"Aging conjures up our deepest fears of decline, dependence, death. Still, surely there are possibilities, resources, opportunities even in aging — opportunities that we could make more of if we acknowledged and embraced them straight on. There are all manner of specific community needs that older people — skilled, experienced, patient, and (let us hope) freed from the need to continue making a wage — are in especially good positions to meet. Sustaining historical memory, for one. What about systematically bringing older people into childcare? Into the schools? Remember the ancient pattern: in most traditional societies, it is the oldest generation that brings up the young, who induct the new generation into the culture. From the most ancient times, the elders were the ones who advised, mediated, fought for what was right. Now we have the Raging Grannies, embracing their age, who clog the recruiters' lines to keep their grandchildren and everyone's grandchildren from going to Iraq. Doris Haddock, 'Granny D,' trekked all the way across the USA on her own at age 90 for campaign finance reform, getting herself arrested at the Capitol when she arrived, the people's emissary.

"From my friend Bolton Anthony, freelance change-catalyst extraordinaire, I have learned to take the next step: to remember that in traditional societies the older generations are also the natural custodians not just of the past but also of the future. Freed from the immediate pressures of survival, reproduction and work, having lived long enough to glimpse the grander flow of time, older people can take a longer view of things. Maybe a little forgetfulness also helps. They are the ones, freed up precisely by the changes that age brings, who can become society's greatest visionaries! Thus the very work this book invites us to — re-imagining the world — might in fact be a prime work of our elders.

"Anthony is already hard at work creating councils of elders who take radical imagination as their project, indeed their responsibility. He's adding a new vision of retirement communities as well — as natural homes for such councils. A Core group of elders would live in such places and regularly host wider groups, of all ages, for facilitated visioning. Elder communities as creative incubators of the future — now there's a vision for us!"