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Innovation and opportunity in an ageing society

20 May 2010, Paris, France. 

The challenge

All over the world, it was recognised that in order to deal with the demographic challenges of the future, we needed to innovate better solutions.

The event was organised at a time when many governments were starting to create new funds that supported the incubation, development and spread of more effective models that tackle the challenges associated with an ageing society. Social innovation was also moving from the margins to the mainstream. Therefore, as well as drawing on research on ageing, the event also brought together new research surveying how different methods – of finance, design, commissioning and scaling – that could be used in fields like this.

SIX’s contribution

SIX firstly prepared an overarching scan of the existing innovation models that looked to tackle demographic challenges.

This scan was used to develop an event, held in Paris in the spring of 2010. The event brought together leading social innovation practitioners from different parts of the world, from business, government and the non-profit sector.  Participants included OECD, PwC, Age UK, Cisco and The Young Foundation

The focus was on accelerating innovation to meet the needs of an aging society, particularly in the fields of care, technology, and housing. The event drew together information on projects already underway or in the pipeline, and work on ideas and designs that addressed:

·How to link services, technology and new models of care to extend participation and achieve better health outcomes, better satisfaction at potentially a lower cost?

·How to combine formal and informal care for vulnerable elder people, and how should older people be best involved in designing new models?

·How can we ensure that people providing services to older people (as volunteers, professionals or neighbours) can be trusted?

·Which models of design around housing, residential homes and cities are best suited to the needs of an ageing population?


· Innovating better ways of living in later life: Context, examples and opportunities- Carmel O’Sullivan, Geoff Mulgan and Diogo Vasconcelos 

· Living map of ageing innovators

· Agenda from the event

· Participant bios

· Photos from the event 


60 people, from 20 and 21 May, 2010 in Paris, France. To see a full list of participants, please click here


The Young Foundation, UK, Cisco, Portugal and Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre, Paris.