About NAI

The Next Age Institute (NAI) is a partnership between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) to study, design, and test social innovations.

The Meaning of Next Age Institute

The Next Age Institute will focus on human and social issues in a rapidly changing world. The name signals two intertwined themes. The first theme is that humans will live longer, healthier life spans, resulting in a “next age” after childhood and adulthood. This next lifespan age—sometimes called a “third age” and as yet to be fully defined—will present unusual challenges for families and communities in the design of living arrangements, economic support, health care, and social services.

The second theme is that human societies will be different going forward. We have entered a new era defined by globalization and information technology. Human conditions will be no less challenging and complex than in the industrial era. Rising inequality will be accompanied by aging populations in many countries. At the same time, rapid innovation will be a defining feature of this next social age, leading to new ways of thinking about human communities, economic life, and shaping a new social contract—the relationship of citizens and the state.

Vision and Aims

NAI’s vision is a world where people develop their capabilities and engage with the world across the life course, and the where the poorest and oldest are not isolated in hardship. We aim to illuminate issues, create and test innovations, build capacity for voice and action, and inform positive and lasting changes, not only in Singapore and the United States but also in other countries in Asia and around the world. NAI will work cooperatively with other nations and international organizations. The work will be energetic, entrepreneurial, and rigorous. NAI will take a leadership position in defining a new social contract for the 21st Century.

Mission and Values

A mission central to NAI is enhancing economic security and building capabilities for active engagement across the life course, leading to more stable, engaged, and productive lives—beginning in the early years, enhanced throughout education and careers, and stretching deep into older adulthood.

The core values of this initiative are inclusion (bring everyone in), capabilities (develop everyone’s potential), and action (engage for positive contributions).