Alexander Peine

professor of culture, innovation and communication

Older people inspire solutions that can be meaningful for everyone

Older people are seen as ‘laggard’ users that are late in adopting new technologies. Thus these technologies reduce older people to problems and deficits. But e.g. the use of e-bikes 15 years ago was associated with older people that required assistance with pedaling. Whereas now e-bikes have become a product popular among all age groups. This is a very important shift in perspective. Older people aren’t considered as patients and in terms of medical needs, but as ‘early adopters’ with capabilities and technical literacy that can teach us something. This new approach is very important for the digital transition in health care.

Alexander Peine is professor of culture, innovation and communication at Open Universiteit in The Netherlands. He is also the founding chair of the Socio-gerontechnology Network which brings together scholars from various backgrounds worldwide interested in critical studies of ageing and technology. And he is the vice-chair of the societal advisory board of the EU's Joint Programming Initiative 'More Years, Better Lives' (JPI-MYBL).