Date: 1-2 September 2015
The OECD-GCOA consultation was hosted by Harris Manchester College in Oxford.
By adding 30 years to the average lifespan, we will see the cohorts of 60+ grow to one billion by 2020, and they are all relatively new to digital life. Even for those who are not so new, often their integration into the rapidly evolving “digital economy” is more challenging than for younger cohorts. Some experts today say that human responses to the swiftly changing information environment have not adjusted to keep up with the evolving paradigm. 21st century longevity and the integration of technology into all aspects of modern life will only exacerbate the skills gap between digital natives and non-natives. It is thus essential to bridge the divide between the two and more effectively prepare for the expansion and deepening of the digital economy for all ages. This requires a change in our approach to education, work environments and skills development as well as raising trust in the use of information technologies and the Internet.
How should we adapt ourselves and/or the digital economy itself to account for this seminal demographic shift? How much do skills and trust matter in the use of ICTs and the Internet by seniors? How is the digital economy enabling 55+ to work differently and what are the major opportunities and challenges? What other barriers and challenges are preventing ICTs from reaching their full potential with senior populations? What is needed to bring convenience, efficiency and security to new smart technologies for seniors? What can we learn from global businesses who are driving technology adoption across regions, cultures, and knowledge bases? These are key policy questions as governments around the world work to keep their 60+ populations active, healthy and engaged, and the digital economy a source of growth rather than exclusion.
Objectives of the meeting
The “Active Ageing in the Digital Economy” workshop brought together a group of diverse stakeholders from across industry, ageing, technology and public policy to address three main inter-related themes aimed at elevating digital competencies for people of all ages: Education and Intergenerational Partnerships, Trust and Scalability. During the workshop they explored the principal barriers to closing the gap between today’s “ageing populations” and “digital competencies.”
The Consultation was held on 1-2 September, 2015 at The Harris Manchester College (HMC), Oxford University in collaboration with the Global Coalition on Aging and Oxford’s HMC.
The Consultation worked in plenary session- structured around two Roundtables. The group consisted of approximately 20 -30 (max) international expert participants who possess substantial knowledge and experience with respect to the issues to be addressed. The meeting offered ample opportunities for peer level exchange and for forging new partnerships.