Global Agenda Council on Ageing 2012-2014


The challenge

Over the next four decades, the rapid ageing of populations will be one of the most powerful transformative forces in society. Although this demographic shift first started in developed economies, it is fast becoming a global challenge: while the proportion of people over 65 years old around the globe is currently 10%, it is expected to jump to 22% by 2050. This will have significant impact in areas such as public health and economic prosperity. It is vital that key actors across society fully understand the current and upcoming transformations, as well as the potential risks and opportunities they bring. While the topic of ageing is increasingly attracting attention, much of the debate is limited in scope and often grounded in outdated stereotypes. Concrete strategies, appropriate to 21st-century social and business environments, are urgently needed.

What the Council is doing about it

To support different societal actors in this important transformation, the Global Agenda Council on Ageing is working on several initiatives to inform stakeholders about opportunities that come with ageing, as well as potential risks that could result from a lack of anticipation and inaction. First, the Council has designed a set of Global Principles for Age-Friendly Businesses.The principles highlight key measures and examples that should help companies remain profitable through this important change, while creating new opportunities in the workplace for people over 65. Second, the Council has started to develop a conceptual model for a Global Ageing Preparedness Index. The index will be a comprehensive mechanism to guide countries on how this demographic transformation will impact them and how well they are prepared to maximize the opportunities and minimize the associated costs. Finally, the Council has been active in the preparatory discussions for the post-2015 Development Agenda, to ensure that population dynamics are included in the next set of development goals.

“While the proportion of people over 65 years old around the globe is currently 10%, it is expected to jump to 22% by 2050.

In the coming year, the Global Agenda Council on Ageing will continue its efforts to raise awareness on the topic of ageing. It will work closely with actors at the policy level and with business leaders, seeking increased interaction with themand their engagement with specific Council-led initiatives and dialogues. The Council will organize a high-level meeting with business leaders to examine the role companies can play in the context of ageing populations. The Council will finalize the conceptual model of the Global Ageing Preparedness Index, for discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014. Finally, the Council will campaign for policy-makers and business leaders to incorporate recommendations from its publication Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?

To get involved please contact

Council Manager: Mehran Gul, Senior Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils,
Forum Lead: Martina Gmür, Senior Director, Head, Network of Global Agenda Councils,