2023 Annual Meeting of the Socio-gerontechnology Network

Theorising Ageing in a Digital World

The Faculty of Humanities of the Open Universiteit will host the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Socio-gerontechnology Network on 28 and 29 September 2023 in Utrecht. During this meeting, we focus on the cross-pollinations that become relevant at various conceptual, methodological or empirical junctions in the field of Socio-gerontechnology. These junctions may include, but are not limited to, cross-disciplinary encounters between, for instance, social and cultural gerontology, science and technology studies (STS), age studies, sociology, anthropology, human-computer interactions (HCI), media studies, education or critical design studies. The aim is to explore theoretical and methodological innovations that push the limits of existing approaches in Socio-gerontechnology and put in sharp relief the terrain that becomes visible when we intersect empirical work and concepts that think ageing and technology together.


To this end, brings together more than 60 paper and poster presentations and 5 interactive panel discussions that employ a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods to highlight underexplored aspects of ageing-technology encounters across various life and design worlds. More specifically, discussed at the conference include:

  • Datafication and the constitution of later life
  • (Intersectional) life course approaches in increasingly digitalized societies
  • New forms of digital ageism in the light of algorithmic decision making
  • Mediated practices and forms of ageing-and-place
  • Design justice and digital innovation
  • Rethinking the digital inclusion/exclusion and the digital divide
  • Theorizing intergenerational relations or imaginaries of later life through and with technologies
  • Digital capitalism and the Silver Economy
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to care in a more-than-human perspective
  • Ageing technofutures and new generations of older people
  • Ageing and technology in the global south
  • Critically reflecting on practices of theorizing in Socio-gerontechnology

Practical information

Date: 28 and 29 September 2023
Venue: Open Universiteit/ Utrecht Campus, Vondellaan 202 Utrecht
Programme: The full programme is available at the conference website

The Socio-gerontechnology Network

Demographic ageing and technological change – including new digital technologies – are two trends that are increasingly interrelated. This interrelation has become a pertinent driver of societal change. Technological research, innovation and policy are increasingly devised to solve some of the challenges that allegedly come with population ageing, so that technological innovation and innovation policy have become important arenas for negotiation of later life identities, social relations and lifestyles. At the same time, it also is increasingly clear that digital devices and infrastructures already permeate the lives of many older people, which has required us to rethink empirical approaches to ageing and ponder the place of new technologies and digital infrastructures in theories of ageing.

Since its inaugural meeting in 2017, the Socio-gerontechnology Network has provided a forum for interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the complex and co-constitutive relationship between ageing, technology, and society from various social sciences and humanities perspectives. The network embraces both early and more established academic scholars.