Symposium 2 – Innovation for sustainable care: International perspectives from industry and practice

Symposium 2

Innovation for sustainable care: International perspectives from industry and practice

Convenors:

Matthew Lariviere, Innovation Fellow, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Karla Zimpel-Leal, Innovation Fellow, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Discussant:

Kate O’Loughlin, Associate Professor, University of Sydney, Australien

As populations rapidly age and people increasingly live with life-long disabilities, further demands for formal social care services and carers could see currently unstainable care systems fail. Innovation, therefore, is a central focus for transforming care arrangements and systems around the world. This symposium explores different approaches to innovation for sustainable care by drawing on international research in four distinct areas: flexible policies for working carers, novel models of home care, care worker cooperatives, and emergent technologies. Examining such innovations in social care may demonstrate how and to what extent policy and practice priorities change.

Panel composition:

1. Kate O’Loughlin, Associate Professor, University of Sydney, Sydney (presenter); Freya Saich, Carers New South Wales; Zoi Triandafilidis, Carers New South Wales, Australia
‘Australia’s flexible work policies to support working carers: How flexible is flexible?’
Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009 provides a right to request flexible working arrangements for mature age workers over 55 and workers with added caring responsibilities; granting such a request is at the employer’s discretion. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from three consecutive state-wide surveys of carers in the state of New South Wales, this paper presents evidence on the impact to date of this attempt by government to recognise working carer contributions.

2. Karla Zimpel-Leal, Innovation Fellow, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
‘Emerging models of home care providers in the UK’
The purpose of this paper is to increase the knowledge of emergent business models in the home care industry, which is one of the most rapidly growing sectors and job creator worldwide. For example, in the UK, one of the grand challenges proposed by the country’s Industrial Strategy is an ageing population and how we can propose innovations for ageing well in place.

3. Fiona Macdonald, Senior Research Fellow, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Worker cooperatives as an organisational alternative in individualised care systems’
There are major challenges to providing quality care and ensuring decent jobs for care workers in individualised care markets. Worker cooperatives may be a solution, including in the emerging growing platform economy of care work. This paper investigates some recent initiatives.

4. Matthew Lariviere, Innovation Fellow, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
‘Designing wellbeing: Imagining futures of care through emergent technologies’
The Care Act 2014 formally prioritised wellbeing as a key principle for care provision in the UK. Yet how technologies may support individual wellbeing remains under-explored. This paper reflects on ongoing research with industry, refracted through a social science lens, to consider how the design of emergent technologies may influence how we practice care and support a person’s wellbeing.

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