Demographic pyramids in countries around the world are flipping upside down as senior citizens account for a larger and larger percentage of the population every year. To raise awareness for the challenges and opportunities presented by the demographic shift, Kenan Foundation Asia and the Thailand and Indochina Carolina Club organized a seminar on February 7th in Bangkok featuring experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and Kenan-Flagler Business School as well as local universities and businesses.
Like the United States, Thailand faces extraordinary challenges related to its aging population. During the seminar, speakers explored ways in which innovative technology, institutions and peer networks can help societies overcome demographic transformation. Highlights from the seminar include Dr. Noel Greis’ (Director of the Center for Digital Enterprise and Innovation, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise) overview of how technology is reshaping the lifestyles of the elderly and Dr. Edwin Fisher’s (Director of Peers for Progress, Gillings School of Global Public Health) insights about how peer support can be used to help vulnerable populations in a range of public health areas, including aging.
Building off of the success of this seminar, UNC and Kenan Asia will host a major regional conference on aging society later in 2018. The two have worked together for over 20 years and are excited to continue harnessing the best ideas from the business and public health sectors to help Thailand survive and thrive in this greying era.