It is time older people co-shaped silver economy

Silver Economy, Silver Market, Silver Knowledge? Upon the initiative of a retired professor of economics, currently a student of Slovenian U3A, was held at this university a symposium on silver economy. Devoted to network thinking about a topic which is seemingly new, the symposium was attended by participants from diverse backgrounds.

Silver economy is both a new and old topic in the focus of Slovenian Third Age University. Why? Due to ageing society, silver market is predicted to amount up to 5% of the GDP by 2060, so one should better understand what silver economy is all about.

Towards a definition of silver economy

Taking into account their purchasing power and their number (in 2050, in OECD countries their share is expected to be 25 % of the population), older people constitute a potentially important market. Moreover, there is a chance that in the future, silver market becomes one of the most important markets. There will be many investment possibilities for innovating companies and many other companies active in various areas. Far from being a separated sector, silver economy encompasses a number of activities transversally reaching out to the whole production and consumption sector. It is oriented towards both production and distribution of goods and services, meeting the needs of older people. In addition to this, it is about preparing younger generations and their future well being[1]

To get aware of the orientation of the emerging silver economy one does not need to go further than the French Contract on Silver Economy agreed on December the 12th 2013 It says: “Silver economy is about commodities and services that can be conceived in sectors like: accommodation, communication, transport, e-autonomy, safety, health, individual services, distribution (adaptation of packaging etc.), leisure time, work (teleworking), tourism. What about other sectors?

French government defined silver economy as commercial and manufacturing activities of benefit to older people, ameliorating their social participation, improving the quality of their life and well-being, slowing down the loss of autonomy and increasing life expectancy.