Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Best-selling Author Marc Freedman and TIAA-CREF President and CEO Roger Ferguson Explore the Changing Face of Retirement at Wayne State's FOCIS Conference Sept. 15-16

Aug 29, 2011, 11:38 ET from Wayne State University

National experts shed light on baby boomer employment trends in Michigan

DETROIT, Aug. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wayne State University welcomes three recognized experts to its Detroit campus to examine the changing American work cycle and how a "new normal" is emerging among workers ages 50+ in Detroit and cities across the globe. The 2011 Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society (FOCIS) will host "Retirement in Transition: Work, Relax or Reboot?" on September 15-16 at Wayne State University's Community Arts Auditorium, 450 Reuther Mall, in Detroit.  

The program features a variety of speakers and panelists including Robert Reich, author, professor and former U.S. secretary of labor, who will deliver the conference keynote address on September 16; Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF and former vice chair of the Federal Reserve; Marc Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife and founder/CEO of Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank that conducts research and programs related to encore careers and the changing face of retirement; and Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State University.

The free, daylong event also will feature local pundits and policy experts who will discuss how the last recession directly affected the time horizons of American workers, and how increased longevity in the workforce has implications for higher education, non-profits and the business sector.

"For the better part of the past century, American workers have looked at retirement as a final stage in the working life cycle," said Irvin D. Reid, Wayne State University president emeritus, Eugene Applebaum chair in Community Engagement and FOCIS director. "The 'new normal' is to view retirement as the next stage in a journey that culminates in the achievement of personal and professional life goals – starting a business, learning new skills, becoming a mentor and giving back to the community.  The 2011 FOCIS conference reveals how retirement reflects the psychological and economic realities of our time.  Perhaps more importantly, FOCIS creates a platform to engage Detroiters in this important national conversation by bringing the nation's foremost experts on the subject to Wayne State University."

Established in 2007 through a gift from alumnus Eugene Applebaum, the FOCIS speaker series is a Wayne State University initiative that facilitates meaningful exchange with the world's foremost authorities on issues of global import and directly engages the local community in relevant discourse and discussion.

Admission is free but advance registration is required. Seating in the auditorium will be on a first-come basis. Additional seating will be available in other areas of the building via video monitors. Visit for more information and to register, or call (313) 577-5550.

Featured panelists and topic sessions include:

Sept. 15

2 p.m.
Preparing Southeast Michigan for the New Normal in Retirement
Panelists discuss challenges for baby boomers in the workforce while revealing ways in which organizations are working to transform Southeast Michigan's economy by helping older workers navigate career change, discover entrepreneurship and engage in volunteer service. Panelists include Randal Charlton, executive director, TechTown; Peter Lichtenberg, director, Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University; Marick Masters, director, Labor@Wayne; Jacqueline Morrison, director, AARP Michigan; and Tim Wintermute, executive director, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation. Moderated by Susan Tompor, personal finance columnist, Detroit Free Press.

3 p.m.
Experience Matters
President Allan Gilmour gives a personal account of memorable victories, unexpected challenges and valuable lessons learned along his unlikely journey from long-time executive at Ford Motor Company to his current encore career as Wayne State University's 11th president.

4 p.m.
Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife
Keynote Marc Freedman, founder/CEO of Civic Ventures, author of The Big Shift, explores the economic and social impact of an aging workforce, including how experienced workers can provide solutions to challenges in education, the environment and health care. Freedman also offers a road map for baby-boomers who want to make their own big shift.

5 p.m.
Book signing for The Big Shift
Marc Freedman signs copies of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife. Copies will be available for purchase on-site.

Sept. 16

10 a.m.
The New Normal for Retirement Planning and Investment
Roger Ferguson, president and CEO, TIAA-CREF, and former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Bank, gives his perspective on the new normal for retirement planning, while addressing such issues as defined benefit and contribution plans and assessments of retirement preparedness.

11 a.m.
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at the University of California and one of the nation's foremost authorities on work and the global economy, delivers the FOCIS keynote address, a broad yet incisive discussion of how federal and state economic policies and fallout from the Great Recession affect the difficult choices to be made by workers approaching retirement, including Social Security, Medicare, default retirement age and other vital concerns.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

SOURCE Wayne State University