Ageing Innovation Lab @ SES, Hong Kong, China

Introduced by Make A Difference (MaD), Yanki was invited to design and moderate a four-hour interactive session for the Social Enterprises Summit in Hong Kong, (SES) 2012. The overarching aim was to bring cross-sector and cross-generational synergies for “smart ageing”.

By 2050, 2 billion people in the world will be over 60, making up 22% of the population. Supporting this demographic structure with our economic, welfare and social systems is obviously a big challenge – a bigger, or smarter, challenge is whether we can respond to ageing differently and turn its difficulties into opportunities.

Bringing together practitioners in social innovation, the smartly aged and creative youths, MaD @ SES was a platform for co-designing ageing innovation for our future selves. The session was kicked off by participants identifying their ‘aged selves’ and experiencing physical impacts of various aspects of ageing. Before assuming the co-design methodology inorder to develop socially innovative ideas for themselves and our ageing populations, participants were inspired by an empathic speech by Prof Patricia Moore from the US; Yanki’s mentor on design & ageing.

Forty teams with over four hundred participants were engaged to develop ideas and then collectively vote for the best of these. Four top ideas were chosen and presented to the audience: a panic necklace, a rotating tea-making machine, inflating pants to cushion falls and a self-help bathing machine.

Photos by Meng from Blacksheep Productions and thank you for the participants and their aged selves.