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Revision with unchanged content. Demographics point to a rapid increase in the number of older adults in many countries. This situation has been debated primarily from the perspective of an unrealistically optimistic or unduly pessimistic view of the future, with few attempts to suggest alternatives. This study proposes a radical theory based on the premise that an opportune time in history exists for older adults to contribute to social and political change through the formation of a new social movement. The analysis addresses the question of whether education in some form could act as an agency or catalyst to initiate an organised social movement. It examines the relevant literature, the development of social movements in the past, the difficulties to be overcome in initiating an organised movement, and answers questions relating to overcoming inertia, sectional interests, generating leadership and developing innovative and imaginative educative processes. The empirical research for this study was based on interviews with leaders of organisations involved with older adults and focuses on drawing conclusions from the research in relation to the research question. The study counters the medical and economic approach to ageing on which much government policy and, to a large extent, public attitudes have been formed.