Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the Sloan School’s Advanced Management Program. His research focuses on how demographic change, technology, social trends and consumer behavior drive innovations in business and government. He has authored more than 100 research publications and a book on aging and transportation. Dr. Coughlin is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Slate and the online Disruptive Demographics on BigThink.com. He was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of “12 pioneers inventing the future of retirement…,” and by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.” Dr. Coughlin was appointed by President George W. Bush to the White House Conference on Aging Advisory Committee and has advised non-profits, governments and corporations worldwide. He is writing a forthcoming book with Public Affairs Press examining the convergence old age, business & technology.
Current research questions:
How does online information seeking, use of social media and elements of behavioral finance (framing & anchoring) affect retirement planning and health engagement across the lifespan?
What is the future of advice and are there generational differences in how professional advice is used in financial planning, retail, health, and housing decisions to age-in-place or move?
How might the needs of a multigenerational workforce affect workplace productivity and engagement?
What are the opportunities for innovative design, new products & services, e.g., wellness services, smart home monitoring & maintenance, specialized foods, retail services, communications and financing to support caregiving and healthy aging - and what strategies will be necessary to ensure their adoption?
How will the sharing economy/peer-to-peer economy influence the future of housing, community design and transportation?
Dr. Coughlin has advised numerous governments, the World Economic Forum, OECD, and is a Fellow of Switzerland's World Demographics & Ageing Forum. He has testified before Congress, the National Transportation Safety Board and addressed the National Governors Association. A Behavioral Sciences Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, Dr. Coughlin works extensively with leading companies translating insights in consumer behavior and decision-making into business innovation. He has appeared on national and global newscasts including ABC, BBC, Globo Brasil, CBC, CBS, CNN, Japan's NHK, NBC and NPR.