An innovative approach is being taken to one of the biggest 'wicked' issues facing Australia's population – healthy ageing – with the establishment of a new Ageing Well Think Tank, bringing together expertise in health and business.
Officially launched in Adelaide this morning, the new Ageing Well Think Tank & Innovation Collaborative is an initiative of the University of Adelaide's School of Nursing and the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC). It includes experts in
health, academia and business from around Australia and overseas.
"The idea behind the new Think Tank is to help drive innovations to outcomes that will benefit older Australians and the health sector," says the ECIC's Adjunct Professor Murray Gillin AM, who is managing the initiative on behalf of co-Chairs Professor Alison Kitson (Dean, School of Nursing) and Professor Noel Lindsay (Director, ECIC).
"Australia's Baby Boomer population represents a massive and immediate issue for healthcare and ageing.
"Rather than just accepting that this issue may be too big for anyone to handle, our new Think Tank will offer leadership, new ideas, and drive opportunities towards outcomes. It brings together leaders in the business and health sectors, with practitioners, academics and policy makers, who are all concerned about the issues facing our nation."
Professor Gillin says issues to be considered include but are not limited to technology, finance, lifestyle, the built environment, nutrition and resources planning.
"We recognise that wicked problems are, by their very nature, large and complex – and scary. There will not be any one simple solution to these problems, and that's why leadership and innovation is needed at this time," Professor Gillin says.
"Innovations can only occur by bringing together the collective expertise and wisdom of people who are willing to help solve the problems. And in a practical sense, innovations can only work if the need for change is identified, recognised, resourced and acted upon."
This morning's launch was the first opportunity for members of the Ageing Well Think Tank & Innovation Collaborative to discuss their agenda, and to hear from international experts, including Professor Patricia McDougall (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University) and Professor Tom Lumpkin (Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University).
The Ageing Well Think Tank will hold a major conference in Adelaide from 9-11 November: Boomers – Riding the Long Wave – 'Wicked Problem' and Opportunity Spaces. For more information, visit the Think Tank's website.