The Global Ageing Network: A Reflection by Stuart Kaplan

By Stuart C. Kaplan

IAHSA has recently changed its name to the Global Ageing Network.

These three words succinctly and impactfully represent IAHSA’s Mission & Vision—

Global – international reach in 60 countries

Ageing—indeed, the population whom we serve

And Network—I’d like to spend a bit of time on…

Throughout history, social change has been possible only through the contributions and dedication of many people and organizations connected in tight and loose groups. Developments such as widespread access to immunizations in poor countries or civil rights movements or, in the United States, the emergency response system by dialing 911, have happened through leadership of citizens and groups of all kinds that have linked actions through constellations of relations—networks, if you will, of informal and formal relationships.

  • Networks are a collection of people/organizations and the relationships between them.

  • In developing networks…building relationships among organizations is the most direct path to achieving greater scale of impact.

  • Essentially, networks are all about relationships—“whom you talk to and whom they talk to.”

  • A strong network has both tight relationships (your close colleague) and loose relationships (that person you met at a conference, say, in Perth, Lyon, or soon, Montreux).

To strengthen a network we need to:

  • Create an infrastructure for wide spread engagement and coordinating resources, knowledge and actions to grow exponentially—the Global Ageing Network has done this!

  • Understand and align priorities—use members of the network as a sounding board to help establish priorities—the Global Ageing Network has done this!

  • Learn from our peers—hear how others approach challenges we each are facing –the Global Ageing Network has done this!

  • Networks flourish when new people on the edge are engaged to bring in fresh ideas and energy. This is our ongoing objective and wonderful challenge…and…the Global Ageing Network is doing it!

And finally, trusted and lasting relationships encourage communal exchange over time. With each call, each meeting, indeed each exchange we have, we are building ever strong, the Global Ageing Network.

About the Writer

Stuart C. Kaplan is the CEO of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. in New York, NY USA. A forward thinking executive with extensive experience in health care administration, Stuart  provides strategic, analytical, and operational stewardship for social service, health care, long term care and managed care organizations. Under his leadership, Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., a leading provider health and human services, home care and affordable housing for ageing New Yorkers, has strengthened its financial position, improved program efficiency and preserved its compassionate delivery of care. Stuart joined the Global Ageing Network Board of Directors in 2015.

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