Founder, Modern Elder Academy
The iconic boutique hotelier who helped Airbnb’s founders turn their fast-growing tech start-up into a global hospitality brand, Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author whose manifesto on ageism, Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, is inspired by his experience of being both a mentor and an intern in his 50s.
After selling the company he started as a rebel entrepreneur at age 26, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Chip wasn’t sure what was next. He could have retired at age 52. But the young founders of Airbnb came calling. He served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years — while also being CEO Brian Chesky’s mentor — and continues today as a Strategic Advisor to the company’s leadership.
While writing Wisdom@Work, Chip was inspired to build the world’s first “midlife wisdom school,” the Modern Elder Academy, with a 3-acre oceanfront campus in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Chip is an active mentor to six young CEO founders in the hospitality/tech world, and serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project, Encore. org and the advisory board for the Stanford Center for Longevity. He believes curiosity is the elixir of life and has taken up learning Spanish and surfing at age 58.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Wisdom at Work
Baby boomer and hospitality veteran Chip Conley who became both millennial mentor and high-tech intern at Airbnb, believes the future lies in the exchange of wisdom between generations.
Being the young rebel CEO of his own company, and then the “old guy” at a startup of young digital disruptors, his experience has helped him see that a new kind of elder is emerging in the workplace just at the right time, when power is cascading to the young like never before. Not the elder of the past who was regarded with reverence. No, what is striking about the Modern Elder is their relevance—their ability to use timeless wisdom to address modern-day problems.
His theory in his new book, Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder challenges us to embrace age like any other diversity, and to see the value of intergenerational collaboration, with wisdom flowing from old to young and young to old. Chip has opened the world’s first midlife wisdom school, the Modern Elder Academy, to help people navigate midlife transitions and “grow whole, not old.”