Rebecca Kassab

I am a multidisciplinary designer and social researcher who uses design tools to address social, business and environmental issues. Being brought by Syrian-Lebanese parents in a South American country helped me to develop adaptability and high empathic skills. Most of my projects evolve around social innovation, considering how design tools can create social impact into improving people’s lives. I combine trend forecasting, marketing, design thinking and service design tools in order to deliver possible solutions to society’s issues.

Knowledge and skills gathered by senior citizens throughout their lives are often misused by society and government. Those laters tend to exclude older people from employability and other socioeconomic activities. Besides, pension funds are shirking, making older citizens in seek for financial support. Demographics play a big role in this issue because society is exponentially ageing, meaning that the participation of elders in the workforce will be each time more relevant and even needed. Along these lines, as older citizens have a lot of spare time on their hands and don’t have enough activities, creating a sense of lack of purpose.

About your project:

Olderpreneurs: Maturing the workplace

This project’s aim is to explore how older citizens can initiate new businesses and careers while generating mental, social and financial benefits for themselves. Considering that society will only get older, we should investigate how the later years can be as meaningful and enjoyable as the previous ones, if not more. Retired senior citizens normally lose many of their social connections, have to deal with loneliness, which directly affects their wellbeing and sense of purpose in life. As the Government is cutting pensions, older citizens also have to worry about alternative ways to support themselves. In this way, entrepreneurship seemed to be a great way to tackle issues that older citizens go through while generating something that is valuable to both them and the population in general. Thus, I have decided to name this project ‘Olderpreneurs’. Olderpreneurs are not only those seeking to start their own business but also those who want to explore employability later in life. We can no longer afford to socially and economically underestimate senior citizens but rather redefine and redesign what being aged really means by reshaping jobs and opportunities for later life.

The project aims to explore how older citizens could initiate new business and careers while generating mental, social and financial benefits. After a lot of research developed with seniors in the ‘Employability Club’ (Age UK East London), the outcomes of this project are a campaign, a networking website and a toolkit.

 

 

 

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