Generational Harmonies

Generational Harmonies

After severe bullying from her high school classmates, violist Isabella Mier was suicidal and losing hope when she discovered the Eisner Intergenerational Orchestra. “Why don’t I just go play for one of my last times?” she asked herself. “And I went, and I just felt...

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Meeting the Multigenerational Moment

An exciting, 13-part essay series from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, in partnership with and The Eisner Foundation, starts now.

By Stefanie Weiss | Mar 12, 2021

Illustration by Gracia Lam

“Brilliant inventors and good intentions created one age-segregated institution after another—preschools, high schools, senior centers, and assisted-living facilities—as the generations increasingly came to inhabit entirely separate spheres.”

— Marc Freedman & Trent Stamp, SSIR

Social innovation got us into this mess. Can social innovation get us out?

Today, the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), an award-winning and influential magazine and website, launched “Meeting the Multigenerational Moment,” a series of 13 essays that will answer that question — and put the field of intergenerational innovation on the map.

Published in partnership with and The Eisner Foundation, the series shines a light on some of the most promising innovations that bring older and younger people together to solve some of our most pressing problems. CEO Marc Freedman and Eisner Foundation CEO Trent Stamp are the authors of the first essay in the series, “Overcoming Age Segregation.” The two experts explain how we got so divided, then call on social innovators to “be as creative in bringing people together across ages as we’ve been about splitting them apart.”

The other essays — written by a mix of social entrepreneurs, academic researchers, and philanthropic leaders — focus on intergenerational strategies to help meet critical needs like affordable housing, K-3 literacy, mentoring, support for foster families, connection, funding, and so much more. You can find the other essays that have already been published here:

Every Monday, from now through early June, SSIR will post a new essay, plus a new illustration created by the very talented Gracia Lam.

To make sure you don’t miss a thing:

  • Click here to read the entire series.
  • Connect with others who care about these issues by adding comments at the end of each essay.
  • Spread the word on your social media channels — LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • And make sure you’re following, a national nonprofit bridging generational divides, and The Eisner Foundation, the nation’s only foundation funding solely intergenerational work, on email and social media.

This series, as Freedman and Stamp write, is for “all those who believe fresh thinking and new social arrangements hold the potential to make the most of the multigenerational society already upon us.”

Hope that includes you!