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Author: Julie Caulier Grice
Published Date: 16 April 2008

The use of collaborative working environments to enable 50+ knowledge workers to return to the labour market.

The demographic situation of the developed economies and existing practices in India has inspired this FP6 EU-funded project. eSangathan has the ambition to find out if the good practices learned in India with respect to the ageing knowledge worker combined with the most advanced usages of collaborative working tools in Europe could result in new and better perspectives for the ageing workforce. eSangathan experiments with two pilots how the active aged workers could benefit from using collaborative tools for remaining longer in the labour market with good working conditions.

One pilot is running in Mahindra & Mahindra, a major Indian corporation, with the support of Tech Mahindra to test how the implementation of a collaborative working environment could facilitate and turn more efficient the work and offer a better Work/Life balance to expert retirees. The state-of-art collaboration solution created by Tech Mahindra consists of both real-time and non-real time collaboration including Wikis, Blogs, Instant Messaging, Application Sharing, Document sharing, workflows for a widely distributed demography of retiree-experts in India.

A second pilot, in the Öresund region, is implemented by Folkuniversitetet in Sweden, in co-operation with the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. It is running a mixed group of aged workers from Denmark and Sweden who do elaborate on areas of interest within nodes of growth. They are applying collaborative working environments and methods for social innovation as working tools in this pilot. The identified themes of interest might lead to further develop projects, activities or businesses.

The consortium benefits from the technological CWE expertise from Netcipia and the scientific experience of AgeProof. The Dutch firm is well-known for its work on the ageing of the population and the related labour market issues.

Distance Expert, a French consulting firm, is proud to co-ordinate such a team working collaboratively with the most advanced technological tools on one of the European key societal issues