← ESA 2015 homepage

Ageing Policies and the Welfare State


Fri 28. 8.  14:00 - 15:30
room FA 203

Creative Ageing Policy: Mixing of Silver, Creative, and Social Economies


Klimczuk, Andrzej
Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

This paper focuses on the aims and benefits of creative ageing policy in relation to domestic and international strategies. It argues that the roots of creative ageing policy are derived mainly from countries characterized by Anglo-Saxon capitalism and welfare states (in particular the United States and the United Kingdom). However, some important policy ideas, principles, and observations on the potential benefits and outcomes in this paradigm come from the countries of the European Union and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This paper briefly introduces creative ageing policy and by using political economy of ageing theory compares it to other concepts of the ageing policy as principles of governance in the preparation of individuals and communities to the old age. Such concepts are, among others, successful ageing, productive ageing, healthy ageing, active ageing, positive ageing, ageing in place, and intergenerational policy. The paper in particular will pay attention to a core idea of creative ageing policy, which refers to a possible mix of the silver economy, the creative economy, and the social economy in fostering seniors' activity. These concepts are popularized in recent years in the European Union. However, there is a need to focus more on their integration and possible outcomes of their mixes. The paper will show that this is possible by use approach of a "mixed economy of welfare" (focus on the cooperation between entities from the public sector, NGOs/civil society, and commercial sector). Increasing integration between these systems may lead to benefits such as technological innovations (gerontechnologies) and social innovations for ageing societies. The paper will show that local and regional development can also be fostered by integration of these ideas. This paper will focus on in-depth analysis of three different socioeconomic systems to generate benefits and positive outcomes for ageing populations. Creative ageing policy is related to the silver economy (the "seniors' economy"), the creative economy (usually defined by the diversity of the cultural industries and the creative industries), and the social economy (and a more transformational concept of the "solidarity economy"). Each of these systems uses a different type of capital of older people (respectively: the human capital, the creative and cultural capital, and the social capital). The goal is to show how the creative industries and social enterprises may contribute not only to the creative economy and the social economy, but also to the silver economy, which is directly related to solving challenges of the population ageing. This paper will suggest that the development of the silver economy is the most important in ageing the population, but only if it can be based on existing actions of entities from the creativity economy and the social economy. The "silver economy," is a concept sometimes used interchangeably with the phrase the "silver market," which appeared in the early 1970s in Japan, with the gradual increase of available facilities for older adults. The silver market is a market segment that contains products and services for wealthy people over age 50, as well as unique solutions to trade between economic operators, enabling them to adapt to the ageing workforce. However, scholars of the phenomenon emphasize that the silver market is not based solely on marketing products targeted at older people; therefore, stressing the age of the users of goods and services should be avoided. Otherwise, this may deepen the age discrimination. The silver market also includes ideas for "universal design" and "transgenerational design," which can be understood as a desire of business entities to adjust the properties of their goods and services to the needs of people of different age, physical, and cognitive capabilities. This design may enable the social integration of users of new products and services. The creative economy includes two processes: the "economization of culture" - economic use of artistic creation potential and the "culturalization of economy" - the application of artistic creation in industry and services to obtain innovations, increase added value, and turnover of enterprises. The core idea of the creative economy is the cultural sectors or industries and the creative sectors or industries. These industries include the traditional fields of art and culture and the mass products and services, like music, video games, movies, books and fashion, press, radio and television, the advertising industry, design, architecture and related sectors, such as software development, education, tourism, electronics, and telecommunications. The creative industries contemporary are the most significant areas of growth in the modern global economy that generate growth and employment in the dependent industries contribute to the revitalization of spaces, innovations, and the growth of income and consumption. However, there is a lack of literature and studies on the relations between the cultural and creative industries with the creativity of older adults. The social economy is a concept that after the J. Hausner (2007) and V. Pestoff (2008) can be understood not by its features, but by its location in the overall social system. The social economy is a space in which the crossover to the characteristics of the three segments: (1) the public sector, as employment policy and social inclusion; (2) the private sector, as corporate social responsibility (CSR); and (3) the civil society, in particular, entities of the "third sector" (NGOs). At the same time, each of these segments has its advantages and disadvantages. Recently this system is also described as the "solidarity economy," which is associated with social innovations such as Creative Commons' movement, Open Source, and Fair Trade. Literature about the social economy and the solidarity economy is often focused on social care and services for older people. However, the social economy also contains relevant solutions in the arts and ageing field such as lifelong learning entities, cultural centers, senior centers, community arts organizations, baby boomers' organizations, Third Age groups, Senior Theatres, Elderhostel, Universities of the Third Age, and other senior associations.