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ZeMKI Research Seminar with Prof. Dr. Helen Manchester (University of Bristol, UK)

Organizer: ZeMKI
Location: Linzer Str. 4, Room 60.070, 28359 Bremen
Start Time: 14. December 2022, 16:15
End Time: 14. December 2022, 17:45

Technological innovation is seen as central to our societal responses to ageing populations but the idea that ‘technology will save us’ fails to understand the rich and diverse lives led by older people and does not take account of structural inequalities. In response to this, scholars have suggested the importance of seeing futures as ‘in the making’ and begun to explore how practices of co-design, involving older adults and practitioners alongside technologists and others, may provide opportunities to intervene and reconfigure digital innovation for future ageing societies. This paper draws on data from the ‘Connecting through Culture as we Age’ project which explores how participation in all forms of arts and culture, particularly those accessed digitally, can influence wellbeing and feelings of social connection as we age. We are working with 20 co-researchers aged 60-75 who are either disabled, socioeconomically or racially minoritised. The co-researchers were invited into an inclusive digital innovation process that aimed to put their voices, lived experiences and expertise at the heart of the design process. Drawing on data from this project, I will explore the characteristics of co-design processes that might support more inclusive technological innovation for fairer ageing societies. In my talk, I will draw particular attention to the power relations that shape negotiations over the future and ask to what extent co-designing ageing futures might build imaginaries of ageing that challenge mainstream assumptions about socially marginalised older adults and build more responsible technological innovations.