Today TACSI launched The Innovation Age – a new initiative to kick-start the next generation of policy, services and support to meet the changing needs of Australia’s baby boomers.

The Innovation Age initiative aims to create and deliver new solutions to reduce the predicted economic impact of an ageing population, and help shift public attitudes on the value, contribution and potential of older people. Drawing on the lived experience of baby boomers, the Innovation Age initiative will be developed in collaboration with some of Australia’s most innovative services providers, public servants and researchers.

TACSI Chairman, Dr Nicholas Gruen said there was a growing need to re-think the future of ageing to address the social, economical and health care challenges baby boomers will face as they age.

“We often generalise about baby boomers as a lucky generation transforming the world in their own image as they’ve gone, now beginning to retire to their golden years in good health, surrounded by a strong social network. But for many, we know that’s not the case,” Dr Gruen said.

“We also know that large systems like the home and institutional care settings into which this generation will be moving are often designed around the perspectives of the professionals who work in them. We’re going to be working alongside baby boomers to address their specific needs to help them design solutions from their perspective.”

The Innovation Age initiative also aims to strengthen political commitment to new policies and systems that harness innovation and improve outcomes.

Dr Gruen said the baby boomer population presents a transformative opportunity to re-think the policies, services and supports for Australia’s older people.

“We need to find new ways for the 5.3 million people aged between 51 and 69 in Australia to live the lives they want as they age.

“Our ageing population can be a boon, not a burden” he said.

CEO of TACSI, Carolyn Curtis said involving baby boomers in the program was crucial.

“We’ve been talking to a very diverse range of people across the country and the one fear they all have in common is not being able to live where they want to live as they age.

“We’re committed to working with people and organisations across the country to help design and scale alternatives for home and housing” said Ms Curtis.

TACSI’s The Innovation Age is funded by the J.O. & J. R. Wicking Trust, managed by Equity Trustees.

To launch The Innovation Age initiative, TACSI will host an event in Circular Quay, Sydney on Tuesday 23 February, featuring special guest speakers Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta UK, and Peter Shergold, Director of AMP and former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department.