachel Roth, Maker, and Entrepreneur – Roth is a skilled candy maker that founded Opera Nuts and co-founded the Senior Planet Holiday Bazaar. She uses online marketplace platforms, like Etsy, to sell Opera Nuts and communicate with big-box retailers like West Elm, Pottery Barn, and William Sonoma.
- Michael Taylor, Lifelong Learner, and Creative – Taylor gravitated towards educational interests after closing his vintage furniture store in 2009. He turned to Senior Planet to learn more about digital tools while attending the New York School of Interior Design.
Kamber’s curriculum and spaces are expanding to other large markets here in America and overseas. By empowering seniors to connect to accessible technology, Kamber is fighting oppressive ageism. “Your horizon is shorter, your dreams become more critical and urgent,” Kamber said.
All opinions & expressions are solely those of the author and not those of any other individual, institution or business.