Silver citizenship: Jérôme Pigniez’s guest column

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Read editor Jérôme Pigniez’s guest column, published in the latest issue of La Revue du Trombinoscope, a French parliamentary periodical widely read among the French media, policy makers and economic leaders. 

Silver economy and Silver citizenship

The Silver economy is a hotbed of new reflections urging us to reconsider our vision of population ageing for the benefit of all.

The diversity and dynamism of the industry’s players, their innovative streak, their job-creation Jérôme Pigniez photo Silver economypotential and their commitment to a better ageing experience all bear testimony to the sheer economic potential of the demographics transition.

The French law on the adaptation of society to ageing is also the sign that major social advances are underway, as exemplified by the status of natural caregivers, now officially recognized.

As part of the industry, we strive to keep on building the Silver economy based on previous actions and through working groups similar to those that enabled us to come up with propositions that gave birth to the now officially recognized industry in 2013.

During those first Silver economy reports, and within the communications working group for whom I acted as rapporteur, we were already calling for the “benchmarking of the green business”.

The demographics transition is now in full swing. The transition to other sources of energy and environmental awareness gave birth to the concept of eco-citizenship; I believe that the same logic is being applied to “silver citizenship”, because ageing well is everybody’s concern.

We could try and adapt the definition of eco-citizenship to define silver citizenship as follow: the awareness of being part of the same intergenerational environment, which naturally entails several rights and responsibilities, the right to age well, ethical responsibility, the respect of consumer choice, etc.

Since we speak of eco-citizen companies at present, we will most probably speak of silver-citizen companies in the future. Some big companies are already claiming the label, perhaps unwittingly.

A social shift is well underway. “Changing our views” was the guiding principle of the SilverNight theme night, which took place on March 21st in Paris. The aim is to change our views on population ageing, but perhaps even more importantly, on our own ageing process.

This change of views take place on a global scale and the expertise of French companies in the field is real and acknowledged, all the way to China, where people have started trying to import our ageing à la française.

The Silver economy must be driven by strong communications plans and that is what we are currently dedicating ourselves to, along with institutions and the industry’s entrepreneurs. Ageing is an opportunity, and the more we work together towards ageing well, the sooner we will all reap the rewards.

I am calling on all of you to get selfishly involved in this wonderful adventure!


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