Living to 100…helping prepare the world for old age

05 January 2011

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Due to the advances in medical technology and falling fertility rates, in less than a decade a quarter of the UK’s population will be over 60. The question now is what impact will our longer, healthier lives have on society, its infrastructure and its economy?

Dr Kenneth Howse, a James Martin Senior Research Fellow with the Oxford Institute of Ageing, is a keynote speaker at an international symposium that will bring together thought leaders from around the world to discuss the increasing longevity of humans and its impact on social, financial, health care and retirement systems. In a talk entitled 'Challenges, Opportunities and Implications of the Demographic Aging of Societies', Howse will discuss how these dramatic demographic changes will provide not only challenges but also opportunities to harness the experience, expertise and creativity of such an historically large number of older people.

He will be joining scientists and academics from around the world at the 4th “Living to 100” symposium, where participants will discuss difficult issues, such as factors affecting mortality, future economic and healthcare requirements, and public pension reform. Howse’s participation in the international symposium helps contribute to a lasting body of research to educate and aid individuals and policymakers in addressing the potential needs and services of the future advanced-age populations.

Kenneth Howse is also the co-convener of the Oxford Martin School’s seminar series this term. The series, entitled “Intergenerational justice: What do we owe future generations?”, provides cross-disciplinary perspectives on how to take proper account of the long-term consequences of present choices, especially where those choices threaten to impose large, even catastrophic, costs on future generations.