NS Network for Social Change
We have partnered with NS GovLab, a social innovation lab focused on population aging in Nova Scotia to create the NS Network for Social Change – a network of those working on issues related to aging well.
Our partnership with NS Govlab will form the foundation of a social innovation community in Nova Scotia, focused on aging well. The Nova Scotia Network for Social Change will involve:
- Use of experimentation to develop a deeper understanding of population aging in Nova Scotia.
- Identify gaps in current services and approaches.
- Build a diverse network of engaged and connected social innovators, by working with partners in new ways to improve services, programs and policies directed at our aging population.
- Create collaborative partnerships across sectors to build and test potential solutions to improve aging in place, while staying connected to community, and creating connections across generations and cultures to build resilient communities.
In Nova Scotia today, one in five people are over the age of 65. By 2030, that number will be one in four. In the coming years, Nova Scotia will transition to a population comprised of more older people than younger people. This shift will greatly impact the current status quo. There are direct and knock-on effects for the economic, social, health and well-being of all Nova Scotians. A few of the predicted challenges may include:
- labour force gaps,
- employment participation after the age of 65,
- caring for older parents and children simultaneously,
- maintaining social connections,
- the effects of chronic disease over time,
- threats to “ageing in place”, and
- rural sustainability.
NS GovLab creates opportunities for those interested and with influence to change and adapt the system to this new reality. However, a lab can only go so far in this area and there are many other social innovation opportunities that could be pursued if there were more understanding of how to engage in social innovation and more opportunities for connections between social innovators.
The NS Network for Social Change is aimed at filling that gap, to connect the social changemakers who can collaborate on innovative solutions, together. By bringing together knowledge from across private, public and social sectors, we’ll focus on seizing the opportunities that an aging population presents. This means that not only vulnerable older adults will benefit from better public policy, and more effective and efficient services informed by their real world challenges, but also younger Nova Scotians will be given new opportunities to rise to solving the challenges associated with an aging population.