Ageing Society Exercise

Additional Info

  • Hours: 1h - 3h
  • Participants: More than 10
  • Methodology: Virtual or Face to Face
  • Objectives:

    Encourage the team's vision and develop the life project.

  • Materials:

    A PC with webcam or similar device with conference call capabilities for online collaboration.

  • Procedure:

    The aim of this exercise is to get people thinking creatively and analytically.

    Subject: How the increasing proportion of older people in society will change the world.

    • This activity will prompt the use of visioning and imagination, and the consideration of big system changes, consequences, causes and effects. It also encourages people to think about ageism and age equality issues.
    • Ask group members to consider what they believe will be the greatest effects of the ageing population in the next 2, 3 or 5 years on the areas of activity/responsibility/market place.
    • The views of the group members can be discussed or presented or debated depending on the facilitator's objectives.

    Review points can include:

    • collective group decision as to the most perceptive suggestion
    • what suggestions are the most visionary and forward-seeing
    • how different suggestions might impact on each other
    • the extent to which group members suggestions and views differ according to age of the group members
    • early evidence or indicators of the reliability of each/any of the predictions
    • what information is lacking for more reliable predictions
    • where information might be found if required
    • what differs about this type of thinking compared to day-to-day decisions (proactive deeper thinking compared to reactive shallow)
    • whether drawing diagrams and/or discussing and/or any other methods assist this sort of thinking (for example, is this sort of deeper complex proactive thinking easier when more senses are stimulated, or when more people consider and share ideas?)
    • does this exercise teach us anything about the power of thought as a way to anticipate and develop solutions/responses to situations rather than simply waiting for things to happen?
    • do the collective views of the group seem to support (or not) the notion of 'the wisdom of crowds'.
    • is effective forecasting and predicting of far-reaching effects chiefly based on creative imagination or analytical logic, or equally both?
    • to what or particularly relevant or local trends could we usefully apply the same thinking?

    Exercise variables at the discretion of the facilitator:

    • thinking/preparation time (icebreaker requires 2-3 mins - bigger exercises could extent to 30 mins or more preparation time)
    • group members to work individually, in pairs or threes, or as two debating teams
    • people could be asked to suggest two or three effects, not just a single effect
    • method of presenting suggestions - discussion, presentation, debate, diagrams, role-play?... anything else? use your imagination
    • the main subject can be varied to focus on any other significant trend - for example: increasing world population, increasing power of new economies (China, India, Brazil, etc), advancing technology (in any market), energy costs and demand, gender or ethnic trends, etc.
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