Innovating for an ageing population

Understanding the financial lives of older people and co-creating transformational solutions

Ingredients: An ageing society; a business with an objective to innovate for people approaching later life; an older people’s charity; our social insight process; and lockdown!

Approach: Redesign a three-day face to face programme into seven online sessions; run it on Zoom with the help of the latest online collaboration tools; work with a core group of nine people from Experian throughout; learn from expert ‘critical friends’; and involve 15 charity members to be the voice of the ageing population.

Our social insight methodology helps businesses to address customer-related problems and opportunities. We applied it in the online world to help Experian DataLabs devise solutions for an ageing population. Our charity partner was Open Age, whose members provided valuable insight on the financial lives of older people through online discussions and activities, including a fiery debate on whether the ageing population represents a financial opportunity or a financial burden.

The insight arising from working in the online world was no less powerful and the societal needs identified no less compelling. The ideas, solutions and business cases that followed were testament to the energy of the Open Age members, the expertise brought by our ‘critical friends’ – Eric Kihlstrom of Ageing 2.0 and Kristina Leonnett of the Centre for Ageing Better – and the dedication of the Experian team throughout the whole process. (Mastering Zoom breakout rooms and Span Workspace – a great online workshopping tool – also helped!)

“We prepared for a series of face to face workshops with our partners Three Hands and the charity Open Age to innovate for a very important area of our society – the ageing population. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, we switched to a virtual environment. The team completely surpassed my expectations and I am very glad how well all the virtual sessions worked, thanks to the hard work and preparation by Three Hands. I would definitively recommend and look forward to working with them in future innovation sprints!”
Javier Campos, Head of Experian DataLabs, UK&I and EMEA

“This was the first time I’d been involved in a wholly virtual innovation exercise and it massively surpassed my expectations. The team at Three Hands facilitated every aspect of the 20+ workshop hours with calmness, enthusiasm and control so we were in safe hands and the conversations with the Open Age members and critical friends were significant in breaking down existing assumptions, learning about what was needed and validating the ideas we developed. A hugely worthwhile exercise and I’m excited to see where this could take us from here.”
Richard Donovan, Head of Social Innovation and UK&I Corporate Responsibility, Experian

“A really enlightening, engaging and enjoyable process bringing together real people, subject matter experts and our innovation team. Thank you.”
Jon Roughley Global Lead, Data Exchange, Experian

“Having the customer in the room at both insight and validation phases proved the most valuable; in particular I think it worked even better with the remote approach as the customers were more comfortable in their own surroundings.”
William Napier, Product Lead, Experian Consumer Services, Experian