HISTORY & CONTEXT 

History

In late 2011, a group of encore leaders from Boston attended a conference in San Francisco. Building on their common interest but recognizing that travel to the west coast was an inefficient way to meet, the group convened Encore Boston Network (EBN) as a way to connect their efforts and to promote the growth of encore opportunities in our region.

EBN was officially launched in 2012. With support from Encore.org and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the network infrastructure was put into place in 2013 and 2014. Membership quickly grew to 50 leaders, organizations, advocates, researchers, policy makers, program operators and others.

Meetings focused on knowledge sharing and developing best practices. An Encore Expo, held at Boston College in 2015, connected 35 organizations offering encore opportunities with a sold-out crowd of more than 200 encore seekers.

In 2016, with support from The Boston Foundation, we launched the Gen2Gen Boston campaign to connect people over 50 with youth-serving organizations. EBN incorporated as a free-standing nonprofit in 2017, and expanded our resources by co-developing 10 Steps for Engaging Adults 50+, a best practices guide for nonprofit leaders.

In 2018, we partnered with United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inspiring Service and Empower Success Corps to create Connect for Good, the most advanced online guide to volunteer opportunities in the country and designed to support the special interests of people over 50.

In 2019, EBN shifted its focus to welcome individual encore seekers as members, recognizing the value of bringing them together into contact with each other but also with organizations and others who need their help. We also launched Encore Circles to connect individuals who share common interests in social causes or community needs.

Context

Longevity & demography

The demographic picture has shifted and that requires all of us to think differently about people over 50 and how we work & contribute. Watch this 4-minute video to learn why.

Encore Boston Network is a regional coalition of organizations and professionals dedicated to engaging the talent of people over 50 in our area. But we are part of an international movement with the same purpose. The Encore Movement was sparked by the thought leadership and innovative programs of Encore.org and its founder, Marc Freedman, a renowned social entrepreneur.

Encore movement

The many organizations that were spawned by or are aligned with the encore movement, including Encore Boston Network, are organized into the Encore Network, a global coalition that connects and strengthens the work of local and regional leaders.

Age-Friendly Communities

Developed by the World Health Organization in 2007, this framework identifies 8 essential features in a checklist that communities can use to assess their strengths and deficiencies and plan for improvements. 

Engaging people over 50 in social purpose work and volunteer opportunities links to 3 of the 8 essential features: 

  • Civic participation and employment

  • Respect and social inclusion

  • Social participation

Age-Friendly Communities can look to Encore Boston Network as a resource for making improvements in these categories. We welcome inquiries and can offer ideas, approaches and connections for expanding civic engagement and work options for people over 50.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Also known as the Global Goals, these are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.  They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us in making positive changes for both people and the planet. These goals provide a social purpose framework for people over 50 who want to make a difference in their communities and in the world beyond.

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