A group of international experts, including economists, policy makers, social scientists, researchers and representatives of private sector, professional and other associations, convened at Harris Manchester College, in Oxford, on 26 June 2014, to discuss the opportunities of the silver economy as a response to population ageing. The consultation was organised jointly by the OECD and the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA).
From the day-long conversation, the group outlined five key insights:
- Policy reforms are necessary to address 21st century demographic change, but their success rest in large part on correcting long-held prejudices about ageing and addressing inequalities in healthy life expectancy.
- Technology solutions empower the ageing by helping build new markets, delivering new products and services, supporting new work practices and creating connected communities that respond to their needs.
- Innovative new models of finance are needed to drive the silver market. Incentivising private investment can drive innovation and market growth in coordination with philanthropy and public funding.
- New, flexible models for careers and pensions can encourage people to work longer and plan better for the future. If coupled with life-long reskilling and adoption of smart work practices, these labour force changes can lead to greater productivity in the work place, increased jobs and economic growth.
- Social entrepreneurship is an important component to achieve the silver economy, and public policy should build enabling frameworks to help these efforts flourish.
This consultation built on the outcomes of an OECD-APEC Workshop on ‘Anticipating Special Needs of the 21st Century Silver Economy,’ held in Tokyo in September 2012.