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Global Future Council on Longevity

Remarkable gains in life expectancy and declines in fertility have led to an ageing global population. Life expectancy has increased to 70 years or more in many countries, and it is expected that children under age of five will be outnumbered by individuals aged 60 or more by 2020. Ageing brings with it opportunities and obstacles that must be understood in order to ensure societal preparedness for healthy ageing.

Today, the conversation on increased global longevity is viewed through a deficits-based lens, where governments are bracing for stressed social security systems driven by ageing people displaying increased disability, decreased physical function, and cognitive impairment. Societies and governments disproportionately adopt a reactionary approach to health, emphasizing disease-care instead of health promotion. To promote healthy ageing, we need to understand and focus on the social determinants of health, the obstacles, opportunities and adaptation it presents in having both a long and healthy life for the ageing population. Research shows that about 80-90% of costs are driven by the social determinants of health, including health-related social needs, socioeconomic factors and environmental factors.

Ageing is the primary risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases. Approximately, 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia and this number is predicted to nearly triple by 2050. There are effective strategies that can both improve healthy longevity and significantly reduce cognitive decline and dementia. It is currently estimated that one-third of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) could be prevented by effective management of modifiable risk factors. Even a delay in the onset of dementia by just five years could cut the incidence rate in half while also improving the quality of life for people and their caregivers.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be an enabler in promoting health among older adults using sophisticated technologies, connected devices, robotics and artificial intelligence to advance social connectivity, emotional health, cognitive ability and physical functioning. 

Increasing healthy life years will provide opportunities for individuals to live more healthy and active lives. To contribute towards healthy ageing, the Global Future Council on Longevity will focus on two key areas:


  1. Social determinants of health (SDoH) for ageing
    1. How can we enable technological solutions/innovations to address key SDoH on healthy ageing?
      1. Examples of innovations targeted to address key SDoH

        1. Focus on increasing quality of life

        2. Impact on service provision (access, quality and cost)





  2. Promoting healthy longevity by reducing the risks for cognitive decline and dementia

    1. How do we empower people to modify the risk factors associated with cognitive decline and dementia as they age?

    2. How can we improve care health, social care and services for people living with cognitive decline and dementia and their caregivers?



Co-chair:

Debra Whitman, Chief Public Policy Officer, AARP, USA

Victor Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine, USA

Council Manager:

· Sofiat Akinola, Project Specialist, Global Health and Healthcare System Initiative, sofiat.akinola@weforum.org