First of all, let's talk about what an XchangeIdeas Track Leader is? - -
- It's a person whose head, heart, and mind is committed to an industry, problem, or type of innovation that others want to see more of around the region.
- It's a leader who is willing to take feedback from other regional stakeholders on how to best highlight and activate more great things around a common theme.
- They'll also make sure that someone, perhaps someone looking to innovate around aging issues in this case, has a reasonable path to walk throughout the week and we don't stack too many amazing events at the same time for the same audience.
The first XchangePgh track leader we're proud to announce is Dr Shannah Gilliam who will be helping XchangeIdeas attendees, colleagues, and students shape and explore innovation in aging.
Shannah Tharp Gilliam, Ph.D. is Deputy Director for the Area Agency on Aging in the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (ADHS-AAA), which serves over 40,500 people each year. Since her hire in 2022, Dr. Gilliam has organized the restructure of the ADHS-AAA to better position her team to address old challenges in new ways. In the past 11 months, DHS-AAA has expanded partnerships and opened millions in funding streams that are new to our region’s network serving the County’s older adults. Before her current role, Dr. Gilliam held positions for two decades at Homewood Children’s Village and the RAND Corporation. In Homewood, she developed strategic, innovative, and effective solutions; led community-driven advocacy initiatives that connected residents with policy-makers; and spearheaded efforts that elevate equity issues and activate resources. As a behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation, she recommended policy change and provided technical assistance for state and local, community, education and health initiatives.
SO, WHAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF HOW AGING INNOVATION CAN PLAY A ROLE IN THE XCHANGEINNOVATION WEEK (HAPPENING IN APRIL)?
We might simulate what unique challenges and opportunities exist in aging by:
- Using a suit like the once seen here: https://youtu.be/SJPnK_NgHVI
- Identifying or creating media that can help attendees understand the aging experience.
- Inventorying some breakthrough products and services by Older Adults (OAs) that have increased their joy?
- Highlighting what products are available that could be applied to the field of adaptive modifications to help OA’s age in place or extend their functionality and independence?
- Much, much more!
Don't have an idea but are passionate about the topic? With HUGE thanks to Dr Gilliam and team for the sponsorship we have FREE tickets available for the upcoming design and strategy event in March!
Perhaps some of these topics to explore during the weekend might spark your interest:
- Transportation to and from important appointments or even social outings is a major barrier for many older adults. Sure, ACCESS and other transportation services are out there. But they do not have the capacity to scale up to meet the current need let alone to meet the future increase in need as boomers and millennials (who are now entering their forties) age in our region. UBER and LYFT would be options, however, there are limitations to the ease of use of these applications including safety risks and complex user interfaces.
- Food, whether it’s going to the grocery store OR cooking meals at home, access to food comes with many types of barriers for many OA’s. Social Services that provide grocery support do not have the manpower to cover the need. UberEATS or Grub Hub could be used; but can be prohibitive due to high fees or tech that is difficult for some OA’s to navigate, unassisted.
- Communication & Social Connection are critical to maintaining safety and wellbeing among OA’s. Unfortunately, adults experience social isolation in greater numbers as we age. Despite its wide scale usage among many, Social Media can be a dangerous place for OA’s (and the rest of us, as well).
JOIN US AND INVENT, REINVENT, OR MORE THOUGHTFULLY SCALE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR OUR REGION'S RECYCLED TEENAGERS!