Washington University in St. Louis has partnered with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to establish the Next Age Institute, an international collaboration to design, study and test social innovations.
The institute, a program of the university’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy, will address global challenges facing many families and communities, among them aging populations and rising inequality.
“Next Age Institute (NAI) is an opportunity to learn from each other, compare and test promising innovations in retirement security, health, housing, integration in housing and communities, and other important areas of social policy and practice,” said Michael Sherraden, PhD, the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor, director of the university’s Center for Social Development and director of NAI at WUSTL.
Sherraden has been named the inaugural S. R. Nathan Professor at NUS, honoring the recently retired president of the Republic of Singapore.
The faculty at NUS and Washington University will launch NAI conferences and research projects, with a focus on social innovation and social policy in the 21st Century.
Ngee-Choon Chia and Corinne Ghoh, both NAI co-directors on the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS, said the close collaboration between WUSTL and NUS will provide opportunities to build knowledge, compare strategies and inform policy innovations in Asia and the West.
“Through NAI, we hope to foster closer inter-university connections, especially in the Asia region,” Chia said.
The Lee Foundation in Singapore gave a matching gift of $370,000 to NAI this spring, with NUS and WUSTL as collaborators matching the gift.
Sherraden will be joined on the NAI Steering Committee by Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, the Bettie Bofinger Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy and director of the Harvey A. Friedman Center on Aging; and Peggie R. Smith, JD, vice dean for academic affairs and the Charles F. Nagel Professor of Employment and Labor Law at the School of Law.
NAI already has begun planning international meetings. In February 2015, a workshop focusing on “Aging in the Community” is scheduled at NUS. A major conference will follow, looking at larger policies for lifelong security, health care and housing.
On Oct. 19, Sherraden, Chia and Ghoh are scheduled to speak about NAI at the McDonnell Academy’s 5th Annual International Symposium, “The Role of Research Universities in Addressing Global Challenges.”