May 22: NYC’s Aging Population, The Sharing Economy, 92nd Street Y, Rise of the Milkbots

May 21, 2014 4:12 PMvideo

On the next edition of MetroFocus, New York City’s new commissioner of the Department for the Aging, Donna M. Corrado, faces a serious challenge. By 2030, one in every five New Yorkers will be over the age of 65. The number of seniors is projected to increase to more than 1.8 million, making it the fastest-growing age group in New York.

To add to the challenge, a recent census report shows almost 20 percent of elderly New Yorkers live in poverty. Safe, affordable housing and good nutrition are at the top of the commissioner’s list of services to improve. “Aging is on everyone else’s agenda, not just the Department for the Aging,” Corrado says.  

The tech economy is creating the sharing economy. Companies like Airbnb, Uber and other peer-to-peer businesses are changing the way we use goods and services. PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan asks NYU Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan, who studies the effects of digital technologies, what these new shared services mean for traditional businesses and consumers.  Sundararjan says, “They’ve invented a new way of providing something familiar, and this new way doesn’t fit into the old regulatory boxes.”

The 92nd Street Y is famous for its cultural programs, performances and well-known speakers. Now, the 140-year-old organization has a new executive director, Henry Timms. Timms joins MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman to discuss his vision for the future, including his ideas for social media and outreach.

Timms created the social media campaign #GivingTuesday in 2012, as the Deputy Executive Director for Innovation Strategy and Content of the Y. The idea is to encourage philanthropy and giving back after Thanksgiving weekend’s frenzied shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It returns this fall with the popular “unselfies” – a “selfie” taken with the aim of unselfishly giving back. “The tradition of the 92nd Street Y is innovation, it’s about how we think differently about the needs of the next generation,” Timms says.

And The New York Times’ video journalist Mac William Bishop takes us to Schaghticoke, New York to meet the milkbots. These robot milkers feed and milk cows without the help of humans, making the pre-dawn rituals of dairy farmers a thing of the past.

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