As part of its ongoing open consultation, Nominet Trust brought together a group of experts this past week to think about how technology might be used to realise new opportunities - and address the persistent challenges such as social isolation, access to adequate care and pensioner poverty – facing people in later life. We weren’t looking at how adding digital might make existing services more cost-effective or efficient; nor were we seeking specific solutions. Instead we were hoping to define some areas that would benefit from social innovation with technology.
- exploring the potential of digital tech around young people's mental health
Understanding how digital technology can best support young people around issues of mental health is a challenging area of study, and equally so when it becomes the centre of a design process to create new resources and tools – but that’s what the Innovation Labs are aiming to do with support from Comic Relief, Right Here and Nominet Trust.
The Innovation Labs are an attempt to create a process for supporting the co-design of new digital resources to help young people around issues of mental health. Facilitated by Cernis, the series of labs aim to create the conditions for innovation to allow young people, mental health service providers and tech experts to work together to create new ideas for digital technologies in this important area. Lots more details about the labs can be found here and here. It’s the process of innovation that I’m particularly interested in as a subject for this post. more >
There are about 9.7 million people, 16% of the entire UK population, aged 65 and over. This figure is set to rise by 2033 to about 16.4 million people, or 23% of the population. And for those interested in longer term predictions, it is projected that by 2083, one in three people in the UK will be over the age of 60.
These descriptions represent a significant number of people and although it is useful to use terms like 'ageing population' or even 'older people' to represent the shift in the demographic make-up of the UK (and indeed the wider world), it belies an incredibly diverse group. The over-55 population can describe a difference of up to 50 years' life experience between those in early older age and those in late old age; it can describe people in good health and poor health; those who are physically or socially isolated or those living with, or supported by families; those who are digitally connected, and those who are digitally excluded. more >