James Inja 1.01_12_37_03.Image fixe002.jpg



How California adapts to aging


“The generation that is aging is one of the largest generation ever, at least in the United States and in most of the developed world, the boomers. As those people are pushed out of the market place, the next generation is much smaller. There is not enough people to fill the jobs in most of the developed world. The dynamic is going to shift because our populations are not growing as fast anymore. There will be more elders than youngsters. And if you’re not leveraging those elders, who’s doing the work? 

Gretchen Addi is a designer and a consultant working on aging and longevity matters, she was one of the VP of IDEO, the famous design agency, helping organizations to adapt to aging. When we met in San Francisco, she talked to us about the opportunities linked to the demographic transition and how to inspire change toward a senior-friendly society.

Adaptation of the society to aging: how would you describe the current situation?

With aging we see somewhat the same thing happening than with sustainability. 

Obviously now, sustainability, green building and all of these issues are a priority but at the beginning everyone said “interesting but more a nice-to-have than a must-have”.

In the aging space, we’re still trying to figure out where the market is and many companies don’t see it as a priority yet. We’re in the early stages, I don’t think we’ve reached the tipping point yet in terms of making the kind of changes that really are necessary for a population shift in demand.

Adaptation to aging is a large-scale requirement, because a larger proportion of our population will be over the age of 60. And that’s not just a trend, that’s going to be the way forward, because we’re giving people the opportunity to live longer. This really requires more massive change in our social system and in all aspects of our life, because age touches everything, whether in education or in retail or in the government…

Big change is hard but we have to think differently, and accept what the data and the numbers very clearly have said for a long time. Demographics are very predictable but a lot of those systems or markets still are defined by old models that really don’t apply anymore.

San Francisco’s Golden Bridge // Oldyssey

San Francisco’s Golden Bridge // Oldyssey

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