The power of stories
“You are never too old to learn”, a saying that often rolls off our tongues and quite rightly so. In order to age actively and healthy, it is essential to stay on your toes and to be eager to learn. But in our opinion, the reverse also applies: “You are never too old to share your knowledge”. Because with the stories, knowledge and skills of the elderly you have an enormous treasure in your hands, but unfortunately that treasure remains well hidden for most of us. Time to change this…
At Yumytech, we know all too well that the value of the elderly is indispensable to our society. With their years of experience on the counter, we can certainly learn some of their knowledge and skills. But while biological life expectancy is increasing, social life expectancy is decreasing. In our society, you rest after retirement and that’s the end of it. After years of career, it is certainly the time to enjoy life to the fullest, but that should not mean that those valuable knowledge and skills have to turn into dust. But how can the elderly share their story, their knowledge, their skills, in short, their life wisdom with other elderly people? Or with the youth?
To unlock this wealth of information, Yumytech is joining forces with its European partners to create a digital platform where older people can share their knowledge and stories with the outside world. By sharing the past, creating the future. That is the goal of the digital platform CREATE.
Share the past, CREATE the future
With CREATE, a European research project, Yumytech and its European partners want to ensure that older people not only have the opportunity to share their stories, knowledge and skills with each other, but also with the outside world. On this digital platform you can find a wealth of information.
But easier said than done. Do older people effectively want to share their story, what hurdles do we have to overcome and how can we support them as well as possible? To get an answer to our questions, we launched a survey of Switzerland, Flanders, and Poland. And from that came the following results.
The number of participants was evenly spread over Switzerland (44%), Flanders (26%) and Poland (30%), but consisted of more men than women (57% compared to 43%). 80% of them were between 60 and 80 years old. However, we were surprised when it turned out that the Flanders respondents did not miss the digital boat: only 2% of them indicated that they had little experience with computers, tablets or smartphones, while in the global survey this came to 10%. Also in the field of digital platforms, Flanders respondents appeared to have more knowledge than the Swiss and Polish seniors (80% vs. 59% in the total survey).
In addition to the fact that the vast majority were digitally active and familiar with online knowledge platforms, there was also a great willingness to share their knowledge. More than 80% of the participants were more than willing to share their experiences and skills with not only their peers, but also with young people and children. Especially their life experiences, values and testimonies of historical events were recognized as a great source of knowledge. Their biggest motivations? Those were personal satisfaction and social interaction. The biggest stumbling blocks? The lack of demand and the lack of support.
The survey therefore shows that the Swiss seniors, just like their Flemish and Polish colleagues, are certainly willing to share their wisdom, provided they are asked to do so and they receive sufficient support.
On the Create platform, elderly people will not only receive a forum, but they will also be offered the necessary support to make their story known. But we still have a long way to go. In the upcoming months we will keep you informed of the progress of this project.
Would you like to receive surveys about our CREATE project? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What knowledge, skills or stories would you like to share or have you already made your story known? Let us know via email@example.com
Visit the CREATE website to discover more and follow us on Linkedin
(Redaction Emilie Pauwels and Yumytech)