Workforce & Economics

Leveraging digital technology to redefine retirement

Jun 13, 2016
By Esko Aho

Digital technology can redefine retirement and enable longer working lives if governments integrate their ageing populations into the digital economy and leverage new technologies to support active ageing.

Digital technology can enable older workers to stay in the workforce longer by enabling them to work in ways that are appropriate for their lifestyles and preferences, for example, through technology workers can work remotely and on more flexible schedules. Digital technology can also redefine retirement by creating healthcare advances that keep workers healthy and active. Public-private cooperation will be essential in supporting these efforts. Critical next-steps include:

  • Businesses need to integrate digital technology into the workplace and ensure that older workers benefit from these new technological advances through training and other initiatives that foster digital readiness.
  • Education systems should step up and become a key partner in re-skilling workers and promoting digital readiness.
  • Public and private sectors need to leverage digital technology to increase the access and efficiency of healthcare and to find solutions to the health challenges of an aging population.
  • Governments need to address any outdated policies that prevent longer working lives and advance policies that encourage the engagement of older workers in the economy.
  • Policymakers need to support policies that encourage innovation and investments in digital technology.
  • Public and private sectors need to create a new security and privacy regime for data collection and sharing that promotes greater trust between all participants.
  • Both private and public sectors need to work together to increase funding for research and development for new breakthrough innovations.

Leveraging digital technology

Hear Esko Aho explain his one idea for redefining retirement.

Author: Esko Aho

About the author

Esko Aho
Former Prime Minister of Finland

Esko Aho enjoyed a long and distinguished career in government service. He served as a member of Finnish parliament for 20 years, from 1983. He was elected to the Prime Minister’s Office in 1991 at the age of 36, making him the youngest prime minister in Finland’s history. During his premiership, Esko chaired the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland. Under his leadership, he also brought Finland into the European Union. After leaving office in 1995, Esko spent one year as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University in 2000, leading a weekly study group on the European Union and its political and economic implications for global relations. He then served as the president of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, from 2004-2008. During that time, Esko was invited to head a group of experts on reinforcing EU research and innovation performance, which submitted its report to the European Commission in January 2006. Furthermore, he chaired the steering group, which submitted the Proposal for Finland’s National Innovation Strategy in 2008. Currently, Esko serves as a Consultative Partner at Nokia Corporation and he also serves as an Executive Chairman of the Board of East Office of Finnish Industries Ltd, which is founded by the leading Finnish corporation to enhance business opportunities in Russia. Esko was elected to Executive Board member at ICC – International Chamber of Commerce as of July 2013.