The Ageing Population: A Grey Tsunami or A New Opportunity?


The global population is older than it has ever been. But the grey brigade could provide a new era of productivity and hope for the world, writes Oliver Haenlein.

In 2008, the number of people aged 65 and over in the UK was around 10 million; by 2031, however, there will be 16 million. Globally, the amount of over 65s is projected to almost double over the next 20 years, from around 600 million to more than one billion.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.