Introduction

Re-Imagine Aging: Adding Life to Years - PWIAS International Research Roundtable

The issue uniting us for this Roundtable is that the proportion of older adults in the population is growing faster than any other age group. This rapid demographic shift has been classified as one of the world’s most challenging, urgent and ‘wicked problems’ –it calls for immediate change at every level of society. 

There is at least one thing Roundtable participants have in common: a commitment to create positive change for our aging society. As our academic and professional lives often charge ‘full-steam ahead,’ we rarely have the opportunity to come together and reflect on the BIG and pervasive concepts tethered to our work, and to critically consider what these concepts mean for our current and future professional practices.

Our Roundtable will provide you with the time, space and inspiration to delve into the theme, re-imagine aging, and to weave new concepts and understandings into your work. 

Objectives

By bridging disciplines, institutions and sectors, we will:

1. Engage

  • Orient to the various perspectives and practices that shape our work and surface the underpinning assumptions.
  • Reflect on the dominant influences that frame ways of understanding ‘aging.’
  • Showcase the rich diversity of experience of roundtable participants.

2. Deconstruct

  • Critically deconstruct the perspectives, practices and interpretations of aging.
  • Discover interactions between various perspectives.
  • Consider what the perspectives and practices in aging mean for the lived experience.

3. Synthesize

  • Identify areas and actions that compel us moving forward and that allow us to truly re-imagine aging in a more realistic, holistic and celebratory way
  • Reflect on how the learnings impact our work moving forward 

Engaging Program  

The Roundtable sessions will not be a series of lectures and panel presentations. There will be no slide shows (okay, there might be a couple). Instead sessions will be interactive, adaptive and dialogic in nature. Sessions will be constructed around a few powerful, provoking questions; supported by structures that allow for deep, open-ended inquiry; and animated with examples of work and experience that ignite imagination. Participants will combine personal and professional experiences and will challenge assumptions to collectively surface new insights and shared understandings of the issues and opportunities surrounding the theme re-imagine aging.

The development of our Roundtable program exemplifies the co-creation spirit that we want to harness in our sessions. A diverse planning committee along with input from Roundtable participants inform our program. We will address broad issues relevant to the theme, such as: health, mobility, social connectedness, quality of life, dementia, caregiving, built environment, role of local communities, role of national policies, among others.

The Roundtable has strategically invited a small yet diverse group of about 30 participants to allow for meaningful conversations and multiple interactions with one another.

Participant Driven Outcomes

Outcomes from our Roundtable will all be participant driven. Our approach is not prescriptive, to allow space to let learnings and outcomes emerge through the course of our time together. However, we anticipate that we will co-create new ideas, challenge assumptions and build new networks of local and international colleagues.

Contact Name

Sarah Lusina-Furst