Innovative Capability and Productivity: What has Demographic Change to do with it?

  • Tarja Tikkanen


This paper discusses innovation and productivity vis-à-vis the demographic development, particularly ageing of the workforce, and its possible consequences on the labor market, for human resources, lifelong learning, and innovative capability. A starting point here is the commonly assumed mismatch between innovative capability and older workers. The paper examines the question, what has the demographic change to do with innovative capability. The answer is unclear, at best. The answer depends on how we handle the demographic challenge. The potential for prosperity is there – but so is it for peril. Holding on to traditional mindsets, whether these have to do with innovation and innovators, or with lifelong learning and skills development, or employment and beyond midlife career development, inevitably leads to a view of massive problems looming as the population ageing develops further. The fact is that the demographic situation already today, and in particular the one to be expected within the next about 40 years, is historically without a precedent. Indeed, any response in search for solutions to the challenge of the ageing of the workforce and beyond in itself calls for innovative thinking.


Labor Market European Union Employment Rate Demographic Change Lifelong Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tarja Tikkanen
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