Virtual-EngAge examines the potential of everyday communication devices to support the maintenance, development and re-purposing of retirement association groups for social connectivity, critical information communication and advocacy in virtual environments.
In doing so, Virtual-EngAge hopes to inform the development of a technology mediated participation platform for older people. Virtual-EngAge is a collaboration with a nationally representative membership-based older adult organisation, Active Retirement Ireland (ARI) and its local Active Retirement Associations (ARAs), and a series of technology partners.
The PI’s of the Virtual Engage Project are Professor Kieran Walsh, ICSG, NUI Galway and Professor Carl Vogel, Trinity College Dublin.
Capture current state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary and intersectoral knowledge concerning technology-driven virtual participation platforms in later life;
Illuminate the context of a national active retirement association for technology application, exploring the internal communication strategies (including the use of everyday technology), and the external perception of the association to support and represent older people, prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic;
Examine the daily engagement routines of members of the association in relation to the three spheres of social connectivity, critical information access and dissemination, and advocacy, and the role of technology in supporting this engagement;
Assess the broader social discourses and the barriers facing members, and potential members, to acceptance and use of technology for collective forms of virtual engagement in social connectivity, crisis communication and advocacy.;
Triangulate and translate the findings into coordinated and workable technology strategies and scenarios for the national retirement association, and in-depth design criteria and operational wire frames for technology transfer and engagement;