After disrupting the hospitality industry twice, first as the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second-largest operator of boutique hotels in the U.S., and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, leading a worldwide revolution in travel, Chip Conley co-founded MEA (Modern Elder Academy) in January 2018.
Inspired by his experience of intergenerational mentoring as a ‘modern elder’ at Airbnb, where his guidance was instrumental to the company’s extraordinary transformation from a fast-growing start-up to the world’s most valuable hospitality brand, MEA is the world's first ‘midlife wisdom school.’ A New York Times bestselling author, Conley's 7th book “Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age” is about rebranding midlife to help people understand the upside of this often-misunderstood life stage.
Successful hospitality entrepreneur and bestselling author Chip Conley is on a mission to reframe our relationship with aging. As the founder of MEA, the world's first midlife wisdom school with regenerative communities, Conley is disrupting both the idea of higher education and senior living. He has both a BA and MBA from Stanford University and an Honorary PhD in Psychology from Saybrook University. He’s been a TED speaker at the prestigious annual conference multiple times.
Chip Conley had an epiphany while being the "modern elder" to the Airbnb's founders in their early days: the world needs midlife wisdom schools to help people reimagine and repurpose their lives in their 40s, 50s and 60s. And, hence, the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) opened in Baja (Mexico) and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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February 8, 2024
I was miserable in my 30s. Then I turned 50, and I’ve never been happier—here’s the No. 1 reason why
What if the secret to being happier was purely just to get older?
It’s common to wrestle with feelings of unmet expectations, missed opportunities, and paths not taken when you reach the midpoint of your career. But experts say that arriving at middle-age is also a profound opportunity for growth and self-reflection.
Midlife has a bad reputation, often paired with the word “crisis” or seen as the “over the hill” phase of our journey. As the founder of the Modern Elder Academy (the worlds’ first midlife wisdom school), Chip Conley is changing this negative narrative to one that reclaims our middle years as a time of incredible regenerative possibilities. In this podcast, Tami Simon sits down with Chip to talk about his new book, Learning to Love Midlife, and how those of us amidst this phase can activate our capacities for renewal and “let our souls lead the dance.”
Is the best yet to come? This author offers tips to grow after midlife
“Learning to Love Midlife” author Chip Conley joins Hoda & Jenna and opens up about how he realized his “midlife crisis” was really a “midlife chrysalis” — and how anyone can continue to grow and change later in life.
The midlife crisis is both the stuff of legend and the butt of jokes. Scientists say the myth is real - as work and life stress peaks in our 40s and 50s, leading to depression, stress and insomnia. But what if the transformation we experience in midlife is less a crisis - leading inevitably to illness, decrepitude, and death - and more a chrysalis, taking us into the next 30 years or more of healthy, happy living?
Let’s think of midlife as the dawning of a new era, a time when much of what we accumulated dissolves, just before we’re ready to transform, spread our wings, and pollinate our wisdom to the world in our 50s and beyond. Now, that’s an inspiring intention for 2024. You’re not just getting older—you’re getting better. Your best years are not behind you. They’re right now.
Gen Xers, step on up, it’s officially your turn to muddle through your midlife crisis.
You were born between 1965 and 1980, so you’re smack dab in the midst of what are regularly referred to as the most angst-filled years you’ll encounter.
Is that a bad thing? Nope. So says Chip Conley, author of the new book “Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better With Age” and co-founder of MEA, the world’s first midlife wisdom school dedicated to helping midlifers reimagine and repurpose themselves.
Chip Conley thinks “Middlescence” might be the best time of your life. Conley points out that your middle age is something like a second adolescence — and you should feel empowered to celebrate it as such.
Midlife doesn't have to be a scary time, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. In this short yet profound talk, he takes inspiration from the natural world to reframe our 40s, 50s and 60s as a transitional stage that's full of grace and beauty — and urges us all to make aging aspirational.
Chip Conley, the founder and CEO of Modern Elder Academy and the former head of global hospitality and strategy at Airbnb, joins Scott to discuss solutions to the agist workforce, thinking of a mid-life crisis as a chrysalis, and the things to consider as you build your career path.
The editor of Spirituality + Health magazine signed up for an MEA Baja workshop and had the time of his life. He wrote that it was “the most inspiring workshop of my career” and this man has been to a lot of workshops! He enjoyed it so much that he did a cover story and profile of Chip and MEA in the most recent issue of S + H.
California native Chip Conley grew up visiting the towering redwoods and indulging his curiosity about wise and aging things. But as an adult, he begins to feel the weight of middle age and loses the curiosity that once drove him to innovate and explore. "Chip’s story is for me, one of alchemy. Transforming his experience...into one where he is in touch with the miracles of humanity."
What if we reimagined aging not as something to fear—but rather as something aspirational?
Today we reframe aging as a sacred phase of life to be celebrated. An opportunity to share accrued wisdom, channel it into a second act, and leverage it to make your life and relationships more meaningful.
At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley (@chipconley) was looking for a new chapter in life. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He became their head of global hospitality and strategy.
“Beginnings” is Southwest Airlines Magazine’s focus for January. And Chip Conley, one of the execs behind Airbnb’s rise, is on a quest to help people restart their careers—and end the office generation gap as we know it. Step one: Stop thinking in terms of “old people” and “young people.”
In our increasingly accelerated world that reveres the young, many midlife professionals sense that the ground is shifting beneath their feet, leaving them feeling invisible, undervalued and threatened by the digital natives nipping at their heels. But is experience and wisdom on the verge of a comeback?
From “boy wonder” of the boutique hotel world to “modern elder” at Airbnb to movement maker with the Modern Elder Academy, Chip's disruptions — and wisdom gleaned from experience — have been profiled far and wide…