Approximately 500 participants, including decision makers and practitioners from all over Europe and beyond, came together to discuss the achievements of transnational cooperation in improving the quality of life of European citizens with a view towards the future of transnational cooperation. An additional 300 people followed the event live via webstream.
The main speakers included Ms Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Polish Minister for Regional Development; Mr Normunds Popens, Deputy Director-General DG Regional Policy; Mr Kai Böhme, PhD, Spatial Foresight GmbH in Luxembourg; Mr Ole Damsgaard, Director of the Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (NORDREGIO); Mr Colin Wolfe, Head of Unit DG Regional Policy and Mr David Sweet, Advisor to the Director-General, DG Regional Policy.
A video report from the conference can be found here.
The Northern Periphery Programme was responsible for organising an experience centre and a workshop on the topic of demographic change, in particular Active ageing and the Silver Economy. Demographic change was one of 6 cooperation themes highlighted at the conference.
The experience centre on demographic change in the exhibition area offered participants an opportunity to experience the physical limitations of being a person of 40-50 years older, by means of an old age simulation suit. The suit, which consisted of different parts adding up to a total weight of 20 kilos, restricted movement, eyesight and hearing. In addition, participants could try on gloves sending electrical pulses to simulate Parkinson's disease.
The demographic change workshop was facilitated by Mr Christopher Parker from the NPP Secretariat. The workshop was opened with a sketch performed by actors from Pandemonia Science Theatre, integrating into the storyline different solutions developed by transnational projects dealing with demographic change.
The workshop featured presentations and a panel discussion by a range of speakers: Ms Jolanta Perek-Bialas from AGE Platform Europe, a European interest organisation for 55+ employees; Mr Peter Öberg, associate professor at Gävle University in Sweden, specialising in new lifestyles and social structures of older people; Mr Hauke Siemen representing the BestAgers project, who developed a webinar programme where older people act as business mentors for researchers; and Ms Paula Fitzsimons and Mr Niall Glynn representing the SENIOR ENTERPRISE project, who developed a programme to assist older people to start their own business. There was a video message by Mr Lambert van Nistelrooij, Member of European Parliament, who is engaged in the topic of active ageing in the Parliament.
The workshop was recorded by a graphical facilitator, Ms Tiina Hoskari, in the shape of a big illustration or mindmap.
As a follow-up of the conference, a workshop will be organised on 12th October as part of the OPEN DAYS in Brussels, to discuss the conclusions of the Joint Transnational Conference with representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Polish presidency of the EU.
Presentations, videos and other materials of the conference will be available soon on the conference website, www.transnational-cooperation.eu.