What an Adventure!
The TQG is delighted to have been part of the partnership, led by Dr Malcolm Fisk (De Montfort University), that secured European Commission funding in order to undertake research and to advocate around ‘Standards for ICT and Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA)’. The PROGRESSIVE project outputs, which will carry on through 2019, reflect the shared aspiration of partners (including four standards bodies) for progressive standards around ICT that, in the future, will give greater recognition to and be more and more inclusive of older people.
Are Older People Overlooked?
There is no doubt about the importance of the work of PROGRESSIVE. Partners have boldly addressed what might be described as a ‘settled world’ – where formal standards are seen as offering frameworks to support commerce. In the context of the ‘Silver Economy’ this means that older people may often be treated as a ‘market’ – either for care services or as an asset rich group ripe for exploitation. The project asked, is the position of most older people, with the same rights as other adults (as workers, entrepreneurs, community activists and innovators) being overlooked by standards developers? Are older people being sidelined despite being 20% of Europe’s population?
The answer is, at least in part, ‘yes!’ And a STAIR-AHA platform (a Standards, Innovation and Research body supported by CEN CENELEC) has been set up to take the work of PROGRESIVE forward! Indeed, at a joint PROGRESSIVE & STAIR meeting in Brussels on 31st January 2019 (see picture) a statement was agreed with over 60 participants, that standards bodies should, wherever relevant, revise their procedures and processes to ‘enable the participation of older people’s representatives as a relevant group of stakeholders’.
The world of standards will not, of course, change in a hurry. But the PROGRESSIVE project has been making waves. Take a look at the full statement, the PROGRESSIVE database of standards, the Newsletters and more (!) on the PROGRESSIVE website at www.progressivestandards.org