Social Security DisasterMy Idea: Elderly-Empowered Community A self-sustaining community integrating elderly employment and elderly-specific amenitiesCandidate Name: Alexander, SHEUniversity: The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyCountry: Hong Kong SAR
Not a problem, but a disasterthe social system also collapses. Evaporation of pension fund And future, the government is delaying the retirement ages Source of picture: Financial Times (April 20, 2010) in the article of ‘Financial Doomsday Machine’
Even more worrying…Proportion of population aged 60 or over1 1 in More developed regions 5 • By 2050, the proportion of older persons is expected to be double that of children. • Europe is currently the world’s major area with the highest proportion of older persons – 37% in 2050 1 in Less developed regions 12 • Illiteracy remains high, in particular women. • Compared to developed regions, the ageing process is taking a much shorter period of time, and relatively population bases Source of statistics: United Nations. “World Population Ageing: 1950 to 2050” (2002).
Problems facing most elderly in 2050‘Work’ problems Potential consequences• Fewer job opportunities in the primary job • Reliance on the government subsidies market dominated by adults • Create pension crisis and healthcare system• Mainly menial work in the secondary work collapse (such as washing machines, collecting rubbish) • Indecent twilight stage of life: physical illness,• Low rate of elderly employment low confidence, social adaption problems‘Live’ problems Potential consequences• Elderly population with low education and • Poor urban design: high traffic congestion, with insufficient subsidies insufficient greening• Incomprehensive elderly services • Insufficient elderly care• Social amenities with low accessibility • Create inconvenience to physically impaired elderly
Ageing problem, a global problem Where they ‘live’ is also where they ‘work’. Even here in Hong Kong, • “Presently, more than 15,000 elderly relies on picking paper boxes.”1 • “CNN reported some elderly here lived in ‘cage house’ - for pets, size of a shoebox, a 625 square foot with 18 strangers.” 2 • “During economic turmoil, the elderly unemployment soars and the number of street sleepers increase drastically.” 3Where they come from?(Top left) Europe, (Top right) India(Bottom left) China, (Bottom left) the United States Sources: 1. Mingpao Daily (22nd January 2011). 2. CNN (28th October 2009). 3. St. James Settlement and Christian Concern for the Homeless (2001).
Integrating social concepts into innovation ‘Work’ problems ‘Live’ problemsCreate jobs that Create community that• Fits elderly physical abilities • Low population density• Create additional income • Emphasis on greening• Sustainable, not one-off • Elderly-specific social amenities (e.g. community center, medical facilities) Elderly-empowered community • Business operates in form of social enterprises • Community designed according to elderly needs • Sustainable, hedging against financial turmoil
“Social Enterprises” – Empower the elderly and the community Double Bottom Lines
In the developed countries,• Targeted customers: family • Targeted customers: universities, nearby districts• Actions: create farming experience to tourists • Actions: produce healthy drinks• Differentiation strategy: • Differentiation strategy: “Weekend farmers”: families purchase a small Introduce different seasonal drinks (e.g. pear plot of land to experience farming in holiday tea in autumn) but watered by the elderly on weekdays Add healthy sweeteners (e.g. apple, mango)Agritourism Healthy drinks Put all products under a single brand – ‘Made in Elderly- empowered Community’Urban farming Food processing• Targeted customers: high-ended supermarkets • Targeted customers: supermarkets, food stores• Actions: Farm organic food • Actions: Package the fresh food (e.g. vegetables)• Differentiation strategy: • Differentiation strategy: Emphasis on ‘organic food certification’ Introduce healthy ‘dinner pack’ with recipes Introduce foreign varieties of food
Implementation: Just about putting ‘pieces’ into the ‘puzzle’Pieces Puzzles• The government already built the elderly- • Integration of ‘work’ and ‘live’ into a single specific housing estates. Elderly-empowered Community For example, Hong Kong government built Elderly City in Tseung Kwan O Town. Strong emphasis of social enterprises BUT, insufficient job opportunities inside, Ensure profit returning to the elderly or long commuting distance and the community• Social enterprises are separately owned and • Integration of the four social enterprises into a managed. single brand SO, weak economies of scale Synergy effect in external marketing Weak establishment of brand names Strong coherent with the theme of with small business community