Conference “Connecting minds across the ages” - NDPHS
23 November 2021
23 November 2021
Conference “Connecting minds across the ages”
09:00 (GMT-11:00)
The NDPHS Secretariat

Across the globe, people are living longer than ever before. In the Northern Dimension area, in a matter of fewer than 30 years, the life expectancy at birth has increased on average by six years and is 78.6 years as of 2018. Longer life is an opportunity for enjoying more experiences, for trying out diverse career paths, and for making more contributions to society, but why is ageism – and self-ageism – so widespread in our societies and how do we overcome it?

Data – when available – shows that discrimination based on older age is wide-spread and affects all areas of life. The lack of data on this topic itself is a sign of ageism because older people are often treated as a homogenous 60+ or 65+ group of elderly, disregarding their different life paths. Older people’s contribution to society in various roles such as employees, entrepreneurs, volunteers, consumers and caregivers is undisputed, but not sufficiently recognized.

During the COVID-19 pandemic older people have played an important role in supporting the functioning of society, many returned from retirement as medical or educational staff, or took up voluntary work and cared for their family members.Then why is ageism – and self-ageism – so widespread in our societies and how do we overcome it?

Together with policy makers and civil society representatives from across the region, we will discuss and seek solutions.

Watch the conference’s highlight video here.



Barbro Westerholm, MD, is a Swedish Liberal People’s Party politician.

Dr Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, Global Campaign to Combat Ageism at World Health Organization, a lead author of the first UN Global report on ageism.

Prof. Roland Rau, Professor of Demography, University of Rostock, Senior Research Scientist,  Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany.

Prof. Oxana Drapkina, Director, National Medical Research Centre for Therapy and Preventive Medicine, the Ministry of Healthcare, the Russian Federation.

Ms. Iréne Nilsson Carlsson, Senior Public Health Adviser, the National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden.

Mr. John Mellkvist, Communicator, Member of the Swedish Government’s Delegation for the Promotion of Older Workers, Thought Leader on Combating Ageism, Sweden.

Ms. Tiina Tambaum, Researcher, Estonian Institute for Population Studies, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University, Estonia.

Dr. Valery Chernyavski, Senior Adviser, Federal Research Institute for Health Organisation and Informatics, the Ministry of Health, the Russian Federation.

Ms. Aline Mayr, Coordinator of Baltic Youth Platform Erasmus+ Project, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Sweden.

Mr. Manfred Huber, Healthy Ageing, Disability and Long-term Care WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Moderator: Ms. Catarina Rolfsdotter-Jansson

Two central themes:

  • Combating ageism: Transforming public attitudes in healthcare, at workplaces and in society;
  • Connecting ages: promoting intergenerational contacts and inclusivity of older people in service design and policymaking.


The conference was organized as a side event to the NDPHS Partnership Annual Conference.

Produced by Miltton.