Canada October 2019

Theme: Connected Autonomy for older Canadians

Date: 16-18 October 2019

Venue: University of Ottawa, Ottawa Art Gallery

The University of Ottawa’s LIFE Research Institute has agreed to work with other international partners from Hong Kong, Krakow, Linz and Ste-Étienne/Lyon with the intent to form Academic International Partnerships around the theme of aging. The consortium thus created is called the Global Ageing Research Partnership (GARP) and is led by the team in Krakow, Poland. As a member of this alliance, each group is required to organize a 3-day workshop that is designed to showcase the research related to aging from the host site and encourage collaborations with visiting scholars from the other countries. While it is not a requirement for this event to yield a grant proposal or a publication, any evidence of continued academic collaboration is encouraged. The funding for these workshops has been obtained through a group application under the directorship of Dr. Maria Łuszczyńska from the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow to NAWA, the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.

The LIFE Research Institute’s steering committee has chosen the theme Connected Autonomy to host its workshop and highlight local research of relevance to aging. While the term may be confused with the more common relational autonomy, the committee has deliberately chosen the term connected to underscore the importance of linkages to not only people but to things, services, places and events when striving for autonomy.

In Canada, we value our ability to self-govern; to be able to make decisions about our destiny. As we grow older, health and other environmental and social circumstances render our ability to do so more difficult. During the NAWA-FUNDED research workshop in Canada, the University of Ottawa has hosted, through its LIFE Research Institute, a series of discussion themes that not only highlight our researchers but also engage our visiting scholars to participate in interdisciplinary emerging directions for future collaborations.

The workshop has presented a sampling of research primarily based at the University of Ottawa that is either ongoing or planned and contributes to our understanding of how older Canadians can obtain the best quality of life possible by maintaining or regaining their autonomy while remaining connected throughout their lives.