IF and FRFG Join Forces to Launch Third Demography Prize for Young Researchers 2010/11
For the first time, the UK’s newly established Intergenerational Foundation (IF) and Germany’s Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations (FRFG) have joined forces to award a demography prize of €10,000. The prize has been initiated and funded by the German Apfelbaum Foundation in order to promote a public and science-based debate about demographic change and its consequences. Moreover, it wants to open up new horizons for decision-makers.
About the Intergenerational Foundation
The Intergenerational Foundation (IF) has been newly established to research fairness between current and future generations in the UK. IF is actively researching the causes of current intergenerational unfairness and offering possible solutions for a fairer future. We are politically independent, not-for-profit with charitable objectives.
About the Foundation for The Rights of Future Generations
The Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations (FRFG) has been established for over 10 years in Germany. It is a think-tank on the interface of science, politics and the business world. To FRFG, intergenerational justice means that today’s youth and future generations must have at least the same opportunities to meet their own needs as the generation governing today.
The Award’s Topic
The FRFG and IF call for papers on the following topic:
“Old majority – Young minority: Where is a power shift between generations already visible and how can you balance it?”
The following text will provide some first ideas for a submission.
Demographic change has long since become a reality – populations are getting fewer and older. In 2060, the over-65s will make up more than one third of the German population and only about 16% of the general population will be under 20. The UK is projected to see a rise of over 390% in the numbers of over-90s by 2040 with more than 10 million over-75 year olds still living.
We can, at the most, cushion the blow of this impending new generational stratification, but we will not be able to stop it. The ageing process is already inevitable, since the baby boomers of the 1950s and 1960s, retiring as of 2015, were not be followed by equally sized birth cohorts.
Similar trends have been observed worldwide. Thus, it is imperative that adjustment to this new generational stratification takes centre stage in the agendas of politicians and in society. Therefore, today there is a pressing concern to develop both specific and interdisciplinary solutions in order to rise to this challenge.
Political parties may ask if and how the ageing process will affect their political programmes and the staffing of party committees. Is there a need, and is it even possible to counteract this trend, by introducing youth and/or generational quotas? Similar to women’s quotas, relevant party bodies would then have to include a certain percentage of young people.
In this context, it may also be worth finding out if young and old people each use different means of communication to articulate their interests. Young people more often campaign via the internet and exercise their active and passive right to vote less frequently than older generations – both having a negative impact on their political representation. Young people may be encouraged, for example, to establish a party such as in the city of Monheim, Germany where, at present, even the mayor is a product of the PETO Youth Party. Another solution may be an electronic internet voting system. This already became a reality in 2005 in Estonia, when it became the first country to offer ‘internet voting’ nationally in local elections. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voting_in_Estonia#cite_note-11
With regard to the welfare state, it would be an interesting exercise to examine if public spending patterns will shift towards rising expenditures for older generations (pensions, elderly care, invalidity, health) and simultaneously decreasing expenditures for younger generations (education, family support). If so, how can we close this socio-economic justice gap?
A changing order of social policy priorities also becomes apparent at local level where we can already see infrastructures for elderly people incrementally substituting infrastructures for young people (schools, day-care centres, youth clubs). Does that imply that the definition of the ‘common good’ grows older, too? Are cross-generational facilities such as multigenerational houses an appropriate way to tackle this complex problem?
The economic system will also have to deal with the ageing population. How will companies react? Is the older workforce growing increasingly more powerful thanks to employers adhering to benefices such as the principle of seniority? Or will young people have better chances and opportunities due to the shortage of skilled labour? Are generational or youth quotas also suitable for companies and their executive boards?
We also welcome ideas articulating potentially new forms of co-operation between the generations with regard to the increasing shortage of skilled workers, to higher employment ages, and to the work-family balance. Mentoring and sponsorship schemes may, for example, contribute to bringing together old and young people and thus relax their diverging interests.
It may also be important to take into account that culture and the media exert a major influence on our individual idea of generations. How can the media contribute to a better understanding of the disadvantages of youth in an ageing environment?
Please note that we do not expect submitted papers to cover every aspect of the topic. Please try to focus on particular facets that you find of profound interest. However, we always welcome and support comprehensive approaches applicable to other policy areas.
Above all, the Intergenerational Foundation, FRFG and the Apfelbaum Foundation, appreciate concrete and precise solutions. First, you are asked to describe and analyse the present situation or the problem itself (“Where is a power shift already visible?”). In turn, we expect you to present the required measures with a view to the future (e.g. law amendments, franchise reforms, introduction of quotas, political communication strategies…), and for these suggestions to be as detailed as possible.
The competition aims at specific and innovative approaches providing a basis for future political debate.
A key aspect that we look for is that papers set themselves apart from concepts developed throughout previous competitions, namely the Intergenerational Justice Prize about legal implementation of intergenerational justice (2001/02), the introduction of a voting right as of birth (2005/06) and the ‘Generation Internship’ (2007/08). In other words, the paper is required to break new ground.
The IF/FRFG 2010/11 Demography Prize primarily addresses young researchers (students, PhD students and postgraduates up to 35 years). You are always welcome to work in a team.
Submissions will be accepted until October 1st, 2011. Late entries with a postmark of 1/10/11 will also be accepted.
Formal Submission Requirements
- Submitted papers shall contain between 20 and 40 pages. Please enclose a one-page abstract and a CV. Use 12 pt. font for the text and 10 pt. font for the footnotes. A margin of at least 4.5 inches should be left on the right. Set all other margins at 2.5 and the line spacing to 1.5. IF/ FRFG will accept papers in German and English.
- IF/FRFG particularly appreciate participants trying to explain complex ideas in as simple terms as possible.
- IF/FRFG may publish submitted papers under the author’s names (e.g in a book or online). By submitting a paper, each author irrevocably declares his general consent.
- As it is common practice in renowned scientific magazines, the jury evaluates all papers “blindly”. In other words, the jury members will not know about the papers’ authors. Titles will have no influence on the evaluation. For this purpose, every participant shall submit two versions, both online and as hard copy: the first including the author’s name and address on the front page, the second without any personal information. IF/FRFG will copy the anonymous versions for the jury. The paper’s online version shall be submitted as a .doc file. Same format applies to the abstract and CV.
- IF/FRFG also welcome empirical studies such as field studies.
- Please enclose a personally signed declaration reading as follows:“I hereby declare that I am the sole author of this thesis. I did not use any outside support except for the quoted literature and other sources mentioned at the end of this paper.”
- Volker Amrhein (Project Office ‘Dialogue Between Generations’)
- Prof. Dr. Christiane Dienel (nexus Institute Berlin)
- Carsten Köppl (Journalist; Behörden Spiegel Newspaper)
- Prof. Dr. Meinhard Miegel (Denkwerk Zukunft – Foundation for Cultural Renewal)
- Prof. Dr. Claudia Neu (Niederrhein University)
- Harald Wilkoszewski (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research)
- Dr. Ole Wintermann (Bertelsmann Foundation)
- Angus Hanton, (Co-founder, Intergenerational Foundation,UK)
UK submissions should be sent by post to:
IF/FRFG Demography 2010/11 Prize The Intergenerational Foundation 19 Half Moon Lane London SE24 9JU
and be emailed to:
European Submissions should to send to:
IF/FRFG Demography 2010/11 Prize Julius-Hölder-Str. 48 D-70597 Stuttgart Germany
and be emailed to:
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Please note: You can find an overview and further documentation of previous topics of the Intergenerational Justice Prize and the Demography Prize at: http://www.generationengerechtigkeit.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=45