The report for the Nominet Trust did include recommendations for further action, but we did record some ideas in blog posts.
We have reached the end of our exploration contract with Nominet Trust, subject to reviewing the draft and agreeing any more formal publication. However, I hope there is scope for further development, if we can find collaborators and funders. Heres a few ideas Im discussing on different fronts:
- Develop an online store or market place of useful tech stuff for later in life sites, apps, methods, guides that people and carers can use for wellbeing and amelioration. This would contribute to the wider digital inclusion policies promoted by government, and organisations like GO ON UK, UK Online Centres, and Digital Unite who already have some guides. Maybe theres scope here for sharing with US and other initiatives globally.
- Co-design and learn together. Run a workshop/part of a conference where people invent characters, tell their stories, and then choose from the store things that will be useful. Follow through with a hands-on learning session and develop this as a format that people can run for themselves. Described in this post
- Create a community of practice around digital tech in later life.
What I do feel strongly is that development should focus on whats useful to individuals, and anyone providing support: whether friends, family or care services. Both our team and Shirley Ayres found scores of research reports and initiatives that attract quite high levels of funding but appear to overlap quite substantially. We are now going to see further developments by innovation and funding agencies.
There is a need to curate and make accessible the work they are doing but one of the best ways of ensuring that it is actually useful is to take a human-centred approach as we have suggested above. Currently the ratio of research reports, and funding, to useful guides and support is weighted hugely towards the professionals and not the front line whether on the sofa or in the care home.
There’s a longer post here: Social technology in later life moving from exploration to cooperation