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Exploring the potential of digital technology in later life for the Nominet trust
This site reports an open exploration in 2012-13, on behalf of the Nominet Trust, into how we can use digital technology later in life, and also some ideas that flowed from that. During the exploration - reported and summarised on a blog - we gathered ideas and resources on an open document and ideas platform, ran a workshop, and wrote a series of blog posts. The output from the main exploration, from October 2012 to March 2013, was a set of themes and provocations, with back-up references. The team was David Wilcox, Drew Mackie, Steve Dale and John Popham - with many contributions from others during the open process. Thanks everyone.
Nominet Trust have now announced details of the new funding opportunities developed from this exploration, with a focus on one of our underlying themes - life transitions
Reports and resources from the exploration
- The report themes and provocations, with linked reference materials: headlines below
Headlines from the report
Below are the headline themes and provocations from the report - more detail here.
- Digital technology will be significant for everyone later in life - and a lot of older people may be excluded from the benefits.
- Developing personal and community use of digital technology can help us feel valued and valuable.
- Changing circumstances and transitions in later life may be times when digital technology is most valuable.
- New and less confident users of digital technology need continuing support.
- Better sharing of knowledge, experience and resources could foster innovation.
- Co-designing with a clear purpose will improve usability and relevance of digital technology later in life.
- Look at personal needs and interests as well as common motivations - one digital size won't fit all.
- Build on past experience with familiar technology as well as offering new devices - they may do the job.
- Consider the new life skills and access people will need as technology changes our world - using technology is ceasing to be optional.
- Turn the challenge of learning about technology into a new social opportunity - and make it fun.
- See digital technology for later in life as a major market - co-designing with users could offer wider relevance.
- Address social isolation and other challenges through a blend of online and offline - they dont need to be different worlds.
- Enable carers and care services - both for direct use of technology and to act as proxies.
- Use digital technologies to enhance existing connections of family and friends - and help each other learn.
- Value the role that older people may have in acting as digital technology champions - and providing long term support.
- Look for ideas among those providing digital training and support - and help them realise them.
Research by Shirley Ayres
Our exploration into digital technology in later life was mainly focused on the individual, and those who could help in using technology. Shirley Ayres developed a complementary report about online innovation and how it can enhance care services - something about which she reports and consults on extensively. Links to Shirley’s research here.
Manifesto for a Better Later Life
David Wilcox, Tony Watts and Bryan Manning developed Ten pillars of wisdom: a manifesto for a better later life based on the initial research, and ideas from a SW Seniors Assembly in Bristol on May 28 2013.