May 14, 2007

Life Extension Scenario Planning Bibliography

Book tower IIYesterday I held a ExtroBritannia scenario planning event with the theme of life extension. As a warm-up I did a quick survey of papers related to scenarios of life extension. Overall, I was surprised by the lack of good scenarios: this ought to be a great area to explore, but likely many researchers shy away from the imagined radicalness of life extension. That will likely change over the next years. Right now most people are making scenarios merely of current demographic trends, not willing to assume any effective life extension.

Life Extension and Demographics

Jim Oeppen and James W. Vaupel, Broken Limits to Life Expectancy, Science 10 May 2002: Vol. 296. no. 5570, pp. 1029- 031

    A classic paper, showing how predictions of the maximum possible life expectancy has consistently failed - and the life expectancy has increased linearly over a long time, despite very different interventions.

Gregory B. Stock, The Pitfalls of Planning for Demographic Change, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1019: 546-551 (2004).

    A warning about the enormous uncertainties introduced by life extension in predictions and planning for demographic change. This paper could on its own be used to generate scenarios, since it clearly states a number of key uncertaintites and driving forces. Makes the very sane observation that we should work on identifying and removing institutional rigidities that are not stable against demographic or longevity change.

Graziella Caselli, Jacques Vallin, Demographic Trends: Beyond the Limits?, Population: An English Selection, Vol. 13, No. 1, Biodemographic Perspectives on Human Longevity (2001), pp. 41-71

    A set of real demographic models of life extension, delayed childbearing and gender selection. Very interesting, only marred by the authors insistence of not taking the subject seriously.

Gillian Tett and Joanna Chung, Death and the salesmen, Financial Times, February 24 2007

    Article about how the insurance industry is trying to meet the uncertainities of mortality. Discusses mortality bonds, and the attempts to set up a longevity bond.

Many would 'want to live to 100', BBC News, Friday, 22 September 2006

    Britons are apparently willing to give up sex (40%), food and drink (39%) and travel (42%) in order to reach 100. But they are motivated by social factors like seeing grandchildren grow up.

Shaw F. Is the ageing population the problem it is made out to be? Foresight - The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy, Volume 4, Number 3, 2002, pp. 4-11(8)

    Contrarian paper that argues that many of the big worries linked to longevity, especially pensions and health-care, are not as serious as claimed. Instead the big issue is low nativity, and the longevity angle is biased due to various ideological agendas.

Turner L., Life Extension Technologies: Economic, Psychological, and Social Considerations, HEC Forum, Volume 15, Number 3, September 2003, pp. 258-273(16)

    Only looks at grounds for concern about life extension, not any positive sides.

Kevin G. Kinsella, Future Longevity: Demographic Concerns and Consequences, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Volume 53 Issue 9s Page S299 - September 2005

    Points out the irregularities in mortality decline and the reasons to consider life extension. Also mentions an UN study that extrapolates world population 300 years with various fertility estimates, yet does not include any different mortality or life extension models!

Donald B. Louria, Extraordinary Longevity: Individual and Societal Issues, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 53 (9s), S317-S319 2005.

    Doom, gloom and bad stuff. Uses a systems model where every output of life extension is negative (bad environment, epidemics, lower quality of life, pension crisis etc). Shows the limit of systems models, in that the model does not take into account that people will actually try to solve the problems they encounter.

Dorothy P. Rice and Norman Fineman, Economic implications of increased longevity in the united states, Annual Review of Public Health. 25, pp. 457-473. 2004

    Lots of data and literature review; this could be regarded as the "no change" scenario of the next 30 years, not assuming any effective life extension.

Bruce C. Vladeck, Economic and Policy Implications of Improving Longevity, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 53 (9s), S304-S307.

    Rather americentric, but with some good points about the drivers of longer work life, how US government expenditures change, the problems with suburbia and the important uncertainities about level of disabilty.

Scenario planning in general

Peter Schwartz, The Art of the Long View, Currency 1991.

Edward Cornish, Futuring: The Exploration of the Future, The World Future Society. 2005

    Very good bibliography.

Bradfield, Ron; Wright, George; Burt, George; Cairns, George; Van Der Heijden, Kees, The origins and evolution of scenario techniques in long range business planning. Futures, October, 37, 1-18, 2005

    History of scenario planning.

Air Force 2025

    A good example of scenario planning.

Ozcan Saritas; Michael Keenan, Broken promises and/or techno dreams? The future of health and social services in Europe, Foresight - The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy, Volume 6, Number 5, 2004, pp. 281-291(11)

    Scenarios of future healthcare.

Justman M.; Bezold C.; Rowley W.R., Genomics and society: four scenarios for 2015, Foresight - The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy, Volume 4, Number 4, 2002, pp. 29-36(8)

    Scenarios of genomics and genetic technology in society. See also this version.

    Contains two good "recipes" for scenario planning that can be used. I employed the post-it note approach yesterday, guided by the driving force selection methods in the military approach. (in Swedish)

    The world future scenarios by the Swedish Transhumanist Association. I'm pretty proud of them :-)
Posted by Anders3 at May 14, 2007 01:08 PM