The 2016 Global Aging Forum: An International Lens on Aging convened in New Orleans as part of the Gerontological Society of America’s annual meeting in November 2016. The Global Aging Network co-sponsored the forum, which was focused on gerontological research and education efforts outside the U.S., with the objectives of highlighting similarities and differences among countries in the aging experience, policy and practice, increasing awareness of opportunities for global ageing research, and facilitating future collaborations. Presenters from a variety of disciplines described research, practice, and policy efforts ranging from Mexico, Russia, and the United Kingdom, to Nepal, Japan, and the Philippines. Additionally, attendees learned about corporate initiatives related to global ageing and about the RAND harmonized database of the international family of health and retirement studies that is available for cross-country analysis.
Subsequent roundtable discussions are always the most fruitful aspect of this lively forum, during which time attendees discussed the common themes that emerged from the talks. Observations included the importance of participatory and ethnographic methodology to capture the voice of older adults in research, the need for ageing experts to play an active role on the policy stage, and the need for better metrics and ageing data at the global level.