This post has been written by Igone Guerra (UPV/EHU) and Alvaro Luna (UPV/EHU) in the framework of the Social Innovation Community project.

The challenges and social problems generated by demographic change are one of the hot emerging topics in Europe today. Active ageing of the population, the delay in the retirement age, and the importance of lifelong learning linked to the decline in the workforce, have raised growing concerns on the socio-economic future in the European Union.

The European Strategy H2020 for a smart, inclusive and sustainable growth emphasizes, in this regard, the need of promoting active ageing policies.

Regarding the Basque Country, active ageing is addressed in the “Basque Strategy on the ageing active 2015-2020”. This strategic document reflects the need to tackle the “adaptation of the population to ageing through a new model of Governance, the implementation of preventive actions to boost a healthier ageing and the construction of a Wellbeing Society”.

The Ideas Generation Workshop

The workshop was held in San Sebastian on March 1st 2017 with the participation of a diversity of actors and regional organizations linked to active ageing.

The main theme of the session revolved around how Social Innovation can contribute towards leading more active and healthy lives through the development of new active ageing policies?

The workshop started with a presentation of the Ageing Policy in the Basque Country by Mayte Sancho (Matia Foundation) who offered some key inputs for the participatory session.

Conceptual and normative framework of the Basque Country Strategy








After this presentation participants were divided into three round-tables to discuss and work on three main dimensions of active ageing: Awareness, Empowerment, Well-being and Health care.

Crowdsourcing policy priorities and insights

 Change in the cultural perception of ageing. Increasing awareness on the value of ageing by working in/with different areas (Media, Education, Health…) and avoid using a non- derogatory language. Boosting a new culture of participation (intergenerational spaces). Boosting social innovation strategies in a crises context. Creation of participatory actions where the value of experience is recognized as important. The design of new leisure programs and social participatory activities where people can share their ideas and experiences by contributing to the improvement of social policies, new social innovative ideas, programs, etc.

Empowering people with the right information and knowledge to make decisions in their daily lives when getting close to retirement. Major accessibility to information and knowledge to offer opportunities to co-design and co-participate in the process of idea generation and policy development.

Community integration. New programs and policy actions should guide social innovators, policymakers and social entrepreneurs to create new contexts for social integration of the elder in their communities and in the decision-making process.

Impact measurement of the socioeconomic value of the elder. Creation of mechanisms and indicators that can help us measure the socioeconomic contribution of the elder once they retire.

Social Networks to anticipate loneliness promoting the development of new spaces to socialize and boost a system of social alert for lonely people (community care)

New Institutional models. Promoting an integrative Health model through a new culture that moves from a “passive patient” to a more “active and responsible patient”.

New models of governance. Improving the role of intermediary organizations and a greater participation in the design of programs for supporting the elder. Co-participation of the Elder in policy decision-making processes in different sectors.

New contexts for ageing. Residential housing programs that attend adequately the needs of elder populations: new models of housing that adapt to their needs, and personalized real estate services.


If you want to know more about this event, please contact:

Álvaro Luna.

Igone Guerra.

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