UPDATE: AgeCamp 2016 will take place on Monday 4th April at the Shay Stadium, Halifax, West Yorkshire
As you probably know, I have been working on initiatives to assist older citizens to use social and mobile technologies for a while now. It’s a frustrating field of work, frustrated on so many fronts by:
- the reality of technophobia among older people (which IS a reality, but is often vastly over-stated)
- technophobia among the staff of organisations working with older people (which can often be a bigger problem than that of the older people themselves)
- inertia in the system, and reluctance to adopt new ways of working
- risk aversion
- lack of equipment and infrastructure in institutions, centres, and people’s homes
- focus on the crucial role of telehealth and telecare equipment, which can often crowd out the potentially important role of social and mobile tech.
Often it can feel a lonely business, trying to get recognition of both the need for older people to use social and mobile technologies, and to get into the system to try it out with them.
So, I’m announcing AgeCamp, an unconference for people working with older citizens. This will be an opportunity for anyone who works with older people (and older people themselves) to get together in a mutually supportive environment, discuss their issues and plan joint responses. And, this is meant in no way to be an event which focuses exclusively on technology. Any issues about working with older people are open for discussion. So, if you want to re-invent the care home, or start a community minibus service, all topics are welcome.
If you’ve never been to an unconference, here’s a pretty good description of how they work. AgeCamp will be led by the attendees, there will be no fixed agenda in advance, you come along, you pitch an idea, and if at least one more person wants to talk about it, you have a session (in fact you can run a session on your own if you really want to!).
I don’t have a date or a venue sorted yet. (UPDATE: The first AgeCamp will be on 4th April 2016)
See above. Maybe someone could offer a venue, that would be great. (UPDATE: Courtesy of Calderdale Council, the venue will be in Halifax, at The Shay Stadium)
I am also looking for sponsors. We need sponsorship for venue hire, catering, maybe some travel bursaries, and for post session drinks. This will be a great opportunity for people with products or services relevant to older people to promote themselves to a range of people working in the sector.
Please get in touch, using the form below, if you can help with any of these issues, or if you just want to get involved and make AgeCamp happen.
See you at AgeCamp!