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Creating a global roadmap for healthy longevity: CEPAR researchers appointed to international commission

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John Piggott and John Beard, both researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), have been appointed as members of the US National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) International Commission on Creating a Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity.

John Piggott, Director of CEPAR and Scientia Professor of Economics at UNSW Sydney said, “It is truly the ageing century. Population ageing is exerting unprecedented pressures on long-established social norms and policy institutions, both in Australia and around the world.”

“To give some idea of the challenge, 617 million, or 8.5% of people today worldwide, are aged 65 and over, and over the next three decades this figure is projected to more than double, reaching 1.6 billion by 2050,” he said.

John Piggott and John Beard join a multidisciplinary and global team of seventeen thought leaders, from both the public and private sectors, with expertise in biological and behavioural sciences, medicine, health care, public health, engineering, technology, economics and policy. Together they have been tasked with identifying the necessary priorities and directions for improving health, productivity, and quality of life for older adults worldwide.

“We will assess the evidence across three domains: social, behavioural, and environmental enablers; health care systems and public health; and science and technology,” said CEPAR Professor John Beard, who is a former Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Department of Ageing and Life Course.

“We will develop a comprehensive report with evidence-based recommendations to show how challenges, presented by global ageing, can be translated into opportunities for societies globally,” he said.

CEPAR Director John Piggott said, “This roadmap will include actionable recommendations to guide a wide range of stakeholders in devising integrated, systems-based approaches for improving the health span and cultivating the health, productivity, and wellbeing of older populations.”

The international commission-authored report is expected to be released in late 2020, recommending global priorities and actions to be addressed by 2030 to optimise the health, function, and wellbeing of all people into later life.

John Piggott believes the appointments were recognition of CEPAR’s work in the field of population ageing. Established in 2011, with major funding from an Australian Research Council grant, the Centre is committed to delivering solutions to one of the major economic and social challenges of the 21st century. Today, CEPAR is a multi-institutional research centre comprising over 180 economists, demographers, actuaries, epidemiologists, psychologists and sociologists, undertaking evidence-based research to inform governments, businesses, and consumers on how to prepare and make better decisions for an ageing world.

“I see this as a reflection of the impact CEPAR’s research is now having internationally,” he said.

John PiggottJohn Piggott is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing (CEPAR) and a Scientia Professor of Economics in the UNSW Business School. He has a long-standing interest in retirement and pension economics and finance. His Australian policy experience includes membership of both the Henry Tax Review Panel and the Ministerial Superannuation Advisory Committee. Internationally, he has worked with the Japanese Government on pension and ageing issues; evaluated World Bank assistance on pension reform in the Asian region for the Bank's Operations Evaluation Department; and consulted to several foreign governments on pension issues, including Russia and Indonesia. In 2018/2019, John Piggott was appointed as a co-chair of the Think20 (T20) Task Force on Aging Population during Japan’s G20 Presidency, helping G20 nations decide how they will cope with ageing populations.


John BeardJohn Beard is a Professor in the ARC Centre of Excellence of Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at UNSW Sydney. In this role, he shapes the development and growth of the Centre’s research program, especially projects focused on Asia. John Beard is a former Director of WHO’s Department of Ageing and Life Course, a position he held from 2009 to 2018. During his time at WHO he was also the Director of the Department of Gender, Women and Health from 2010 to 2012. He was a lead writer and editor of the first World report on ageing and health (2015), and oversaw the development of the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health, adopted by WHO Member States in May 2016. In 2010, he launched the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. John Beard works closely with the World Economic Forum and is a past chair of their Global Agenda Council on Ageing and a current member of the Global Council on the Future of Human Enhancement.