OLE KASSOW

CYCLING WITHOUT AGE

Ole Kassow, Founder of Cycling Without Age, is a Changemaker and a social entrepreneur who believes in challenging conventional thinking and in inspiring people and organizations to create a better world through focus on purpose, happiness and kindness. Ole is a keen cyclist, an experimental urban farmer and he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. He received the Danish Community Award 2014 from the Danish Ministry of Employment for his initiative Cycling Without Age, the subject of his September 2014 TED Talk.

THE NEW IDEA

Ole started Cycling Without Age (CWA) in 2013 to bring community members from different generations together in an adventurous, natural and participatory way. Exporting some of the most fundamental elements of Danish culture, including a focus on wellbeing and cycling, CWA has developed into a global movement within a few years. Up until today, CWA has developed partnerships with 70 municipalities throughout Denmark. The idea has spread to more than 30 countries and now comprises a global network of more than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 trishaws. 

Realizing how isolation and lack of personal relationships affect the elderly’s general sense of life motivation, while identifying the benefits the elderly can bring to younger generations, Ole saw the need to build a bridge between these two groups. Using trishaw bikes, volunteers take elderly people to a destination they agree upon together – ranging from a new café to a location that holds dear memories. CWA aspires to build a natural platform for storytelling and exchange, creating space for conversations and memories, using city life as a catalyst. While young volunteers learn about their city and the life experiences of the older person, the elderly are empowered to play an active part and share their knowledge and experience. 

What started as Ole’s personal initiative in 2012, taking an elderly person from the local nursing home for a ride on a rented trishaw, transformed into a widely celebrated national movement in 2013. The concept supplements the currently often ineffective and detached elder care system by connecting key stakeholders, such as municipalities, nursing homes and elderly associations, under the mutual aim of providing better life quality for an increasingly aging population. Altogether, CWA provides a moving platform for experience co-creation and cross-generational involvement with multiple positive returns to communities, including physical and psychological health benefits for all ages. By bringing young and old people together onto the streets, Ole makes the joy of intergenerational exchange visible to society.

Contact

Ashoka Nordic

C/O Antrop

Rosenlundsgatan 31

118 63, Stockholm,  Sweden

nordic@ashoka.org

Other countries

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