Grand Challenges

Aging2.0's Grand Challenges is a new global initiative to drive collaboration around the biggest challenges and opportunities in aging.

These eight topics are the result of five years of bottom-up and top-down dialogue with stakeholders from across Aging2.0’s interdisciplinary, intergenerational, international community of older adults, senior care providers, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs. They are the innovation priorities for the Aging2.0 community. 
Over the coming months, starting with OPTIMIZE in San Francisco in November 2017 we'll be providing context for each topic and then work with our network to research, track and innovate collaboratively - so that we can more effectively 'move the needle' and make a meaningful (and measureable) impact on the lives of older adults around the world. 
Engagement & Purpose
Ageism and outdated social norms have led many older adults in both rural and urban communities to feel isolated and marginalized. Helping older adults get and stay meaningfully engaged is critical for their health and the health of our communities. New and creative ways are needed to not only tap into their wisdom but also provide opportunities for lifelong learning and meaningful engagement across their lifespans.
Financial Wellness
People are living longer and traditional models of work and retirement have not kept pace. To finance this increasing longevity, we need to provide new opportunities for later-life employment, new models for planning for and financing care, as well as better ways of preventing scams and fraud.
Mobility & Movement
Everyday objects, homes, and communities not originally designed with longevity in mind often become obstacles to movement, safety, independence, and socializing. As safety and mobility continue to be top priorities for older adults, there is a need for products, programs, and services that enable people to maximize their safety, strength, balance, fitness, independence, and mobility as they age.
Daily Living & Lifestyle
Despite the majority of older adults stating a preferring to “age in place,” one third of people over the age of 65 need assistance with at least one activity of daily living (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing). Products and services are needed to not only support older adults’ basic daily activities, but also foster and support their ability to thrive, pursue their passions, and engage with their chosen lifestyles.
Care for older adults is provided by informal (unpaid) and formal (paid) caregivers, both of which increasingly care for people with higher levels of acuity and complex conditions. Family caregivers—who are often juggling other family and work responsibilities while living remotely from the care recipient—need better support, training, resources, and tools to support their loved ones and themselves. On the professional side, staff shortages and quality concerns require new solutions to help attract, train, develop, and leverage scarce human capital, and the use of technology where appropriate.
Care Coordination
The healthcare journey can be particularly complex and fragmented for older adults, two-thirds of whom have at least two chronic conditions. With three-quarters of global healthcare spending going to chronic care management, families and payers are aligned in their desire to care for people in the least restrictive, most cost-effective setting possible. Families and providers need new tools and care models to support care transitions, clinical collaboration, medication management, population health management, and remote care delivery.
Brain Health
Maximizing cognitive ability and brain health is increasingly a priority for aging societies as the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other cognitive issues continues to rise. New approaches, tools, and services are needed to increase awareness, reduce stigmas, improve prediction, speed diagnosis, enhance treatment and support caregivers.
End of Life
Death is inevitable, but that doesn’t seem to make it any easier to talk about or prepare for. This mindset has led a significant portion of health budgets globally to be spent on the last few months of life, despite that final stage often being dismal for both older adults and their families. Families and providers can help simply by having these difficult conversations about their loved ones’ mortality, but also navigating all the various options and ensuring end-of-life wishes are met.
More detail about this program will be shared at the Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference on November 14-15 in San Francisco. Click here to register.
For additional questions and to get involved with the Grand Challenges and the Alliance membership program, please contact Stephen Johnston, CEO at