An age-friendly world

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Presentation prepared and delivered by Kim Walker, CEO of Silver Group at the 12th World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, Korea on October 13th, 2011.
Opening address for the panel 'March to an Ageing Society'. This presentation intro

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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An age-friendly world

  1. 1. -!Asia is faced with upcoming crisis with an aged society. How far will the aged society spread in Asia in 50 years?- -!What impact will aging in Asia impose on this region’s economy? -!What would be the proper response of Asia to the aging problem? -! What are the hidden opportunities in an aged society? Contact: Kim Walker, CEO, Silver Group +65 91555567 (Singapore) kim@silvergroup.asia© Silver Group 2011 1
  2. 2. •!Our world is optimised for a younger population •!Designed by us (baby boomers) for us •!Serious consequences as society ages© Silver Group 2011 2
  3. 3. A symbol of fear for older people© Silver Group 2011 3
  4. 4. © Silver Group 2011 4
  5. 5. The degree of ageing is driven by two factors: life expectancy and fertility rate. In 1900, life expectancy in developed world was around 40 years, due to high child mortality. Fertility rate was around four in most western countries, large families then! Until mid-century, life expectancy mainly increased because of lower child mortality. Now look at the so-called RDEs (Rapidly Developing Economies), and in particular at the BRIC. In 1950, life expectancy was around 40 years in what we then called the 3rd world. Russia was much more like the West. Average fertility rate was about 6 children per woman. In the next 60 years, life expectancy increased everywhere, although less so in Africa (poverty, wars, AIDS). The change in fertility rate was even more impressive: in just 60 years fertility rate dropped to a third, while it took the developed countries 100+ years to "only" halve it! The reasons for that were increasing women education, access to contraceptives, etc. Also Governments played a big role, e.g. China introduced the 1 child policy and fertility quickly dropped. However, its worth noticing that while Governments have been very effective in decreasing fertility rate, they have not been so effective in increasing it. E.g. Singapore has been trying since years to increase it but without much success. Overall, by 2010 the picture did not look so different anymore from the West. In many developing countries, family sizes are around 2 children and life expectancy has reached 60-70 years.© Silver Group 2011 5
  6. 6. •!10-year horizon more relevant to most business leaders. •!50+ population will grow almost 5 times faster than the total population growth and become the second most populous segment across Asia Pacific •!Most developed countries will have more than 35% population over 50 •!Decisions we make today will affect the world we age in in 20 years from now. Buildings, factories, infrastructure, brands© Silver Group 2011 6
  7. 7. •!While the 50+ population grows, younger segments stagnate or decline. •!Implications for marketers, employers and governments.© Silver Group 2011 7
  8. 8. Labor: Will we still have enough skilled employees, do we need to work with more elderly? Capital: In an aging world, will there be sufficient capital available? Should we prepare for shortages or surpluses? Growth: Can the world still grow when there is aging? How will this differ between the developed world and Rapidly Developing Economies? Needs: If clients become older. What does that mean in terms of products they want, but also in terms of services and how they are addressed?© Silver Group 2011 8
  9. 9. •!So is ageing a problem or opportunity? A risk or reward? •!I believe it’s can be a competitive advantage / vote winner for early movers. •!Example; in USA, AARP (American Association of retired Persons) = A 60 million-strong voting lobby!© Silver Group 2011 9
  10. 10. •!Why is it so hard to gain inertia? We need a tipping point. •!Environment is another ‘global phenomenon’ that will impact everyone •! The issue suffered from ‘Much Talk/No Action’ for years •!The tipping point: 2006 - An Inconvenient Truth and Al Gore. •!He dramatised the issue and created popular ‘pull’ that encouraged governments and businesses to move. •!Green credentials and CSR now a defining element of a business. Something young employees often use as criteria to evaluate companies they work for and buy from. •!So should be our goal with the ageing phenomenon.© Silver Group 2011 10
  11. 11. •!Two core aspects of ageing are Physiology and Psychology •!Psychology shaped by major events such as retirement, loss of spouse plus local, regional, ethnic differences •!Physiology is universal, relentless and inevitable© Silver Group 2011 11
  12. 12. •!The ‘new old’ have a six-letter word when it comes to anything to do with ageing ..................DENIAL •!It’s a powerful psychological aspect of the future of ageing. •!Growing difference between ones actual (chronological) age and perceived age© Silver Group 2011 12
  13. 13. •! I believe the corporate response to this issue is that we must enable our ageing consumer, employee and citizen to Think, Feel and Look younger for longer.© Silver Group 2011 14
  14. 14. •!Physiology is universal, relentless and inevitable© Silver Group 2011 16
  15. 15. •!We need a world that is no longer merely optimised for young people but …… •!Neither do we want a world that is optimised for older people •!We need an age-friendly world: “A world that accommodates the unique physical needs of older people in a way that is natural and beneficial for all ages”© Silver Group 2011 17
  16. 16. •!World Health Organisation. Published guide on Age-Friendly cities. •!First global conference held in Dublin, Ireland September 28~30, 2011.© Silver Group 2011 18
  17. 17. •!On the workforce productivity side BMW serves as a fantastic example. In one of its plants, a manager anticipated the rise of the average age of his factory workers in a very pragmatic way: he staffed one production line with workers with an average age of 47, i.e. the average age all of his workers would have in 10 years. •!The new line had a productivity 7% lower than the average in the factory, saw higher levels of absenteeism and achieved lower quality scores. This confirmed that going unchecked, aging would indeed cause a problem. He then had all the workers on the line come up with adjustments that would help them overcome physical and mental restrictions that older people face. Very simple changes were made, •! Tools: ergonomic chairs, magnifying lenses, wooden flooring •! Process: Job rotation, stretching exercises before work Results were impressive despite a limited investment •! Productivity at par with other lines •! Absenteeism dropped (7% ! 2%), below plant average •! Line achieved a zero defects rate Several similar project now are being run within BMW.© Silver Group 2011 19
  18. 18. •!60% of people 50+, think an age-friendly experience is critical to brand choice. (SilverPoll. June 2011) •!Kaisers supermarkets, one of Berlins largest supermarket chains, part of Tengelmann Group. They designed special senior branches, Some of the special features of the stores are: •! brighter lighting, shelves fitted with steps, extra wide isles, non-slip floors, magnifying glasses on shelves and trolleys, lighter trolleys, larger signs and labels, emergency call buttons Targeting the older customers has been successful : The supermarket regional manager, says revenues at the store are already up 30 percent. •! Not a coincidence that this example is from Germany. As Germany is the most aged country in Europe and the second in the world after Japan.© Silver Group 2011 20
  19. 19. •! Age-friendly business for consumers •! Age-friendly cities for our citizens •! Age-friendly workplace for our employees and even •! Age-friendly medical care for patients© Silver Group 2011 21
  20. 20. •!Our proprietary AF tool measures and benchmarks the age-friendliness of an enterprise. It measures the ‘journeys’ made by consumers, by employees or by citizens through the prism of ageing. •!We’ve identified over 20 universal physiological effects of ageing. And on a complete ‘journey’ there can be more than 150 touchpoints. •!Uses an iPad interface to guide qualified auditors through a rigorous sequence of tests. •!Objective measures require deployment of special applications to measure light and sound levels etc. •!The Tool employs cloud storage technology to store inputs, images and more •!The result is a comprehensive, accurate assessment of age-friendliness clearly indicating the potential barriers that need to be addressed. •!The AF mark certifies the age-friendliness of companies, brands and institutions who consistently achieve a high (4+) rating based on our audit.© Silver Group 2011 22
  21. 21. •!So far, Apple has achieved one of the highest scores (4.4 of a possible 5) for age-friendliness. •!No wonder more older consumers are gravitating to Apple products© Silver Group 2011 23
  22. 22. There are challenges. But there are definitely opportunities. It’s about perspective.© Silver Group 2011 24
  23. 23. Let’s make the planet ‘age-friendly’!? Contact: Kim Walker, CEO, Silver Group +65 91555567 (Singapore) kim@silvergroup.asia© Silver Group 2011 25
  24. 24. Contact: Kim Walker, CEO, Silver Group +65 91555567 (Singapore) kim@silvergroup.asia© Silver Group 2011 26

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