The Scottish Parliament's think-tank

Growing Older and Wiser Together


In December 2005, Scotland’s Futures Forum commissioned a Project Board to take a futures look at the issues surrounding ageing and, specifically, to stimulate public debate on the positive aspects of Scotland having an ageing population.

The issues around ageing are complex and necessarily interrelated, which made this task difficult. The Project Board therefore concentrated on four specific themes during this study:

  • finance
  • employment
  • intergenerational issues, and
  • wellbeing.

Even then, it deliberately did not look from any particular policy perspective; rather, it used futures techniques to produce thought provoking questions.

These questions might usefully be considered if we are indeed to realise a positive society for our elderly citizens.

As a think piece, the report also sketches three scenarios of what the future might look like if these questions can be answered positively.

Writing scenarios is not, of course, an exact science and should not be seen as absolute or exhaustive. As with the questions arising from the project, the scenarios should be taken in the context of stimulating debate.