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Social Innovation to support Age-Friendly European Union. Challenge Social Innovation Vienna, 21 September 2011 Maciej KUCHARCZYK Managing Director, AGE Platform Europe. AGE Platform to voice older people’s needs Ageing as an asset for economic and social development

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Social Innovation to support Age-Friendly European Union

Challenge Social Innovation

Vienna, 21 September 2011


Managing Director, AGE Platform Europe

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AGE Platfrom Europe

  • Umbrella of 165 organizations of and working for older people in 26 MS

  • Represents 30 million members, promotes the interests of 150 million senior citizens (50+)

  • Originally funded (2001) in the move against age discrimination in employment

  • Works through its secretariat, volunteers and expert groups

    Strong focus on Older People's involvement through ‘participatory groups’

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Ageing as an asset for economic and social development

Social Innovation at the heart of the debate over the social transformation of society including the question:

How to make demographic ageing an asset for economic and social developments at national level and in the context of the EU integration?

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Social Innovation on ageing

Local and regional levels are at the forefront of meeting the needs of older people, as they are closer to thier social realities

Need for a holistic approach going beyond employment to encompass active retirement, adequate income, continued social participation, support to independent living, adapting the urban environment to ageing population, etc.

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Promotion of Active Ageing

Active Ageing is one of the key policy challenges of the Europe 2020 and the Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

Large range of domains covered: social protection and inclusion, mental and physical health, participation in community life, employment social infrastructure etc.

Towards the European Year on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generation in 2012

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Towards European Year 2012

AGE Goal: Age-friendly European Union by 2020

How► Create EU Platform for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations involving civil society and all relevant stakeholders in order to:

  • Develop innovative solutions to deliver a fair and sustainable social model

  • Maintain a high level of solidarity in social protection systems and labour markets through support to all generations

  • Promote a more active participation of all ages in society

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Creating an age-friendly environment means

  • Modernise social protection systems to ensure that older people can enjoy a dignified life regardless one’s financial resources

  • Help older people remain active through the promotion of healthy life styles

  • Ensure quality health and long-term care for the most vulnerable dependent older people

    Making labour market and workplace more inclusive for both young and older people

  • Adapting urban environment and transport systems to the needs of ageing population

  • Raising awareness about older people’s contributions to society and their communities

  • Facilitating active participation of all age groups in society

  • Promoting a positive image of older people

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Innovation to promote healthy ageing

Help healthcare system prepare for the projected increase in dementia (innovative home care solutions...)

Support health promotion and disease prevention at all ages (reshaping roles between nurses and GPs, rewarding health professionals when they assure health promoting ...)

Ensure quality for users as care is becoming decentralised to local level (diversification of care providers, enforcing rights of vulnerable and dependent older people...)

Promote better coordination at local level between all actors providing HLTC, social services with those from other sectors (transport, housing, volunteering...)

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Innovation to ensure adequacy in old-age income

Many who retired with an adequate pension then slip gradually into poverty as a result of lack of an adequate pension indexation

The erosion of old-age income accelerates in particularly in very old age when dependency arises, since the goods and services one needs to live a decent life are more expensive i.e. labour intensive

Develop national budget standards, i.e. basket of goods and services, for an adequate old-age income

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Innovation to help older workers remain in employment

Need to approach work in a life-cycle perspective by adapting labour market and working conditions to specific needs of different age cohorts

E.g. ‘Profession Capacity Index’ – joint analysis of individual health, development of professional capacities, knowledge and experience, needs in working environment, notion of social links in work...

Value individual professional path and help remain active for those who whish or need to work beyond pensionable age

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Innovation in EU social policy on healthy ageing

EU Healthy Life Years Indicator

An effective index for monitoring healthy ageing


New European Alzheimer Strategy and joint programming on neurodegenerative diseases

EU Pact on Mental Health and Well-being

One of 5 priorities: Mental health of older people

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Social innovation in policy governance

Civil society organisations promote and use the profile given to human rights approach in shaping policy making at all levels

“More ‘horizontal’ forms of governance”

Frank Moulaert

► Regarding ageing issues:

  • Advocacy, input to policy developments, standard-settings...

  • Monitoring quality of care and responsiveness

  • Developing age inclusive labour market

  • Modernising social protection systems (Carer Leave, Healthy Years Life Indicator...)

  • Promoting intra and intergenerational solidarity

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Role of older people in ageing-related research

User involvement as a core element of research on ageing

  • How can researchers and public authorities support it?

  • How do industries ensure older people’s expectations and needs are taken on board?

  • How do older people express their expectations and needs to researchers and services/product developers?

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AGE involvment in research projects













Ageing Research

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OASIS addresses key activity areas: independent living; socializing; autonomous mobility; flexible work-ability

Revolutionize the interoperability, quality, breadth and usability of services for all daily activities of older people through holistic services to support physical and psychological independence, stimulate social or psychological engagement and foster emotional well being

With the help of technical partners AGE will establish an accessible e-learning platform on the following subjects: nutrition advisory, mobility information support, health monitoring or brain skill training services

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  • Contribute to the development of inclusive urban transport systems with better access for all citizens, by developing indicators and a self assessment tool for measuring accessibility at EU level.

  • AGE is working on the sustainability of the End User Platform (EUP) after the lifetime of the project as a resource for other EU activities and to tap into and engage users with different abilities in R&D projects


  • Accessible Public Transport In Europe

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Produce the future definitive Road Map that will guide European research on ageing and health for the next 10 years.

In the view of integrating user’s perspectives in the production of the Road Map, two workshops (WS) on users’ involvement have been organised by AGE and AGE UK/Help The Aged.

  • User involvement methodology

  • Users’ research priorities

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For more information:

111 Rue Froissart

B - 1040 Brussels

tel. : +

fax : +