Last Thursday, I was invited to talk at the Aging 2.0 event at Google’s super cool CampusLondon venue.
Aging 2.0 is a global network of innovators working in the 50+ market who are intent on accelerating innovation to improve the quality of life for older adults around the world.
This was a pivotal event for me in several ways. First, it took place almost 3 years to the day after I launched The Future Perfect Company, inspired by no small degree by marketing guru Dick Stroud’s influential book, “The 50+Market”. It was rather uncanny to find myself on the same platform as Dick last week (as he promoted his follow up book ”Marketing to the Ageing Consumer”) two streets away from where I spent much of my previous life as a City lawyer.
Secondly, it was an opportunity to look back on the progress of the Designing for the Future competition which I launched with the University of Brighton at the same time as the company. When I first broached the idea of a competition to encourage age friendly design, there was some concern as to whether the students would engage with a topic which was ostensibly so unfashionable. Four year later, this has ceased to be an issue and I was delighted on Thursday to be able to introduce Hanna Mawbey and Chloe Meineck who have now graduated and are developing their projects within their own design businesses.
Thirdly, it was really heartening to see how the market for design for older people is beginning to gain traction in the UK. Yes, we are still struggling with nomenclature – who wants to be “old”? – but there is some real progress being made by organisations such as the Design Council, Nesta, University of Brighton, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Brunel and online communities like Enabled by Design. And despite the difficulties accessing funding, there are some very intrepid start ups coming to the fore – Hymid R&D, Ode, Mind Dice, Grouple to name a few.
All in all, a very positive evening and many thanks to Aging 2.0 for bringing so many influential people together. A definite step forward in creating an age friendly future.