BASQUE COUNTRY UNIVERSITY SUMMER SCHOOL REPORT
02 July / 2013
In the Frame of the 2013 Basque Country University Summer School, last 17th and 18th of June a member of GISME-UB working on the European Project SIforAGE attended to the meeting called “Social and Cultural key points for an Elder Participation plan for the Basque Autonomous Community”. The objective of attending to this event is triple:
- Having the chance of meeting new stakeholders for the European Project SIforAGE.
- Studying and learning about the functioning of Helduak Adi (www.helduakadi.org), an initiative that shares – in a local level – many objectives and dynamics with SIforAGE. In fact, the dissemination and mutual learning work actually developed in the Basque Autonomous Community is a source of practical knowledge considered as perfectly useful for SIforAGE.
- On behalf of SIforAGE, letting the assistants to the meeting know about it and spread the word. Moreover, due to individuals and institutions attending to the meeting which are actually working with senior citizens, the member of GISME-UB could gather up their reactions as a way to improve the dissemination strategy of the project.
The meeting took place in the Miramar Palace of San Sebastian, and was organized by Elisabet Arrieta Aranguren, member of the Philosophy and Educational Science Faculty of the Basque Country University. The participants in the meeting came also from both academic and social activism spheres. This made the meeting fruitful not only from a mere theoretical perspective, but also from a practical point of view. Furthermore, there were several interventions describing the experiences, goals and challenges of professionals working on a daily basis in order to improve the social, economical and health situation of the elder in their own local environments. The representatives of the academia argued about a more general theoretical diagnosis with regard to the topic of ageing. As a result, the meeting settled a perfect ground to share ideas and develop positive synergies that allowed not only to gai accuracy in the theoretical statements – as well as leaving aside the ideal theory claims for a while – but also to introduce new indicators, perspectives and solutions for those focused on working in the field.
Two main participants contributed to a fruitful dialogue:
Three main speakers coming from the academia took part in the meetings: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona with Chair Professors Joan Subirats i Humet (Political Science) and Miren Etxezarreta Zubizarreta (Economics) and SHS Member Joseba Zalakain Hernández. They offered a complete overview on the topic, presenting the most relevant elements of a political, economical and social diagnosis. From the analysis of the factors described, they also inferred the main challenges in which the academia should focus in order to provide the theoretical grounds and tools for a proper research on the senior citizens’ topic.
Social Activism Sphere
Representatives of the most relevant Active and Healthy Ageing Associations from the Basque Autonomous Community participated in the conference, either as speakers or as audience. They focused mainly on presenting the state of the art with regard to the reality of the elderly in the Basque Autonomous Community, a picture of their short (daily based) and long term activities as well as an overview of the challenges they are facing.
To conclude, SifroAGE extracted four main conclusions:
- The research on the elderly has to assume the communitarian dimension of the public, overcoming the idea that the common is just about the productive system and its factors. Ignoring this conception is one of the reasons why those categories are wrongly applied to senior citizens i.e., unable, useless or burden.
- Regarding the particular issue of the pensions, the academia should conceive that not only they have to be economically sustainable, but also socially sustainable. A pension system that is economically sustainable but leads aside senior citizens to the margins of society could not be considered as a sustainable model.
- About the so called technological gap, there is a shared perception in European societies that considers the elderly as intrinsically incapable of dealing with new technological tools, i.e., internet. However, the field work has demonstrated that in practice these impediments are not actually real. There are obviously physical barriers as a consequence of cognitive deterioration, but once the technologies are adapted to overcome these obstacles, new technologies can be perfectly used in order to implement an Active and Healthy Ageing.
- The SIforAGE representative asked the Elder Associations what are the contributions that, according to their practical view of the topic, the European Union should have regarding the ageing topic. Among all the answers, three main goals were underlined:
- To invigorate the ageing issue in the public sphere.
- To provide political and social agents with the legal and economical framework needed to achieve the shared goal: granting an Active and Healthy Ageing.
- To cover the deficiencies that local political and social efforts are suffering.
SIFORAGE presented at the JETSAN 29/05/2013 - Workshop on e-health in Fontainebleau, France
11 June / 2013
Vincent Steinmetz, CEO of CARINNA (Champagne-Ardenne Research and Innovation Agency, France) presented the SIforAGE project during the session dedicated to “Living Labs, a new paradigm for conception and evaluation”. A specific focus was made on the Technology Experience Café to be organized on October 15th and 16th 2013 in Troyes, France.
The call for interest for technology providers to be selected for the TEC was launched during the presentation. Discussion during the session raised the issues regarding intellectual property and confidentiality to be addressed for adequate management of the TEC. Social issues were also pointed out to foster, during the TEC, an adequate balance between technology evaluation and a trustful and friendly atmosphere. The economical model of such event was also addressed, especially regarding their sustainability. Around 40 people participated to the workshop, including research, industry, cluster and living lab representatives.
More information on the TEC (in French) is available at: www.carinna.fr/Actualités/Technology-Experience-cafe
Call for applications for the award: ‚ÄúSocial Innovation in Ageing ‚Äì The European Award‚Äù
06 June / 2013
‚Ç¨19,000 for social innovations in the field of active and healthy ageing, an initiative of the King Baudouin Foundation, in association with LaCaixa Foundation & Unicredit Foundation.
The King Baudouin Foundation, in association with LaCaixa Foundation & UniCredit Foundation, presents ‚ÄúSocial Innovation in Ageing ‚Äì The European Award.‚Äù The award will recognize individuals, organizations, and partnerships developing and implementing social innovations in the field of active and healthy ageing. Social innovations respond to social problems and needs in a sustainable and socially-accepted way through new or improved solutions.
Award-winners will receive ‚Ç¨10,000 (1st place), ‚Ç¨5,000 (2nd place), and ‚Ç¨3,000 (3rd place), sponsored by the King Baudouin Foundation, in association with LaCaixa Foundation & Unicredit Foundation. The prizes are to be used by the social entrepreneurs to further develop, difuse, and implement their solutions.
The deadline for applications for the award is 15th July, 2013.
Please address any questions you may have to Alexander Kesselring, Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI).¬†firstname.lastname@example.org.