Brain power

New project aims to bring generations together over dinner

Originally posted on The Horizons Tracker.

I’ve written a lot about the challenges society faces with age in the last year, and various efforts have emerged to try and improve matters. One of the most consistent advocates is Chip Conley, whose work at the Modern Elder Academy (MEA) aims to highlight the value of older people in the workplace.

The latest project from MEA is Generations Over Dinner, which aims to inspire meaningful conversations across generations. Generations Over Dinner is a decentralized model which encourages thousands of hosts to gather their friends, family, and even strangers at both physical dinner parties and virtual gatherings to discuss key topics through the unique lens of each generation.

“The power of cross-generational connection and collaboration could genuinely improve the world, and we’re thrilled to help create a platform that encourages shared wisdom,” Conley explains. “Cultural tropes about aging have created acute age-segregation: the perception that school is just for young people, work is just for the middle-aged, and retirement communities are exclusively for older people. Similar to the intergenerational wisdom we encourage and cultivate at Modern Elder Academy (MEA), we hope that Generations Over Dinner helps to drive meaningful conversations that shift perspectives on aging.”

Bringing generations together

The project aims to prompt participants to bring as many generations as possible to the dinner table. It’s an invitation for families to gather but also aims to extend beyond blood relations. The host of each dinner picks a topic for discussion, with a choice of three topics that are universally appealing: Love and Relationships, Purpose, and The Future. Hosts are encouraged to plan dinners through the BETA website

“We saw such immense success with Death Over Dinner and Drugs Over Dinner that we knew it couldn’t stop there,” the team explain. “The model demonstrated the importance of bringing curious minds together to engage in important conversations. With Generations Over Dinner and The Generations Challenge, we’re excited to see what wisdom an 80-year-old can share with an 18-year-old, and just as importantly, what new curiosities an 18-year-old can inspire within an 80-year-old.”

Initial data suggests the project is promising, and the team plans to administer a longitudinal study to examine the impact of the dinners on changing perceptions and mindsets.

“The preliminary data collected about Generations Over Dinner suggests that these conversations are not only fun, they may be good for us,” they explain. “Participating in these conversations may help us improve the quality and effectiveness of our nation’s intergenerational communication and better understand the many meanings and purposes of our generational lives. Most importantly, it can help us increase our appreciation of the many and vital contributions all generations make in our everyday lives.”

The Generations Over Dinner App is now available in the Apple App Store.

Article source: New Project Aims To Bring Generations Together Over Dinner.

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Adi Gaskell

I'm an old school liberal with a love of self organizing systems. I hold a masters degree in IT, specializing in artificial intelligence and enjoy exploring the edge of organizational behavior. I specialize in finding the many great things that are happening in the world, and helping organizations apply these changes to their own environments. I also blog for some of the biggest sites in the industry, including Forbes, Social Business News, Social Media Today and, whilst also covering the latest trends in the social business world on my own website. I have also delivered talks on the subject for the likes of the NUJ, the Guardian, Stevenage Bioscience and CMI, whilst also appearing on shows such as BBC Radio 5 Live and Calgary Today.

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