No Location
Re-designing Ageing

12 brand new businesses are developing innovative products and services with the aim of helping us to live better for longer - and they need your help!

  • Monday 2nd March 2020 11:00 (5 hours)
  • Workshop
  • Influence

12 brand new businesses are developing innovative products and services with the aim of helping us to live better for longer – and they need your help!


Zinc is a national organisation which brings together 50 entrepreneurial individuals (know as 'Founders') from a diverse range of backgrounds to build up create solutions for a specific social mission. The current mission? To add 5 high quality years to later life.

This mission takes the form of a 9-month programme where the 'Founders' form teams to explore problems, find meaningful insights and create new businesses to solve these problems.

Zinc is currently five months into the current programme. Here is what has happened so far:

  • In October 2019, Mission 3 was launched: adding 5 high quality years to later life. See the video here.
  • In the next few weeks, the founders learnt about later life from experts in academia and from those with lived experience.
  • The subsequent months were spent picking specific problems within this mission and finding a team to tackle these with.
  • The founders then conducted extensive research and user testing, and came up with prototype solutions to these problems.

Now 12 teams are coming to Newcastle to hear what you have to say about their ideas and products.

Volunteer Criteria

Based on your lived experience, you will be allocated to 1 of 3 groups for the day, with each group exploring a different theme.

Group 1 - Health in Later Life: Exploring how we can help assist people to age in good health
Experience (either yourself or caring for a friend or family member of either:

  • Incontinence
  • Day surgery/minor surgery
  • Knee pain and/or
  • Mobility challenges

Group 2 - A Social Later Life: Exploring aspects of social ageing
Experience of either:

  • Hearing loss
  • Low digital skills and/or
  • How confidence has impacted your social life

Group 3 - Work in Later Life: Exploring working, employability, retraining and financial provisions in later life
People who are:

  • Aged between 50-69 years old 
  • still in employment or
  • recently retired

What will I be asked to do?

You will be allocated to one of the three groups. You will receive information about which group you are in and which founders you are meeting with in advance.

During the day, each group will take part in four one hour sessions (with lunch and comfort breaks in between). Each session will be hosted and facilitated by a different team of founders from the Zinc programme.

Due to both the range of topic areas the founders are working on and the diverse stages of their businesses, the activities in each session will vary considerably. The activities may include but are not limited to:

  • focus group discussions
  • surveys
  • product testing and
  • workshops where you will have the opportunity to contribute to product and service design 

Places are limited, to register your interest in being involved, click the button at the top of the page and let us know what experience you have in the areas mentioned above.

When and where?

The day will be take place at The Catalyst, Newcastle Helix on Monday 2nd March, 11:00-16:00.

Will I get anything for taking part?

You will received a £25 voucher for taking part and travel expenses will be reimbursed. Refreshments and lunch will also be provided.


  • The Catalyst
  • 3 Science Square, Newcastle Helix
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • NE4 5TG

Zinc Mission 3 Launch Video

Re-designing Ageing Discussion

Login / Register to take part in this discussion.

  • Ian Fairclough
    10th February 2020

    This is worth discussing - I will stick to the headlines :)


    We have identified 10 opportunity areas for this next mission.


    1) Assistive technology: Most of this is done now, but can be improved - I disagree with your "autonomous vehicle" suggestion, these will not work for old people.


    2) Disease prevention: Good thought - but we are already living longer than our bodies were designed for. With improved education earlier in life we can make later life easier to live with.


    3) Longer working lives: Too many variables in this - but many chances for the voluntary sector. Or we could try the Japanes system.


    4) Neglected health conditions: As above - education & a healthier lifestyle.


    5) Social isolation and loneliness: Again being made aware earlier in life, education, and family loyalties as practiced by other races would help.


    6) Integrated healthcare: An unfulfillable dream - but education would help.


    7) Financial services: Again education earlier in life and taking the best of the Scandanavian systems and incorporating them in our systems would help.


    8) Care-givers: A second career for those frustrated retirees who feel the need to continue working in later life.


    9) The Oldest Old: The Japanese system and the Chinese family life rules would help here.


    10) Digital Divide: The Old-Old population has no need for the "digital age" they will be dead shortly. It is the "young-Old" who need your help.

  • Ian Fairclough
    9th February 2020

    They are right to worry about these things. The average older person will:


    suffer 7 years of poor health, with long-term conditions that can’t be cured - true! This because of natural "ageing." We are living too long.


    have insufficient income or savings to cover the full 20-40 years of their retirement and the cost of care - Possibly! But there are too many variables for this statement to be accurate.


    develop at least one disability which limits their daily functioning - Possibly! But again there are too many variables for this to be a definitive statement.


    become increasingly more lonely and isolated as they age - Possibly! Again this is an ageing thing - generally, husbands die ten years before their wives and therefore the surviving spouse becomes lonely - its natural.


    endure a poor quality of life and a sharp decline in their life satisfaction in their very old age and/or the last year or two of their life - False! You can't give any specific figures for this, you can't do surveys. Again there too many variables.


    be retired for too long, prematurely losing the stimulation, social network, sense of purpose and income that a job brings - Possibly! But again it depends on the circumstances and the location.


    face age-discrimination that limits their access to a full-life - mmm - I will disagree with this statement until you expand it and quote examples.


    In the UK they are wrong to worry - The system can cope - I can't comment on other countries especially third world countries.

  • Ian Fairclough
    31st January 2020

    I don't understand what is meant by "Based on your lived experience,"


    How much & what identifiable personal information would be required from us?

    Alex Mitchell
    3rd February 2020

    Hi Ian - by 'lived experience' we mean the any relevant experiences you have accumulated across your life; from previous professions or caring for someone, to living with a particular condition. We're asking VOICE members who would like to take part, to tell us a little bit about their experience relating to the volunteer criteria outlined above. This information comes straight to the VOICE team and enables us to allocate members into the right groups on the day. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at or give us a call. Thanks!