About Jonathan Baldwin

Lecturer at the University of Dundee and writer on design and education.

China faces ‘timebomb’ of ageing population

elders

China’s economic miracle has been fuelled by its “demographic dividend”: an unusually high proportion of working age citizens. That population bulge is becoming a problem as it ages. In 2000 there were six workers for every over-60. By 2030, there will be barely two.Other countries are also ageing and have far lower birth rates. But China is the first to face the issue before it has developed – and the shift is two to three times as fast.

“China is unique: she is getting older before she has got rich,” said Wang Dewen, of the World Bank’s China social protection team.

Tens of millions of workers have migrated to the cities, creating an even worse imbalance in rural areas which already suffer low incomes, poor public services and minimal social security.

Most old people there rely on their own labour and their children. China not only needs to support more older people for longer, but to extend support to new parts of society.

[…]

A team from Beijing Aeronautics and Astronautics University are trialling a bed that turns into a wheelchair, giving residents more independence, and a robot “dog” to keep them company. “The robot can have simple chats with them, play music and opera, or even dance for them through sound controls. It says ‘It feels so good!’ when they pet it,” said researcher Zhang Guanxin.

 

(Read more at China faces ‘timebomb’ of ageing population | World news | guardian.co.uk: .)

China hopes to drive traffic away from Ferrari users

phone

China has banned the F-word from the country’s biggest social networking sites, reports the Times. Yep, that’s right: censors responsible for upholding the Great Firewall have moved to block mentions of the word “Ferrari” on a range of websites.

(Find out why at China hopes to drive traffic away from Ferrari users | Media Monkey | Media | guardian.co.uk: .)

CBeebies teaches toddlers Mandarin

Lingo Show

From The Guardian:

The Lingo Show is another flagship moment for CBeebies(…): in its opening episode, Chop Chop, the aim was to teach children Mandarin (future episodes will tackle Urdu, Punjabi, Somali and Polish). “It’s not going to work on that one,” said my mother, pointing at my two-year-old. “She barely speaks English.” “Yes she does,” I said, outraged. “No way!” said the infant. I don’t know whose side she was on. Hopefully mine.

“Nee hao,” said an animated bug. “Say nee hao.” It means hello. “Miaow,” said the child. “This is going to take a really, really long time,” said my mother.”

 

Shanghai Service Design Jam

GSJ Shanghai

The Shanghai leg of the recent Global Service Jam saw

36 brave souls designing like crazy to come up with brand new service proposals in just 48 hours. Working around the theme Hidden Treasure, five teams brainstormed and pitched the weekend away before enjoying a well earned beer or few at Kaiba on Sunday.

Founder of the innovation-based design research firm Cbi, Cathy Huang, said: “(…) By far the most rewarding thing has been seeing the jammers, most of whom had never met before, bond so quickly and work so hard together to brainstorm ideas and then follow them through to a final deliverable design. It’s been an honor hosting the event, and we are all looking forward to next year’s jam.” “

(Read more at CreativeHunt – Service Design Jam @ CBi China Bridge: .)