THE IMPORTANCE OF SILVER ECONOMY IN POST CORONA ERA

The global fertility rate has been falling dramatically. Experts from the department of
Washington University evaluating health statistics (Institute for Health Metrics and Evolution)
stated that the fertility rate fell to %2.4 worldwide in 2017. Prof. Dr. Christopher Murray said
that “We are moving into a period in which the population in most of the world is naturally
declining” in an interview with the BBC. He said that fertility rates in 183 out of 195 countries
have fallen to a level that will lead to a decrease in the current population (Hürriyet, 2020).
Given current trends, the human population will peak in this century and then begin to decline.
For this reason, a period in which the current population in the world is aging much more than
today is waiting for us. In other words, there will be a world where very different generations
will have to live together, produce together and design a common life and future. So are we
ready for this world?

 

The life span of companies is shortened, but the life of people is getting longer. As long
as human life extends, there is a vital problem that entrepreneurs should focus on. People are
overlooking baby boomer and silent generation while they are focusing on the Z generation.
This is ageism and a crime against humanity just like race and sexism. This discrimination
peaked during the pandemic process. At this point, entrepreneurs have great duties. Above all,
entrepreneurship means, aspiring to solve the current problems of the world we live in. All the
time human life extends, experienced and aged people has completely different adaptation
problems. We need to prepare for the silver economy because the world is aging rapidly. If the
current trend continues in this way, one out of every 6 people in the world will be 65 years or
older by 2050. Therefore, it is a significant issue to improve a business model that will solve
the problem of 1 in 6 people in the world.

At this point, we should discourse more about gerontology in the upcoming days. It
investigates the biological, sociological, economic, technological, and environmental aspects
of aging. Although gerontology is a new branch of science, today it is accepted as one of the
most important branches of science in all industrial countries. Governments in developed
industrial countries have been designing their aging policies based on gerontological research
and the knowledge of gerontologists. What will change, what will remain the same, and what
problems may arise in the relationships of young and old generations? How will the social
security of the elderly be ensured? What kind of perspectives are needed in aging policies? How
can we use artificial intelligence to help the elderly live a better life? (Tufan, 2020). All these
questions will take place on the agenda of countries more than ever in the upcoming period.

Senility and aging are not a global problem. The problem is that a society ages without
increasing their welfare. Societies with a high rate of old age are also societies with a high level
of welfare. To prevent this situation, the silver economy should be improved. There is an elderly
population with a low level of wealth and education. We think of young people’s hope for the
future, but what about the elder? Spending of the elderly population is increasing while their
savings are decreasing. For this reason, the Silver Economy is one of the topics that the world
should focus on the most today. The silver economy is a type of economy that addresses issues
such as the re-skill acquisition of the elderly, care of the elderly, workplace and workforce
change involving the elderly, social welfare, age-friendly infrastructures, health and well-being,
re-skilling, and elderly care while designing a future for the elderly. The elders are a very
important part of today’s economic model. For example, there is a concept called Silver Tourism
(Zsarnoczky, David, Mukayev & Baiburiev, 2016:228). Just before the pandemic, in Europe
alone, tourists over 65 spent 66 billion Euros in a year. It is estimated that the market to be
formed next year will be 33 billion dollars to make their homes smarter and more protected for
the elderly with information solutions. This situation reveals how important demography is for
entrepreneurs.

It shows that the willingness of the elderly to spend affects almost every economic
sector. As can be seen in the figure, seniors represent a large market segment; however,
marketing professionals have not yet fully exploited this possibility.

Learning and improvement are a process that continues until death. In the last 3 years,
various programs have been implemented in China to gain digital talent over the age of 65.
Currently, there is a university with a capacity of 70 thousand in China, where only the elderly
go. The Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, which is also affiliated with Harvard
University, offers educational opportunities for people over the age of 55 in many fields.
Harvard University set an example to the world in this regard, and Boğaziçi University
established the “Second Spring Academy” with the same logic. Human life is prolonged and
gaining new skills is not just the assignment of young people. Gaining new competencies from
technology and increasing and developing the competencies of all generations is a necessity to
find a place in a more livable life. It is very important to bring different generations together
and transfer their experiences to new generations. Besides, the difficulties of the population
over 65, who will constitute a significant part of the society, will undoubtedly affect other
generations. So now is the time to act. Age is just a number!

References
Küresel Doğum Oranı Hızla Düşüyor! Dünya Buna Hazır Mı? (16 Temmuz 2020). Hürriyet,
https://www.hurriyet.com.tr/teknoloji/kuresel-dogum-orani-hizla-dusuyor-dunya-buna-hazirmi-
41565675, Erişim Tarihi: 1 Ocak 2021.
Tufan, İ. (1 Ocak 2020). Gerontoloji, Toplum, Bilim Ve Ekonomi, Gazete Duvar,
https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/forum/2020/01/01/gerontoloji-toplum-bilim-ve-ekonomi,
Erişim Tarihi: 1 Ocak 2021
Türkı̇ ye’de Yaşlılık Tahayyüllerı̇ Ve Pratı̇ klerı̇ Araştirmasi, (Kasım 2019).
http://yada.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/1-Türkiye’de-Yaşlılık-Tahayyülleri-ve-
Pratikleri-Araştırması.pdf, Erişim Tarihi: 1 Ocak 2021.
Zsarnoczky, M., David, L., Mukayev, Z., & Baiburiev, R. (2016). Silver Tourism In The
European Union. Geojournal of Tourism and Geosites, 18(2), 224–232.

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