New Longevity: A Demographic Shift Driving Innovation


For the first time in history, the world has more people over the age of 65 than children five and under. This demographic shift has important repercussions on our health systems, our social services, and our economy. How do we maintain a healthy and fulfilling life as we age? How do we promote the resilience and autonomy of the elderly? And how do we redefine the concepts of retirement and “Silver Economy” to make room for social inclusion?

Organized by Ashoka Canada, HEC Montréal (IDEOS – social impact hub and the Office of sustainable development), and the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS), this bilingual event explores issues related to the “new longevity” movement and will provide the opportunity for local and international changemakers to connect with one another. This event will bring together NGOs, philanthropic organizations, social entrepreneurs, researchers, and other key actors working towards innovative initiatives to meet the challenges of a demographic shift with multiple repercussions and opportunities.

Further details regarding the speakers and the agenda will be available shortly. For any questions, please contact Kenny Panza at

Date & Time

Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 9:30 am to 4 pm.


In-person event at the HEC Montreal Campus
(3000 Chem. de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3T 2A7)


This event is free, and a meal will be offered to participants during lunch time. Please specify your dietary restrictions on the registration page.

Be quick! Places are free but limited.


Opening addresses – 9:30 am to 9:50 am

Keynotes Session – 10 am to 10:50 am

Keynote speakers

Chris Cusano, Founder of Sunbird-Newton & Senior Ashoka Advisor

Jean-Daniel Muller, Co-founder of Siel Bleu

Marc Freedman, Ashoka Fellow, Founder and Co-CEO of

Multi-Stream Options – 11 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 1:50 pm

Stream 1 - The autonomy of seniors: an essential requirement for strengthening societal resilience

A co-creation workshop led by the Maison de l’innovation sociale (

Today, numerous factors—among them climate change, the aging of the population, and social, economic, and health inequities—call upon us to strengthen the ties that enable our communities to rethink how best to live together. In response, the Maison de l’innovation sociale, together with Ashoka Canada and HEC’s IDEOS social-impact management centre, examines the role seniors can play in helping to build community resilience.

Our co-creation workshop, “The autonomy of seniors: an essential requirement for strengthening societal resilience,” will focus on two questions: 

  1. What factors create barriers—or promote success—for the meaningful participation of seniors in their communities?
  2. How can seniors’ participation in their communities help accelerate the Just Ecological Transition?

Stream 2 - New Longevity Panel

Hosted by Ashoka

A conversation panel with Jean-Daniel Muller and Marc Freedman, facilitated by Chris Cusano. This panel will explore how these two changemakers are addressing the challenges of aging in France and the United States.

Jean-Daniel Muller cofounded Siel Bleu in 1998 to respond the a lack of adapted physical activity and nutritional advice for the elderly. Today, Siel Bleu impacts over 140,000 beneficiaries in 9 countries. For his part, Marc Freedman is an expert in the Longevity Revolution and has been working since 1998 on developing pathways to promote intergenerational cooperation, tapping into the strengths of retired populations.

During the second half of this stream, participants will be asked to take part in an interactive activity.

Stream 3 - Exploring the socio-economic challenges of an aging population

Hosted by HEC Montréal

Panel facilitated by Bernard Morency, with the participation of Alain Dubuc, consultant for Institut du Québec and David Boisclair, executive director of the HEC Montréal Retirement and Savings Institute.

From a socio-economic point of view, the role of the elderly is subject to change. How can we ensure that we provide necessary services to help people remain economically active while maintaining adequate levels of wellbeing?

The purpose of this panel will be to explore the risks and opportunities of an aging population on the economy, and to identify programs and initiatives, such as home care, that allow them to stay healthy and economically active.

In the second half of this stream, participants will be asked to discuss in small groups and exchange perspectives with the panelists.

2 pm to 3 pm


Return of all participants and speakers of the three streams to highlight the main ideas, proposals or debates that emerged throughout the day. This session will be an opportunity to bring together all actors and experts in the field to open the way for a collective reflection.

Networking – 3 pm to 4 pm

Organized by:

Ashoka CanadaAshoka identifies and supports the world’s leading social innovators, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an Everyone a changemaker world. Ashoka Fellows champion innovative ideas that transform society’s systems while improving the lives of millions of people. Our New Canadian Fellows show the world that we flourish when our communities are resilient. You can explore their impact here.

HEC Montréal HEC Montréal received the designation of “changemaker campus” from Ashoka U in 2019 due to the excellence of its programs in terms of social innovation and sustainable development (it is the only francophone institution in Canada to have obtained this designation). HEC Montréal’s Sustainable Development Department and IDEOS – the social impact centre – are working together to maximize HEC Montréal’s impact in these areas and to create synergies between key players, both internally and externally.

Maison de l’innovation sociale ( Maison de l’innovation sociale is a driving and decisive force, in both urban and rural areas, in the emergence of initiatives—joint ventures involving citizen collectives, public and governmental organizations, universities, and the entrepreneurial community—with high potential for social and environmental impact. As a non-profit organization, it takes part in (and often leads) a variety of social R&D projects, offering training, incubation, and support for impact projects in both the start-up and pre start-up phases. This support, beginning well in advance of a project’s deployment, is part of a holistic approach that reduces risk, maximizes impact, and favours networking and collaboration with the full spectrum of social-change agents.

This event is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation.