The department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Milan-Bicocca presents the workshop: “Aging in a networked society: older people, social networks, and well-being”. The workshop will mark the end of the homonymous project, funded by Fondazione Cariplo and managed by the Principal Investigator Prof. Emanuela Sala, and a team of researchers from the University of Milan-Bicocca, Fondazione Golgi Cenci and the University of Bath (with the collaboration of Auser Monza e Brianza). The workshop will be an important occasion of debate between national and international experts on the themes of ageing, well-being, and older people’s social networks. The workshop keynote speakers are two of the major European experts in the field: Prof. Marja Aartsen (Oslo Metropolitan University) and Prof. Kieran Walsh (National University of Ireland Galway). The workshop is open to everyone interested in the topics and will take place on Monday September 21st from 9:30am to 5:00 pm (GMT+2), online. The detailed programme includes information on the topics and speakers, as well as a link to participate in the event.


The recordings of the workshop are available here:

Programme of the workshop

9.30 – 10.30 Welcome and keynote speech 

9:30 – 9.45 Welcome, Emanuela Sala (University of Milan-Bicocca), Diana Pozzoli (Fondazione Cariplo) and Valentina Amorese (Fondazione Cariplo)

9.45 – 10:30 Keynote speech EU’s struggle to combat social exclusion, and the particular case of exclusion from social relations in later life. Marja Aartsen (Oslo Metropolitan University)

10:30-10:40: Break

10.40 – 12.45 Session 1: Older people, social networks, health, and quality of life – Chair: Emma Garavaglia (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

10.40 – 11.00 Socio-demographic homophily in friendship networks and self-rated health in later life. Heather Booth (Australian National University), Steffen Peters (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research), Mahin Raissi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research)

11.00 – 11.20 Older people representations, life satisfaction and quality of life. Ana Cristina Antunes (Politécnico de Lisboa ) and Rosário Correia (Politécnico de Lisboa)

11.20 – 11.40 “You are an at-risk population, stay home!”: Older adults’ well-being, fear, and relationships during the COVID-19 in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Christian Maggiori (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland)

11.40 – 11.50 Coffee Break

11.50 – 12.10 Social Relationships and well-being amongst mid-life women in rural Ireland and Sweden. Alison Herbert (National University of Ireland Galway)

12.10 – 12.30 Social Networks and well-being: An overview of key findings from the project “Aging in a Networked SocietyOlder people, social networks and well-being”. Emanuela Sala (University of Milan-Bicocca)

12.30 – 12.45 Discussion

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch break

13.45 – 14.30 Keynote speech Relational contexts in older age: transitional dynamics rooted in place and the life course. Kieran Walsh (National University of Ireland Galway)

14:30 – 17.35 Session 2. Older People, digital technologies, and well-being (14:30 – 17.35). Chair: Daniele Zaccaria (The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland)

14.30 – 14.50 Overcoming loneliness in old age: what role do family networks play? Myriam Girardin (University of Geneva), Eric Widmer (University of Geneva) and Ruxandra O. Ciobanu (University of Geneva)

14:50 – 15:10 Digital practices and social connectedness: A study on older adults’ smartphone use. Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol (Open University of Catalonia), Eugène Loos (Utrecht University), Andrea Rosales (Open University of Catalonia), Roser Beneito (Open University of Catalonia), Alexander Peine (Utrecht University), Daniel Blanche (Open University of Catalonia)

15.10 – 15.30 Facebook and Portuguese Seniors’ Well-Being. Ana Teresa Machado (Politécnico de Lisboa), Branco Di Fátima (University Institute of Lisbon), Ana Gama (Politécnico de Lisboa), Sandra Lopes Miranda (Politécnico de Lisboa), Ana Cristina Antunes (Politécnico de Lisboa)

15.30 15.40 Break

15.40 – 16.00 Financial well-being and ICT literacy: a study on seniors-in highly exposed to COVID-19 areas. Emanuela E. Rinaldi (University of Milan-Bicocca), Mariangela Zenga (University of Milan-Bicocca) Doriana Cucinelli (University of Milan-Bicocca), Monica Rossolini (University of Milan-Bicocca), Paola A. Bongini (University of Milan-Bicocca)

16.00 – 16.20 Social Networks and Older People: A Disability Human Rights Perspective. Carola Ricci (University of Pavia) and Silvia Favalli (University of Pavia)

16.20 – 16.35 Discussion

16:35 – 17:00 Closing session: discussion, avenues for future research 

Scientific committee: Emanuela Sala, Gabriele Cerati, Alessandra Gaia, Emma Garavaglia, Daniele Zaccaria.