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As we break for what feels like an incredibly well-earned psychological and physical rest at the end of possibly the most turbulent year societally that many of us will live through, thoughts will, no doubt, at some point turn to elderly family members: parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and how they’re coping under lockdown.
The elderly have had a tough year; adding to existing problems that many had already been living through: inadequate living conditions, safety, security, loneliness, lack of cultural activity.
It’s an issue that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately with some equally concerned investment/health professionals, that will be known to many readers of Responsible Investor: Sally Bridgeland, FIA, trustee, non-executive director and adviser and Dr Rachel Melsom, MBBS, BSc. Director, Medical Matrix Consulting, and practicing Physician with a special interest in Elderly Care).
To cut a long story short, we’ve been talking for a while about how it is that the pensions/investment world, concerned with stewarding money for old age retirement, almost never actually talks about the quality of old age care itself; the very thing it is – or, we believe should be – designed, in part, to do.
The context of the conversations was that elderly care doesn’t deliver on numerous, critical fronts. Who hasn’t lived through or heard horror stories about poor care conditions, or faced the exorbitant cost of trying to find quality provision/services for loved ones? This may be the biggest S in ESG out there.
And of course, there’s some pretty obvious self-interest here….we’re all going to get old!
That’s before we even get to whether elderly care is socially and environmentally positive.
The problem, of course, as so often, is money: who finances this stuff and how, and how can it be done smartly and sustainably? Well, guess what, that’s the industry we all work in…
So, we decided to do something about it! We’re giving our time voluntarily and the resources of Responsible Investor to a competition that will launch in January 2021, titled: Silver linings: Because our pension beneficiaries really do matter. A think > do competition for ‘brainwaves’ and ‘business plans’ to make elderly care sustainable.
We believe the competition can help develop solutions that bring together and harness the best in technology, architecture, finance, health and care provision enabling financially, socially and environmentally sustainable and accessible elderly care, ultimately improving quality of life and wellbeing.
What’s a ‘think > do’ competition? It’s a competition where we ask you to ‘think’ about solutions to win prizes, and then we will work with the finance industry via a digital competition ‘winners’ presentation event to see what we can ‘do’ about taking the ideas to investable potential. We don’t want this to just be another competition for the sake of it.
We also don’t want the competition to be purely the domain of professionals. We are splitting the competition into two types of entry:
1. Brainwaves that highlight a key problem and provide an inspired solution in an elderly care context. This part of the competition will be open to the general public, simple to enter, and will form part of our broad social media outreach.
Brainwaves: £500 each for the 8 best brainwaves
2. Business Plans that could develop into real investable solutions that address the problem of unsustainable elderly care. We anticipate these plans to incorporate novel features and associated benefits. These plans can reach across one or multiple areas – e.g. residential provision, technical innovation, financial planning, multi-generational living, home living, etc.
Business Plans: £10,000 to the winning entry, and £5,000 to 2x runner-up entries.
We are looking for sponsors!
We are grateful for the support of Darwin Alternative Investment Management as a cornerstone sponsor of the competition prizes.
But we are looking for more sponsors for what we believe is an excellent chance for organisations to show their support of real sustainable finance in action for pension beneficiaries. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Sponsor Benefits.
The best Business Plans will be presented at a dedicated digital conference in May next year that will bring together investors and the Business Plan authors. The goal is to identify catalyst ideas that can then be developed into investable solutions that could help make elderly care sustainable.
Launch: January 2021
Submission of Brainwaves: End of February 2021
Brainwave winners announced: Mid-March 2021
Submission of Business Plans: End of March 2021
Business Plan winners announced: April 2021
Silver Linings Digital Event: 24 May 2021