This book is aimed at learning lessons from the best practices and to create grand designs and policy implications for the future society with convergence between aging and information societies. Therefore, the objective of this book is to develop coherent and forward-looking international policies, and comprehensive strategy to promote research and innovation of services for the elderly people in various sectors such as health and nursing care, education, work life style, transportation, community development, smart cities and etc.
Demographic change phenomenon characterized by a rapidly aging population will cause serious social, economic and political issues in global context. According to UN estimate the global population of older persons is growing at a rate of 2.6 per cent per year, which is more than twice faster than the growth of the population as a whole. Developing countries in spite of relatively low percentage of elderly people at the moment are aging at a faster pace than developed countries and will have less time to adjust to the consequences of population aging.
Prospects and consequences of demographic challenges are being viewed in the societies in the contexts of replacement migration and employment protection policies, necessary changes to be done in pension regimes and health care systems, and the potential offered by ICTs for enhancing quality of life through sustaining independent living and providing opportunities for greater democratic and societal engagement of the senior population.
Recognizing potential of ICTs for benefiting people with special needs the Japan at national and local levels are looking for the measurement to promote ICT based innovations for a growing number of older persons and persons with disabilities who are found to be willing and economically able to secure independent living. According to the recent study, Japanese senior people hold a half of all personal financial assets and also spend a half of national healthcare expenditures in Japan.
The consequences of aging process will continue to shape the future of Japan as well as world. The challenges that Japan's fastest-aging society is confronting today will be soon faced by other countries given an increasing pace of aging worldwide. Considering the latter, this paper aims to explore effective measurement and strategies for promotion of ICT enabled innovations for people with special needs.
Global experts from all over the world have described a wide range of important issues associated with senior people and the emergence of the “Silver Economy” at the workshop Jointly organized by APEC and OECD held at Waseda University Tokyo from September 12 to 14, 2012. The book consists of 7 sections with totally selected 33 articles, these are as follows:
Section 1: Lessons learnt from the best practices – Japanese models on Super-aged Society
Section 2: Current situation and solutions for the Aging Society in China
Section 3: Policy Initiatives for the Aging Society
Section 4: Health Innovation
Section 5: Aging society in Smart Communities
Section 6: New service for Super Aged Society
Section 7: Civil Society for Silver Innovation
The focus of the book is to discuss how both government and private sector can best mobilize innovation and research, anticipate and transform the global challenge into an opportunity for active and productive aging for new sources of sustainable growth. The book also concludes that to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and to mitigate the health, social and economic impacts of people with special needs (Aging/Disability), and innovation must be promoted in all countries.
The authors of the book express particular attention to encouraging policy reforms to support both usability and interoperability of technologies and universal design; enabling new mechanisms for the sharing of large data sets for aging research; highlighting the roles of entrepreneurship and innovative financing; showcasing the role of new ICT-led technologies for aging populations; recognizing the need for “user-led” and solutions-oriented innovation approaches, and developing age-friendly living, workplace environments and communities. The book also makes a strong call for comprehensive approach to achieve policy coherence, as well as for strengthening public-private partnerships and promoting collaboration among multiple stakeholders and systems. Actions will be condensed in a series of policy recommendations for global communities on ICT applications in the aging society.
Taking an integrated approach, the book aims at proposing a comprehensive, cross-cutting solution to the problems currently addressed separately, seeking out related solutions across the private and public sectors with the emphasis on industry-government-academia cooperation that already proved to be an effective partnership model for various kinds of ICT based innovations designed for the aging society. Finally, I hope this book will contribute to UN Millennium Development Goals and future international development strategies and setting priorities for post-2015 as one of the most valuable Global agendas in the 21 century.
Prof. Dr. Toshio OBI
Waseda University Institute of e-Government