A leading expert in ageing from the University of Stirling is to give a talk to an international symposium exploring the needs, hopes and responsibilities of different age groups and our futures.
Dr Melanie Lovatt, of the Faculty of Social Sciences, will speak at ‘Ageing the future’ – an event organised by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Cambridge, focusing on intergenerational futures through the lenses of public health, gender, youth, and the arts.
One of four key thinkers and practitioners to speak at the online event on Monday (November 30), Dr Lovatt’s presentation is entitled ‘Reimagining futures through the arts’. The programme will also feature Professor of Public Health Medicine, Carol Brayne, and Professor of the Psychology of Education and Mental Health, Gordon Harold (both of the University of Cambridge), and Dr Linn Sandberg, Associate Professor in Gender Studies (Södertörn University, Sweden).
Dr Lovatt said: “With changing life expectancies, there are more people who are living longer – yet the futures of people in later life are often under-valued or deemed irrelevant. Narratives surrounding older age tend to focus on decline and dependency and not on aspiration or ambition.
“This event seeks to explore how conversations about the future might be reframed – not only to include older people, but to put older people at the centre of them.”
Faculty of Social Sciences
Next year, we move to the final stage of the project and will be working with Edinburgh-based arts company Active Inquiry to hold theatre workshops with older members of the public and established community groups of older people, to explore different narratives of the future in later life, culminating in a final performance in June 2021.
Dr Lovatt is currently leading a major research project exploring the relationship between older age and the future. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, she is working alongside Stirling’s Dr Valerie Wright, to use arts-based methods to reimagine the future in older age and provide practical guidance for policymakers.
“Policymakers need to address what we might desire, as well as need, in older age,” Dr Lovatt said. “Next year, we move to the final stage of the project and will be working with Edinburgh-based arts company Active Inquiry to hold theatre workshops with older members of the public and established community groups of older people, to explore different narratives of the future in later life, culminating in a final performance in June 2021.”
The ‘Ageing the future’ event will be hosted on Zoom. For details of how to join, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Dr Wright will discuss how people can age and live well at an online event on Thursday 3 December. Presenting findings from the research project ‘Reimagining the future in older age’, Dr Wright will deliver the talk for Paisley and District U3A.
Dr Wright said: “In this project, we’ve been exploring what older adults want from their futures as well as what they need. We’ve been thinking about the need for intergenerational solidarity and whether more interaction between generations will help a collective reimagining of the future for us all.”
For more details please contact: email@example.com.