The United Nations launched an Open call for good practices, success stories and lessons learned by all stakeholders in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.
More than 700 submissions were reviewed by a team of experts from United Nations entities and “SHAFE implemented through NET4Age-Friendly” was one of the recognized good practices from all over the world.
SHAFE and NET4Age-Friendly (www.net4age.eu) are international networks that engage all levels of society with the intrinsic aim of promoting the development of local, regional or national inclusive ecosystems (composed of a quadruple helix of citizens, public authorities, companies, and researchers) which interact and coordinate at the international level. This strategy allows them to literally become viral, by exponentially increasing the networking, the dissemination and knowledge exchange among scientists, business, public, local administrations, policy makers, professionals, and citizens. This brings an inspiring and fruitful new way of cooperation that fosters knowledge and promote grassroot implementation at a broader scale, combining top-down and bottom-up perspectives.
The meaning and notion of SHAFE as a holistic approach that promotes the alignment of policies and strategies is a unique roadmap for the implementation in and across Europe. When we acknowledge the serious challenges, especially those related to demographic change and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible anymore to still work in silos or to keep positions for individual interest. Before any other role, we all are citizens and we have a duty as to work together in a bid for a better world. COVID has not directly impacted the implementation of SHAFE, au contraire, the inclusive environments proposed by NET4Age-Friendly would be adequate solutions to minimise the effects of the pandemic and relieve the pressure on health and care systems.
Carina Dantas, CEO of SHINE2Europe (www.SHINE2.eu) is the Chair of the COST Action 19136 International Interdisciplinary Network on Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (NET4Age-Friendly). Willeke van Staalduinen, CEO of AFEdemy, is Vice-Chair. Carina Dantas and Willeke van Staalduinen launched the SHAFE concept at the end of 2017. Projects that originated from this concept are: Hands-on SHAFE (www.hands-on-shafe.eu) in which project partners develop e-learning modules for facilitators to support them with the implementation of SHAFE for their parents, friends or neighbours or communities. The BIG project (Building inclusive environments for all generations) (www.big-game.eu), will develop a serious learning game where players can learn to solve daily lives issues for citizens.