Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and a Challenge

Rapidly and surely the world is getting older.

In 2000, for the first time in history, there were more people over age 60 than children below age 5. The number and proportion of older persons is growing faster than any other age group, and will surpass 1 billion people in less the 10 years.

Ageing is now occurring fastest in the developing world, which has limited resources and plans to deal with this unprecedented demographic trend.

The older generation — which includes caregivers, voters, teachers, volunteers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and more – represents a growing reservoir of talent and experience that can be tapped to reap a ‘longevity dividend’.

This new report calls for new approaches to dealing with healthcare, workforce and retirement issues, living arrangements and intergenerational relations. This will help countries to harness the potential benefits and minimize the disruption that ageing will bring.

CALL for 60 OVER 60

Nominate someone over age 60 who inspires you or challenges stereotypes about aging. In December, a panel will select 60 ageless individuals as positive examples of ageing. GO TO 7 BILLION ACTIONS and nominate yours.

Nominate an inspiring older person for the 60 over 60 list

Perceptions of the world’s ‘age burden’ are outdated. Older people can be athletes, statesmen, innovators, entrepreneurs, caregivers, activists.

They can teach, inspire, influence, lead, innovate and create. As longevity increases and health improves, older people can contribute more to society than ever before.

And their contributions will become increasingly important as the world grows older – a phenomenon that is happening in nearly every country and every region.

Here are just a few examples:

  • 106-year-old Saburo Schohi from Japan is the oldest person to travel around the world using public transport.
  • 78-year-old Mama Rhoda from Kenya is an Age Demands Action campaigner and award-winning community worker. She represents her fellow older Kenyans at Government level.
  • And of course, 94-year-old Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Laureate, and founder of the Elders – a group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.

To complement the release of a new report, Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and a Challenge, UNFPA and HelpAge International are creating a list of 60 inspiring and influential older people over 60, and we need your help.

Make your nominations for 60 over 60 now!

You can nominate yourself, or an older person you admire, beginning today. We are looking for a diverse group representing many nationalities and ages.

There are 3 ways you can nominate your inspiring older person for the 60 over 60 list:

  • Submit a photo and short story below, telling us in 150 words or less about the nominee’s accomplishments and qualities.
  • Post an image to the UNFPA or HelpAge’s Facebook wall with a short text of100 words or less.
  • Share a tweet of 140 characters or less, using the #60over60 hashtag


Nominations will close on 23 November 2012.

All qualifying nominees will be posted on the 60 over 60 webpage of the 7 Billion Actions platform.

An expert panel of respected public figures working with older people, or older people themselves, will narrow the list down to 60 people.

The panel’s selections will be announced in December 2012 and the 60 over 60 list will be featured online and in the media.



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