What’s neXT?!: Creating age-friendly societies – the UK experience

We hosted a distinguished group of panelists and guests to a roundtable entitled “Creating Age Friendly Societies: The UK Experience.”


When it comes to the creation of an age-friendly society, the UK is at the forefront. Joining us to discuss the UK experience were Anna Dixon, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, Yvonne Sonsino, Co-Leader Next Stage at Mercer, Andy Briggs, CEO at the Phoenix Group, and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, who in 2018, saw Manchester being recognized by the WHO as the UK’s first age-friendly city. The proceedings were hosted by our own Rick Wolfe and the noted author and TED speaker, Carl Honoré.

Yvonne and Anna made impassioned arguments for thinking about aging, not as a negative, but as an opportunity to leverage experience and wisdom for other generations.

Mayor Burnham noted many of his efforts started small, and he wants to further promote intergenerational communication and change the language from aging being about frailty, to ability.

The challenges we face in (thank you, Chip Conley) elderhood, are best solved as an intergenerational push to diversity and inclusivity. As Andy Briggs pointed out, “inclusive and diverse businesses will be better businesses.”

There is a unique opportunity for politicians, policy makers, and business leaders to step up now.

Don’t Stop Here

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Defining the New Old Age

Language can reinforce ageism and aging stereotypes when we need intergenerational solidarity.