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Joseph F. Coughlin - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA, US

Joseph F. Coughlin Joseph F. Coughlin

Director, MIT AgeLab | Massachusetts Institute of Technology


You're not getting older, you're getting better! MIT's AgeLab Director explains how changing demographics will impact business & government



Joseph F. Coughlin Publication



TEDxBoston - Joe Coughlin - Aging as an Extreme Sport MIT AgeLab & Joe Coughlin Profiled on Fox News MIT AgeLab: Joseph Coughlin interviews Jeff Taylor of FutureCast: Joe Coughlin speaks with AARP's Elinor Ginzler Driving Successfully: Joe Coughlin




Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab – the first multi-disciplinary research program created to understand the behavior of the 45+ population; the role of technology; and, the opportunity for innovations to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families.

Dr. Coughlin’s research focuses on how the convergence of baby boomer expectations and technology will shape the future of public policy and drive innovation across global industries — including the financial services, transportation, foods, insurance, health, IT, telecommunications, and retail sectors.

He has published his work in a variety of business, engineering, product design, behavioral science and policy journals. Dr. Coughlin’s insights on the impact of technological and demographic change on business and government are captured in his on-line publication Disruptive Demographics.

He is one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of “12 pioneers inventing the future of retirement and how we will all live, work and play tomorrow.”

Dr. Coughlin is a Behavioral Sciences Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Fellow of Switzerland’s World Demographics & Ageing Forum advising and speaking to businesses, governments and non-profits worldwide. He has served numerous advisory boards including those for British Telecom Health, Daimler, Fidelity Investments, Gallup, Healthways, Nissan, Putnam Investments, Sanofi-Aventis, and Toyota. He was appointed by President Bush to the White House Conference on Aging Advisory Committee.

Dr. Coughlin has worked with governments in Asia and the EU, the World Economic Forum, OECD, and the Council on Foreign Relations on demographic change, technology and strategic advantage. He has been featured on ABC News, BBC, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Dr. Oz, News Asia, Economist, Financial Times, The Straights Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets throughout the world.

Prior to joining MIT Dr. Coughlin was with EG&G, a Fortune 1000 science and technology company, where he led the transportation technical services & logistics consulting practice serving industry and government worldwide.

He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, Brown University and Boston University.

Industry Expertise (7)

Think Tanks Public Policy Research Elder Care Management Consulting Education/Learning Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (10)

Aging Social Innovation Gerontology New Technology Understanding the Impact of Place On Well-Being Technology-Enabled Services to Support Independent Living & Health Health & Wealth Across the Lifespan Engaging the New Online Health Consumer Impact of Aging & Changing Demographics Social Technologies in Healthcare

Accomplishments (4)

Author – Aging America and Transportation: Personal Choices and Public Policy (professional)


This solution-focused volume fills a gap in the literature by addressing the key issues around mobility and transportation for the aging Baby Boomer generation—issues that will be significantly different than those of previous generations of older adults. This volume examines many of the issues faced by policymakers, transportation officials, vehicle manufacturers, health and human services professionals, and aging adults themselves as the largest generation prepares to enter late adulthood.

Recipient – 100 Most Creative People in Business (professional)


In 2009, Dr. Coughlin was named as one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’. The magazine lauds Coughlin's research as being "devoted to using smart technology to bolster older folks' quality of life." The list is an annual celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. They're the ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems.

Recipient – Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging (professional)


In 2008, Dr. Coughlin received the Gerontological Society of America’s Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging for demonstrated excellence in translating research into practical application or policy improving the lives of older people.

Behavioral Sciences Fellow – Gerontological Society of America (professional)

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. GSA’s principal mission is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. Fellowship — the highest class of membership within the society — is an acknowledgment of outstanding and continuing work in the field of gerontology.

Event Appearances (22)


Business of Aging Summit: Workplace Wellness  MaRS Discovery District, Toronto


KEYNOTE SPEECH: Disruptive Demographics, Technology & the New Business of Senior Living

Senior Living 100 Leadership & Strategy Conference  San Diego, California



3rd Annual UCLA Technology & Aging Conference  Los Angeles, California



AOTA 2012 Annual Conference & Expo  Indianapolis, Indiana



TIAA-CREF FORUM 2011  Amelia Island, Florida



Silver Economy Summit  Halifax, Nova Scotia



The Building Blocks Conference: How to make your neighborhood into a village  Boston, Massachusetts



State University College at Oswego Commencement 2012  State University College at Oswego



Focalyst Executive Forum  New York City



The Aging of Massachusetts: Inherent Challenges and Opportunities  Boston, Massachusetts



MIT Healthcare Industries Conference  Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Developing Intelligent In-Vehicle Systems to Monitor, Manage & Motivate the Aging Operator’s Health and Wellbeing

International Conference on Commercial Driver Health and Wellness  Baltimore, Maryland



Home Care Innovation Showcase and 2011 Home Care Star Awards  John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston



ICAA's 8th Annual Strategy Session  Bethesda, Maryland



2011 American Fraternal Alliance Annual Meeting  Denver, Colorado



TEDx Boston  Boston, Massachusetts


Engaging the New Online Health Consumer: How Well-being Services Might Improve the Outcomes of Health Insurance Exchanges

Blue Cross Blue Shield Webinar Series  Webinar


KEYNOTE SPEECH: Leadership in a Time Like This

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Annual Meeting  Washington, D.C.



CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2012  Boston, Massachusetts


The Ageing of America—Consumer Needs, Care Delivery and Evidence Based End of Life Care

8th Annual World Health Care Congress  Washington, D.C.


Understanding the New Older Consumer: Seven Myths of FP for Aging Boomers

25th Annual Connecticut FPA Planners Conference  Plantsville, Connecticut


KEYNOTE SPEECH: Aging Baby Boomers & Future Innovations in Housing

Pacific Coast Building Conference 2011  San Francisco, California


Sample Talks (5)

Setting the stage and making the case for change

In this presentation by Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Director, MIT AgeLab, you will learn about the aging workforce and how companies that implement creative solutions successfully will stay ahead of the pack in attracting, retaining and improving the productivity of key talent.

Disruptive Demographics, Technology & the New Business of Senior Living

Dr. Joseph Coughlin will explore the great expectations of today's consumers combined with new technologies that will disrupt current assumptions and business models. During this highly interactive session, Dr. Coughlin will engage you to understand the decision behaviors of today's adult children and future residents, and envision technology-enabled services that will create new revenue streams serving community-living adults, adult children and residents.

The Great Demographic Shift

The convergence of baby boomer expectations and rapidly evolving technology are driving changes in public policy and business. Learn how current macroeconomic and behavioral trends are impacting the environment and the manner in which employees make financial decisions.

Disruptive Demographics

Sure, we’re all getting older. It’s one of life’s inevitable truths. But what does an older demographic mean to you? To your fraternal society? To our future? In his presentation, Joseph Coughlin will help us to better understand this “older” demographic of members and utilize their untapped potential. Learn how you can embrace this senior market that has the time, energy and willingness to do great things.

Leadership In A Time Like This

Leaders throughout the Aging Network are facing incredible opportunities and unsurpassed challenges as we work to meet the needs of an increasing older population that will explode with the aging Boomers. What is the future of the aging landscape? How do we address the challenges? How can we lead the charge in advocating for the assets of an aging population? Engage in the journey on where we are, what is coming and how to successfully navigate our collective path to shape the future of aging.


  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


*Will consider certain engagements for no fee