The year 2012 finishes with an intense reflection and the implementation of numerous initiatives placed within the framework of “2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.” The Permanent University of the University of Alicante has participated as a member of AEPUM with numerous proposals and activities throughout the year. Similarly, multiple initiatives drive active ageing, including university training actions (seniors’ universities) along with multiple actions encouraged from public administrations and organisations of seniors.
But it is seniors themselves along with other civil society groups and organisations that seek to support and promote social leadership by seniors, as a driving force for change, new opportunities and sustainability. This need is additionally linked to the demographic reality, which indicates that there are over eight million senior citizens in Spain today and that by 2020, when the Baby-Boom generation members reach 65 years of age, elements of change will be even more necessary in the medium and long term to ensure the sustainability of our system.
It is very important to highlight within this sociodemographic context that society has seniors willing to keep providing their wisdom, their knowledge, their time, their experience…As defined in the proposals made by a working group driven from CEOMA [initials for the Spanish Confederation of Seniors’ Organisations] in the context of the EAEA [European Association for Education of Adults], there are important seniors and natural leaders who retire and very often stop contributing actively and assume a more passive role and, consequently, they suggest the following change of paradigm:
THE DEFINITION OF PERSONS WHO LEAD, PROMOTE AND SUSTAIN THE INITIATIVES IN THE INCUBATOR OF VALUES
- “Leaders are those individuals who are guided by values of commitment, empathy, integrity and proactivity to provide and receive from others,
- They inspire a positive vision, mobilise, involve and create opportunities,
- They help change those structures which generate discrimination, do not work or are not sustainable,
- They encourage an improvement in quality of life for themselves and for the people around them, thus making possible a better society.”