Earlier this month, over 100 delegates joined us in Edinburgh to discuss research on Habitats for Happy and Healthy Ageing at our fourth international conference.
We were delighted to welcome a wonderful mix of established and early career researchers from ten European countries, Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Colombia, and the USA.
Over the course of 50 presentations, including three keynotes and four plenaries, we also heard from research collaborators and co-designers who work outside of academia, including in national and local government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, leading to rich dialogue about the use of research findings in policy and practice.
The final day took us out of the conference centre to a range of sites and resources around Edinburgh, with our delegates joining students and local older people in workshops on ‘designing for dementia’, ‘urban brainwear’ and ‘places, then and now’.
An enormously important contribution to thinking and approaches
The scene was set for our conference by Professor Dorothy Miell, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, who gave a warm welcome to delegates at our opening reception.
Each full day was opened by a guest speaker, beginning with Sarah Davidson, Director General (Communities), Scottish Government, who spoke of older age as a “dynamic and productive phase of life for us all” and described the conference as “an enormously important contribution to the thinking and approaches we can employ in response to [this] ageing society”.
We heard from Dr Heidrun Mollenkopf, Vice President of AGE Platform Europe and Member of the AGE Universal Accessibility and Independent Living Expert Group, and from Dr Anne Jepson, a Senior Researcher at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre.
Our keynote speakers were Professor Billie Giles-Corti (Australia), Professor Sarah Wigglesworth (Sheffield) and Professor Gloria Gutman (Canada).