According to the World Health Organization (WHO), active ageing constitutes “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life” for people over 65. For example, community participation is a fundamental component of active ageing. There are more than a few people who feel cut off from society as they grow old after retirement, with little chance to contribute. For this reason and in order to tackle this feeling of marginalization felt not only by elder persons but also by their community who may have a misguided notion about ageing, there are opportunities that are being offered such as volunteering and sharing economy.
More specifically, sharing economy is a relatively new concept, in most European countries, which suggests shared access to goods, services, data and skills. For example, consider the following; a person who is a native speaker of Japanese and participates in an online platform where they can be contacted by individuals who would like to converse in Japanese thus improving their oral skills in the language. Therefore, in the case of the first person, they offer both their skills and their time to help out another person. In other words, sharing economy does not include taking ownership of something; people can share … their time or their space, with or with no remuneration. For example, the website Airbnb constitutes an example of for-profit sharing economy; people can rent out their house, flat or merely a room to travelers in exchange for money.
Nevertheless, this project, “Colabor-active: Development of a training program for enhancing active ageing through not-for-profit sharing economy” aims to make use of non-for-profit sharing economy in order to enhance active ageing, which means exchange of goods and services with no reimbursement. The main tool of this initiative will be an online platform where interested parties will be able to find information about not -for-profit sharing economy and websites/communities to participate into, as well as a methodological guide for training elder persons and their community, regarding the issues addressed by the project. The ultimate goal is that ageing individuals understand that they can still contribute, with the help also of technology, to their society.
The project was launched by the first transnational meeting in Valencia, Spain with the participation of all six partners, i.e. Polibienestar Research Institute (Spain), E-Seniors (France), Institute for Work and Technology (Germany), Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece), Coordina (Spain) and Forba (Austria).
Stay tuned for the first project activties!