ACTing trains Agents for Active Ageing

Second coordination meeting in Madrid
Second coordination meeting in Madrid
Press relase by Fondazione Mondo Digitale, traduction française Mathieu Jaume, traducción española Raquel Pazos
10 May 2014

These are “special agents” that introduce elders to new technologies and discover all the tools that can improve their quality of life, as well as help them overcome their “fear of big brother” on the web. The Context Analysis Report compiled by Fondazione Mondo Digitale was presented on 7 May 2014 in Madrid. The Report analyses the behaviour of elders towards technology in four countries. The project has developed a common methodology to train social agents.

According to Eurostat data, more than 9 out of 10 young men and women aged 16-24 regularly use the Internet, while only 42% of those older than 55 does, although these percentages are progressively increasing. However, it is not enough to just teach elders how to use technology, we have to help them experiment concretely with the new tools and discover how to improve their lives by involving them in activities of their own personal interests and improving their social life. They must be supported to face and overcome their fears.

This is the main message that arises from the Context Analysis Report, the document the second coordination meeting for the Project ACTing - Social Agents Promoting Active Ageing through ICT. This two-year project involves five partners in four countries: Fundetec (lead partner) and Fundación Esplai in Spain, AEPMR in Romania, ICVolunteers in Switzerland and the Fondazione Mondo Digitale in Italy.

The project has been developed with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission (Leonardo da Vinci Multilateral Projects for the Transfer of Innovation). The Mayores con Iniciativa methodology, developed and implemented by the Fundetec Foundation in Spain, will be adopted and tested in a variety of different contexts, to provide social agents with the necessary competences and tools to work optimally as facilitators for the social inclusion of elders in local communities.

Each partner conducted a national study to gather information on elders, the use of new technology and to determine the profile of social agents. Subsequently, three national best practices were identified by each partner and focus groups organized, involving both elders and social agents. The project compiled a comparative analysis, based on the individual country data from each partner, which strongly points to the need to train specialized figures capable of providing personalized and flexible training developed “ad hoc” for each elder on the basis of individual needs. Moreover, information and communication technologies (ICTs) competences are not sufficient, the social agents must have strategic virtues such as patience, affection, empathy and the ability to listen.

The data and information gathered in the study will serve to develop the project’s didactic methodology. A training session for social agents will be held in each country during the month of June and will be followed by a pilot phase during which the social agents will support elders to develop social and digital inclusion initiatives in each country.

The full Context Analysis Report is available on-line at:

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