The firekeepers: Aging considered as a resource

John M. Carroll, Gregorio Convertino, Umer Farooq, Mary Beth Rosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Technology can improve the quality of life for elderly persons by supporting and facilitating the unique leadership roles that elderly play in groups, communities, and other organizations. Elderly people are often organizational firekeepers. They maintain community memory, pass on organizational practices, and ensure social continuity. This paper reports studies of several essential community roles played by elderly community members-including the role of volunteer community webmaster-and describes two positive design projects that investigated how technology can support new kinds of social endeavors and contributions to society by elderly citizens. Finally, the paper speculates on the utility of intergenerational teams in strengthening society's workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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