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Future Societies: Ageing, Economics, Innovation

Future Societies: Ageing, Economics, Innovation

What does the future look like? Answering this question is no easy task: this three-week programme takes a deep-dive into our rapidly ageing societies as the new, global, demographic norm. Developments and innovation in the fields of economics, technology, health care, and social wellbeing are key leverage points for understanding what our world will look like in the near future. This course shines the light on groundbreaking and hopeful solutions, people, and organizations who are preparing society for the future.

How to apply

The application deadline of 1 April has passed. If you’re interested in applying for a spot in our programme, submit an application by 20 April via the link above, and email us at to let us know you’ve done so. All applicants will hear whether or not they received a spot in the programme by early-May.


Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 30 June - 18 July
Housing dates: 28 June - 22 July
Academic fee: € 1575
Housing fee: € 500 and € 75 refundable deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in ageing. For working professionals with a desire to continue their education in this field.
Academic director: Caroline van Dullemen
Early application deadline: 10 January 2019
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2019


Programme information

This course is a call to action to join an innovative group of people thinking about and preparing our societies for the problems we will face in the near future.

Ageing is a topic of urgent, global, importance: The United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be over 1.2 billion older people in the world, drastically changing planetary demographics. Today, average global life expectancy according to the World Health Organization is 71.4 years, and steadily increasing.

Ageing is often framed in terms of "crisis".  Rather than crisis, this course seeks to highlight important developments in a variety of fields to find productive solutions. This programme explores the interdisciplinary and intercultural dynamics of ageing from the viewpoints of economics and innovation to better understand our inevitable global future, and where we can make key interventions.

This three-week interdisciplinary program will address important questions: what are the implications of demographic transition to ageing/older populations? How do governments, civil society, businesses, and households deal with the risks and realities of old age around the world?  In what way is the current intergenerational social contract under threat regarding security and care, and how can we create a new mentality to approach this urgent topic for all generations?

By the end of the program, students will have an in-depth overview of global ageing and regional trends in relation to innovative socio/economic, political, and cultural solutions. After an introduction to new global demographics, the programme will turn to case studies, guest lectures, and excursions to highlight creative measures in housing, financial literacy, micropensions, and precision medicine/health care. These topics cut across regional debates and provide important moments and for reflection and action.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • Afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, and city excursions).

Participants will also have either an excursion to another city, or the final presentations for their programme during class days or on Fridays.

Credit Transfer

As a summer programme student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the University of Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at

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Get in touch with us at or call +31 (0)20 525 3776.

Future Societies: Ageing, Economics, Innovation
Mode Short-term
Credits ECTS,
Language of instruction English