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Dr Edward Kelly - The Third Act

  • Talbot Hotel (Stillorgan Park) Stillorgan Road Dublin, Dublin Ireland (map)

This is for those who are in transition or who are contemplating a transition from their second to third act in life.

In this interactive seminar, Dr Edward Kelly describes how advances in human longevity over the past 100 years have created a whole new third act in our lives, one that is now as potentially different to our second act as our second act was to our first act. Living on average 30 years longer than our great-grandparents, this new gift of time has ‘political, social, economic and personal’ implications that we are only beginning to understand. 

Collectively for instance, we can observe how few structures there are to help us transition to the third act and yet how absolutely necessary it is for society that we do so. This is in sharp contrast to the multitude of structures that accompanied our transition from the first to second act when it seemed like everyone had a stake in our development; our family, peers, society and organisations we worked for. Currently we are left to do this transitionary work alone and without help many people never make the transition.

As part of this seminar, participants can look at what stage they are at in their own transition to the third act.

  • Stage 1 The Wake Up Call – and the realisation that something has changed or is about to change in my life.
  • Stage 2 The Search – to find some new meaning or purpose to this next stage of my life.
  • Stage 3 The Struggle – to let go of my old identity and that which defined me in the second act.
  • Stage 4 The Breakthrough – and the humble emergence of a new self, better adapted to my changed circumstances.
  • Stage 5 The Integration – of the old and new self back into my everyday life and relationships.

The third act is then much more than a new physical stage of life, to be enjoyed by an increasingly large number of people concerned primarily with their own amusement, it is also associated with a psychological stage of development and with becoming a wise and mature adult, capable of addressing the kind interrelated problems facing us all. One might even say we are living longer so that more of this level of consciousness can emerge. Either way transitioning to the third act is both a necessary step in our own personal development as well as a society wide requirement that third actors take up their roles and responsibilities as Elders in society.

Dr. Edward Kelly (56) is an entrepreneur, researcher and facilitator. In the past few years he has led over forty workshops in Intel, Accenture, Google, and others. He is a presenter on the MBA and Innovation programmes at University College Dublin (UCD) and has published articles on adult development in the ILR and JITP. More recently he has facilitated workshops, developed programmes and has run a conference on The Third Act. He is currently writing a book on the archetypal stages and transitions in adult development. Prior to this, he ran a successful telecoms business which he founded in 1995 and before that organized and participated in ‘The Great London to Sydney Taxi Ride’ in 1988, which entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest most expensive taxi ride in history. He holds an ITC, BA, MBA and PhD.