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Promoting Active Aging in Europe by tapping into the collective wisdom of older adults

Expanding Participation through Dialogue

 
 



Exploring six factors that contribute to Active Aging

  • Age Friendly Communities
  • Life Planning/Legacy Leadership
  • Productive Work/Civic Engagement
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Creative Arts and Expression
  • Wellness

 
Beginning in the fall of 2010, World Café Europe began to identify sponsoring partners to convene six one-day discussions during the course of the European Year of Active Aging and Solidarity between Generations in 2012. Located in different European countries, these discussions will be hosted by sponsoring partners in accessible, comfortable settings.

The first dialogue in the series was held in late 2010 by Old’Up, an organization of 70 – 90 year olds. Their purpose is to: “Find new ways to live in a satisfying and useful manner for ourselves and others”.

Held at the Café du Pont Neuf in Paris, participants generated more than a hundred ideas during the 3-hour World Café conversation. Out of these ideas, a range of topics emerged which will be used to direct Old’Up’s future activities. The following priorities have been selected for their planning efforts: “Improving Our Quality of Life; How We Live Together; Sharing Expertise; and Teaching and Learning.”

Future World Café discussions with Active Ager throughout Europe will focus on various themes which are central to Active Aging:

  • Age Friendly Communities
  • Life Planning/Legacy Leadership
  • Productive Work/Civic Engagement
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Creative Arts and Expression
  • Wellness
Led by trained moderators, these dialogues on Active Aging will be guided by the World Café’s participatory format which enables varied stakeholders to be in conversation with one another in both intimate and large groups. The discussion questions will focus on how an Active Aging Network could be configured to raise awareness, give voice and create peer support among 50+ adults. The results will be recorded using video, print/website summaries and graphic recording. Participants in each World Café will evaluate their experience to inform and improve subsequent dialogues.

The ideas and insights emerging out of these six regional groups will flow into a World Café European Gathering. This large scale event will focus on priorities that are common across the regions and consider action steps to initiate an Active Aging network. Out of these dialogues, a consensus will emerge about the focus, process and structure of the network.

Commitment will emanate to support launching peer networks in cities and communities throughout Europe, connected by a website with research-based information, one-on-one and group coaching. This proposed European effort is part of a larger vision to create a global network of age 50+ adults who are sharing their strengths as active citizens to create a life-affirming future for all.