Committed to connecting the world

AI for Good Global Summit

Ageing in a digital world

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Ageing in a digital world

from Vulnera​ble to Valuable

ITU is fully committed to contribute to the success of the UN Decade ​on Healthy Ageing, by raising awareness, developing guidelines on policies and strategy advice, share good practices, and strengthen capacity to ITU members on how to use the ICTs to develop innovative solutions that have economic and social benefits and thus, help​ them to turn this challenge into a great opportunity.​

The megatrend of ageing - long lives to 100 as a matter of course and more old than young in all societies as they modernize- is one of the powerful global trends jointly with the technology raise of our 21st century. As today’s one billion older adults over 60 will double to two billion in the next three decades, it becomes evident that ageing in a digital world can turn the paradigm of vulnerable into valuable. ​

​Information and Communication Technologies- ICTs, if built with the digital accessibility requirements and universal design in mind can make a fundamental difference in creating accessible, inclusive and age friendly digital environments and communities. ICT can further enable all of us to live a healthy and active later life, participate and make longer socio-economic contributions to the society, and thus empower all of us to live our lives to the full.​
​​In this context, the "Silver Economy", now at $17 trillion, triggers substantial transformation of existing businesses models, but also strongly influences global socio-economic ecosystems.

During 2021, the UN proclaimed 2021 to 2030 the Decade of Healthy Ageing, which represents a unique opportunity to bring all stakeholders together to improve the lives of older adults, today and in the future.

In the spotlight

 World Telecommunication & Information Society Day, 17 May 2022WSIS Forum 2023

UN joint initiative on Mainstreaming Knowledge on Ageing

Join the collective effort of ten UN Agencies along with eight civil society’ representatives, to champion inclusive learning on ageing in support to the implementation of UN Decade on Healthy Ageing!  After successfully covering last year the global ageing trends and human rights of older persons, this year will focus on accessibility – and its wide-ranging impact on people across all generations and their communities alike. Our collective effort is geared towards advancing this UN agenda together, by sharing our expertise, strengthening global knowledge, empowering societies, and fostering global partnerships for a better ageing of present and future generations

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WSIS 2023: Special track on "ICT and Older Persons"

The ICTs and Older Persons special track addresses the role of ICTs in combating age-based discrimination in the workplace, achieving healthier ageing, building smarter cities, ensuring the financial inclusion of older persons, and supporting millions of caregivers across the world and in digital inclusion across the generations to enable the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020–2030.


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ITU resources & activities on Ageing in a digital worl​d​

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ICTs for better ageing and livelihood in the digital landscape

Online self-paced training

The training course provides valuable information on how to address the digital inclusion of older persons in the context of two global megatrends: an ageing population and the exponential rise in digital technologies. It also provides guidelines, tools and resources that aim to achieve healthier and wealthier inclusive digital societies globally.

Through its three modules, the course includes holistic information on a range of key topics such as the challenges and opportunities arising from these megatrends; key elements to be considered in the process of digital inclusion; the importance of building inclusive and age-friendly environments; accessibility requirements and standards involved in developing accessible and inclusive ICTs; as well as relevant policy and strategy recommendations.
​​ICTs for better ageing

This training course is available in English, French and Spanish. To take the training course you must first register with the ITU Academy if you do not have yet an account.

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Ageing in a digital world - ​from vulnerable to valuable​

By 2050, the number of people aged 65 years or older is projected to reach 1.5 billion.  “Ageing in a digital world - from vulnerable to valuable” is the first-ever report to be produced by ITU to raise awareness in the ICT sector on the importance of being prepared to respond to the needs and requirements of ageing populations. This report addresses the two global megatrends that reinforce each other: the emergence of digital technologies and ageing populations, both of which are predicted to bring about important socio-economic changes worldwide. The report aims to help ITU members and other stakeholders to understand digital opportunities and take advantage of new possibilities for economic, social and political growth from increased digital inclusion and age-friendly digital environments. It highlights trends, identifies good practices and possible solutions, and presents guidelines that can leverage the contributions of older generations, reduce their age-related vulnerability and foster their socio-economic development to achieve healthier and wealthier inclusive societies. It focuses on the role that ICTs can play in ensuring digitally inclusive communities in which older persons are active participants and valuable contributors.

Download th​e report


​The world is digital and its population is ageing. For the first time in human evolution people aged 60 have outnumbered children under 5 years old and are predicted to reach 2 billion by 2050. Older persons have always been an asset to their families, communities and societies. Nevertheless, they have been perceived as a vulnerable group dependent on young generations. The digital world can no doubt enable older persons to participate and contribute to society turning this misconception​ of vulnerable into valuable.​​​​​
Available with captions in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish

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Ageing | United Nations​​

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The Decade of Healthy Ageing: a​ new UN-wide initiative​

The Decade of Healthy Ageing is a global collaboration that brings together diverse sectors and stakeholders including governments, civil society, international organizations, professionals, academic institutions, the media and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities.

Visit UN DESA Porta​l here
Download Baseline Report  ​​Visit D​ecade Platform​
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United ​Nations For Ageing

The primary action of the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) programme on ageing is to facilitate and promote MIPAA including: designing guidelines for policy development and implementation; advocating means to mainstream ageing issues into development agendas; engaging in dialogue with civil society and the private sector; and information exchange.

Visit UN DESA Portal
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The Decade of Healthy Ageing: a new UN-wide initiative​

The Decade of Healthy Ageing is a global collaboration that brings together diverse sectors and stakeholders including governments, civil society, international organizations, professionals, academic institutions, the media and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families and communities.

Download Baseline Report  ​​Visit DECADE Platform​

Recent events & related resources

Resources on ageing in a digital era