During the exploration process for Ageing Better Innovation we first developed a set of provocations, and then distilled some challenges to stimulate development of ideas for action.
We were delighted that we could map the provocations onto discussion at a symposium, organised by the South East of England Forum on Ageing, on ‘Transforming not excluding – the impact of information technology and innovation on later life’. Symposium report from SEEFA here.
Our blog post was republished by the Age Action Alliance - which confirmed our confidence in the content.
The challenges and provocations from the exploration are listed below. Discussion at the symposium provided further insights and confirmed that the barriers to innovation lie in organisational culture as well as difficulty in adopting technology.
Here's an initial set of challenges developed from the provocations, and from insights gained in reviewing resources: see below for those.
The purpose of the challenges is to stimulate the development of ideas here
## Additional insights from the symposium
During the exploration we developed a set of provocations, and invited comments. Here's a summary of the result, together with insights from resources we gathered.
3. Everyone needs Internet access … but beyond that, no one size fits all. (Cost is a barrier, and then personalisation is important).
5. Simpler interfaces are needed for computers and mobile devices - not just more functions. (Older people should be involved in design).
9. The energy for change lies with apps, connectors and storytellers. (To which we can add, evolution of trusted technologies such as TVs. Bring the storytellers together).
10. The digital divide is no longer a useful metaphor. Reality is more complex.
### Resources - what we already have and know
Here’s some insights from an initial review of publications, research programmes, funding challenges and online resources. More detail here
* A wide range of research studies have shown the potential for the personal use of technology for a better later life, enhancement of services, and routes to greater digital inclusion. * Innovation funders like Nominet Trust and NESTA have supported development of a wide range of projects, and frameworks to inform further development. * However, it is difficult for practitioners to find and/or translate this innovative work into practice. * General policy reviews to inform development make little reference to digital innovation. Nor does the Big Lottery Fund’s £82 million Ageing Better programme. * While agencies may promote their programmes and research, what’s lacking is good signposting, collaboration between agencies, and conversations to make the most of the assets that we have.