New Report Shines Spotlight on Challenges and Opportunities of the Digital Economy and Maps Pathway for Inclusive Growth Amidst Global Population Ageing

PARIS AND NEW YORK (1 March 2016) – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) released a joint report on the insights gathered during an expert consultation co-organized in partnership with the Harris Manchester College at Oxford University on 1-2 September 2015. The report titled, “Promoting Active Ageing in the Digital Economy: Inclusion, Adaptation and Innovation,” shines a spotlight on the challenges and opportunities that accompany a rapidly evolving digital economy, particularly for ageing societies.

International stakeholders from the private sector, academia, finance, law, and public policy came together around a common goal of building an inclusive digital economy – one that supports extended work life and re-skilling and anticipates the care needs of an increasingly ageing world. Their commitment is based on five key insights about how rapid digital transformation amidst global ageing is impacting innovation, global connectivity, Internet openness, trust, jobs, and skills:

  1. The convergence of population ageing and technological innovation is transforming the future of work, enabling, and demanding policies that foster new and flexible career models and age-friendly work and living environments.
  2. Fostering an inclusive digital economy necessitates public and private incentives for life-long re-skilling and the use and refinement of new learning platforms that democratize access to knowledge and skills.
  3. Robust privacy and security standards will help increase trust in and use of data sharing tools and services that can improve responses to population ageing.
  4. To encourage continued innovation that enables active ageing, companies and governments are forging cross-sector partnerships and exploring payment and reimbursement frameworks that will incentivize innovators to bring scalable digital health and wellness solutions to market and support broad access.
  5. Improved research methodologies and coordination between studies are needed for measuring readiness for and progress towards a silver economy.

As the report captures, the first step toward addressing these challenges and achieving this vision is wide-scale acceptance – among governments, corporations, individuals, and communities – that economic growth in the 21st century and the inclusion of all ages in the digital economy are inextricably linked. A paradigm shift of this magnitude will create the ecosystem where innovation that enables healthy, active ageing across the life course thrives.

These findings will contribute to informing discussions on these issues at the 21-23 June 2016 OECD Ministerial in Mexico City on the “Digital Economy: Innovation, Growth, and Social Prosperity,” and move the OECD digital agenda forward.

Click here for a full copy of the report and here for additional information about the OECD/GCOA convening in September 2016.

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