See U project makes older adults enjoy digital adventures in their neighborhoods


AGE is a partner in the SEE U project that supports older people in explore their neighbourhood using of digital tools. After some months of research and preparation, the project is holding workshops to develop app-based digital tours together with older people. We are sharing with you the first learnings.

The SEE U project addresses the risk of digital exclusion in older age by accompanying older people in developing digital tours in an application called Actionbound. In total, more than 50 older people from the study centers of the project, in Austria (Vienna), Czech Republic (Prague), and Slovenia (Ljubljana), have been involved in the different activities held by the project. 

“Nothing for us, without us.”

The approach of SEE U has been defined from the start by the concept of “Nothing for us, without us.” In other words, the project involves older adults in each activity foreseen, regardless of their digital literacy, encouraging social participation, gender equality and  focusing on the expertise of participants rather than their potential limitations.

The first action from the project was to co-create a participative workshop concept with the final aim of developing app-based tours. This concept was developed together with older adults who were consulted and agreed to follow a flexible approach based on the experiences, needs and interests of older people. It was decided to offer a “low-threshold workshop” concept that enables participants to actively participate in different phases of tour development. Depending on the context and rhythm of the group, the open learning environment through the workshop modules can take place linearly or simultaneously.

“Some older people are interested in participating because they want to use digital tools to make their neighborhood walks more interactive. Others are interested in a certain topic and would like to make it accessible to others in a playful way.  Generally, in our project people learn how to share their knowledge using digital tools, even if they've never used them before”

The SEE U workshops

The concept of the workshop to develop app-based digital tours is well-explained in the factsheet produced by the project available online in English, German, Czech and Slovenian language.

The final objectives of SEE U workshops co-defined with partners of the projects and older people are:

  • Developing walks and tours based on people`s common interests, e.g. older persons’ favourite spots or views in the neighbourhood, background information on historic buildings or public spaces, their special knowledge on topics such as architecture, dialect words or music.
  • Exploring their neighbourhoods or topics together with others and providing guided tours for other older citizens.
  • Dealing with digital means and (new) tools together with learning something new and helping their peers to learn.
  • Taking part in the tours and testing them.

Implementation of the workshops to develop digital tours, first feedback

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The partner Slovenian Third Age University, a national network of 55 universities  started by selecting an older student responsible for overlooking the project advancement. As a second step, older people aimed to get familiar with the need to actively participate in the digital transformation processes. A short input lecture and discussion took place leading to the older students’ conclusion:

Older people do have knowledge and they have an attitude towards digital tools and digitalization and are themselves a source of learning “.

Participants also checked the validity of the existing digital tours on the application Actionbound and made a list of stakeholders to be reached for public presentations using the local media, tourist offices, schools etc. Currently 3 digital tours are being developed, 2 in Ljubljana and 1 inIlirska Bistrica. Students keep adding their own materials and diverse documents to rhe original structure and contents of the tours. Feedback received from participants while testing Actionbound is that “The tours are very simple and are a good way to bring older people into a close contact with  digital tools.”.

Vienna, Austria

Queraum works with existing groups (e.g. visitors of a seniors club, neighbourhood centers or Agenda 21 groups) and individuals (e.g. people who read about the project in a newspaper, on social media or through cooperation partners). The project team introduced the SEE U project and explained the SEE U approach. To illustrate what the project means by developing an “interactive” tour, a short trial tour was organised. First ideas for possible tours were collected from interested participants. However, as digital literacy of older participants is varying, participants are accompanied very individually in developing their tours. Some are very familiar with digital tools and the App Actionbound, so they just need feedback on draft tours or would like to discuss special features or contents of the tours. Others do not even have a smartphone and need comprehensive technical support. To support peer learning, exchange meetings are regularly organised among the participants (e.g. to share experiences with using Actionbound, tips and tricks and clarify open questions regarding data protection) and joint test tours.

At the time of writing this article, three digital tours are available in Vienna: A tour on the Viennese dialect, a tour to assess the age-friendliness of the neighbourhood and a walking tour in Hietzing (one district in Vienna). Currently, groups in Vienna and Graz are working on some more tours: a tour on green oases in one specific neighbourhood in Vienna, a tour on music and an intergenerational tour in Graz.

Prague, Czech Republic

Letokruh in Prague works with a group of volunteers, who are interested in tours and walks. In workshops they got familiar with the project and the Actionbound App. Furthermore, tour ideas were brainstormed: Prague centre, Prague district, the countryside outside of Prague and a VR (Virtual Reality) tour with the help of VR glasses. For each tour idea a so-called tour owner was identified. The tour owners are responsible for the tour and are asked to think about the tour plan more in detail and also to invite other senior volunteers to help them. In close cooperation with the project team, one tour owner already developed his tour in Actionbound and a test tour was organised. The test tour with six interested older people was very enriching, as participants got a deeper understanding of the application’s pros and cons. Furthermore, they had a chance to make changes and add information or activities. The aim is to also develop further the other tour ideas, involve more learners and organise more test tours.

Stories and Feedback

Here are some stories and feedback of older adults enjoying the project:

Little Moments of Learning”: During test tours, older people had small but exciting moments of learning, like figuring out how to move photos from their phones to their laptops or adding YouTube links.

Proud Tour Developers: People who create the tours, feel proud when they show others around. Participants like hearing extra information from the guides, and like a snowball-effect they’re encouraged to come up with their tour ideas.

Sharing Knowledge: Older adults are passing on what they’ve learned to friends and family. They encourage them to try out similar digital tours in their neighbourhoods or on holiday venues.

Helping Each Other: Participants are forming self-organised groups to help each other, using WhatsApp or email. They share ideas, test each other’s tours, and give feedback.

Project Success

In Austria, Czech Republic, and Slovenia, the SEE U project is doing really well. As experience show, the project is not just about using digital tools but also about making a community where everyone shares knowledge and feels important.

Looking at the first impact assessment of the SEE U project, it’s clear that older people are having a great time exploring digital tools and being part of their communities. The stories and positive feedback show that projects like SEE U are making sure older people don’t just adapt to the digital world but actively enjoy and contribute to it.

As a next step, the project will develop a “Step by Step Guide” for developing interactive walks with useful tips & tricks. Furthermore, a Handbook will present tours and experiences of older participants and project partners. Both publications will be available in autumn 2024.



Marine Luc

Project Officer

Related news

Skip to content