Digital inclusion, empowerment and connections key priorities for digital technology: Data61 report

Digital inclusion, digital empowerment and digital connections are the three priorities which need to be addressed to maximise the potential of digital technology with respect to lifelong participation, according to Data61's latest report, Lifelong participation through digital technology.

"Due to increases in life expectancy we are now facing what could be the longest ever retirement period in history. With this welcome trend comes new challenges, such as the need to meet increased demand for health and aged care services at a time when the ratio of working aged people to retired people is declining. Further disruption, in the form of exponential developments in digital technology, could exacerbate these challenges, since the automation of work is likely to push less digitally literate older workers into early retirement," the report says.

"As has always been the case, our ability to flourish into the future will derive from the way in which we harness technology to overcome our challenges and create new opportunities. This report seeks to convey this potential, capturing insights from international experts and high-level representatives from across Australian society to understand how the capacity and energy of older Australians can be enabled by digital technology."

As a next step, CSIRO’s Data61 will invite research participants and other stakeholders to take part in a forum process, underpinned by a collective impact framework. The forum is intended to build both the vision and the collective resources for testing and realising the potential for digital technology to support lifelong participation. Download the report, Lifelong participation through digital technology.

Hari Kotrotsios