Healthy Ageing 2021

The 2021 conference brought together thought leaders, innovators, academics and policy makers, working right across the healthy ageing domain.

Event Details

15/11/2021 - 16/11/2021

00.00 - 00.00



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The conference focused on three key drivers of change in Healthy Ageing:

INSPIRATION: Be motivated by the latest thought leadership, fresh ideas and making new connections.

INNOVATION: Get the latest insights from cutting-edge research and discover our new virtual arcade.

IMPACT: See how our winning projects are helping create a more age-friendly and profitable economy for all.

Delivered by UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better.

Day One

Welcomes and Keynotes

Welcome: Sadiq Khan

Welcome notes from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Keynote: A Challenge for All – Lucy Chappell

The UK’s population is undergoing a massive age shift. In less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65, creating opportunities and challenges for us all. Join leading UK figures in policy and health as we kick-start two days of discussion, debate and discovery aimed at ensuring we all live longer, healthier and happier lives across the generations, today and tomorrow.

Welcome: Heléna Herklots

Welcome notes from Helena Herlots

Panel Sessions

Panel: Changing Minds – Innovative ways to attract and engage new audiences

Showcasing real-world examples of effective and innovative audience engagement. Be inspired by best practice from a wide range of projects, supported by UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge, happy to share their learnings to effect greater market change. With cross-cutting appeal, this session is relevant and of particular value to anyone looking to engage with hard-to-reach audiences.

Panel: Insights for Innovators – Addressing dementia and inequalities

Addressing two mission critical issues required for us all to enjoy a healthy later life – the levelling up on inequalities and cognitive health. This future-scoping panel highlights the leading-edge role social sciences have in overcoming these challenges and what businesses, working alongside academia, governments and third sectors, need to know to successfully innovate products and services that help tackle these key areas of concern for all.

Panel: Transforming Homes – Adaptable spaces for healthy places

The majority of older adults live in mainstream housing. Supporting people to install the aids and adaptations they need around their home can help reduce falls and reduce the costs of health and care. Increasing the range of products available and ensuring they are desirable features we want in our homes is important to support wellbeing. With home being central to our independent living, how can we ensure that everyone is able to access the adaptations they might need?

Panel: Shifting Paradigms – How can investing with purpose be profitable

Join us to discover how placing purpose at the heart of strategy delivers high levels of social value and commercial success. From creating customer champions who are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust and defend companies with a strong purpose, to attracting the best talent, why aren’t all businesses doing this? Join us to explore the opportunities and challenges of keeping social purpose as much of a priority as profit.

Panel: New Models – What can disruptors like Netflix teach Healthy Ageing?

Many businesses have become real gamechangers in their markets, largely through innovative business models. Yet, often entrepreneurs leave business models as an after-thought, rather than recognise this as a vital solution for success. With high profits at stake, this session hypothesises that new, potentially disruptive business models may be the key to the successful scaling of organisations working within the Healthy Ageing domain, exploring the many opportunities and pitfalls that may be encountered along the way.

Panel: Revolutionising times – Innovating to support an ageing workforce

Nearly one third of the UK workforce are aged 50 or over, more than 10 million workers. But employment rates drop after the age of 55 – and around half of people have stopped working before reaching state pension age. How can we create the right conditions for more people over 50 to be in fulfilling work? This panel brings together a range of experts to share new innovations and tried-and-tested methods to support older workers.

Final plenary: All’s well that ages well 

With a UK-wide mission to ensure people enjoy at least 5 more years of healthy independent life by 2035, supporting healthier lives is both a moral and economic imperative for all. Exploring how best to deliver this, this panel will explore ideas from international thought leaders in the Healthy Ageing domain on the different approaches needed to achieve this shared goal and help shape thinking for the next steps in the UK.


Day Two

Welcomes and Keynotes

Keynote: Behaviour Change in Later Life – David Halpern

Imagine a world designed around the way people actually think and behave, where people can expect a healthy life expectancy up to a decade longer than today’s. Join Keynote David Halpern to explore how a realistic understanding of what drives human behaviour can shape policies that help people in later life enjoy more rewarding years in good health, and how behavioural science can play a key role in enabling this.

Welcome: Mike Short


Panel: Innovating for Success – Putting lived experience at the heart of innovation

How confident are you that your target audience truly want and need your product or service? Discover the Healthy Ageing industry’s latest approaches to embedding learned experience in every step of the innovation journey from concept to scale, so that the design of your product or service is well received by your customers. Our distinguished panel includes representatives from academia, business, design and most importantly ‘lived experience’ itself to help you stay at the forefront of critical thinking in this area.

Panel: Emerging Models – Leading the way in social impact funding

Discover how strategic changes in social impact funding can better meet the needs of a rapidly changing world. As the gap between for-profit and non-profit shrinks, new customer-oriented, earned income models are emerging to achieve social impact at scale. Hearing from a wide range of social innovators, you’ll see that the move towards supporting market driven Healthy Ageing innovation can accelerate products and services tailored to optimally improve the quality of life for older consumers.

Panel: New Experiences – Opening up possibilities in ageing via creative industries

How can ground-breaking projects in the creative industries bring benefit to the Healthy Ageing domain? Join our panel as they share research and commercial projects that are drawing on creative knowledge, immersive tech and design, to bring creative and cultural experiences to older people and provide solutions to support the challenges of ageing. Alongside discussing the potential, the panel will also discuss the barriers of some of these approaches, such as inequalities in access to digital connectivity and cost, and what solutions could help those that need it most.

Panel: Innovative Solutions – Addressing inequalities in health and care

Good health as we age is fundamental to our quality of life. But people are now living longer in poor health than in the past and people from the poorest areas are spending up to 20 years with disabling health conditions. Stark health inequalities also exist between different ethnic groups, with people from some ethnic minority backgrounds experiencing worse self-rated health than their white peers and a higher prevalence of many conditions associated with the ageing process. This session explores approaches to addressing health inequalities as we age.

Panel: Reimagining Places – Creating a happy High Street for all

By 2040, older consumers are predicted to spend £550 billion a year, that’s 63p in every pound. Much of this will be spent on the high street – or at least it could be if this was a welcoming and inclusive place to be. Hear from the experts and older people as they discuss how to create thriving age-friendly places. Have your say in our Q&A designed to reimagine ‘your’ town centre and high street, while enjoying seeing it brought to life by a live illustrator.

Panel: Fintech/Finance for Everyone – Ageing and Inclusivity in Financial Services

Financial wellbeing is a key ingredient for a healthier older life. However financial services and products are often not designed to be inclusive and/or don’t always engage those people who might benefit most. How can we change this? Join our panel in this interactive session where we explore how the worlds of design, research and business could collaborate to create better products for all.

Final plenary: Local to Global – Aspiration or realistic? 

With ever ageing populations a global phenomenon, new opportunities are constantly opening-up for businesses. This session moderated by Dr Jane Barratt from the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), contemplates how we can disrupt the Healthy Ageing market to enable innovators to develop more effective services and products for people as they age, through the collective sharing of best international practices, thinking and ideas. Make sure it’s not you that gets left behind.



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