The Impact of Intergenerational Service

The Impact of Intergenerational Service

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCElJjBO8Zo National service in this country is predominantly age-segregated. AmeriCorps largely enrolls young adults, while AmeriCorps Seniors exclusively recruits older ones. As a result, we’re missing big opportunities to pair the...

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

Our first group of CoGen Challenge awardees are bringing older and younger people together  to boost the economic prospects of substitute teachers, artists with disabilities, people without homes, girls facing hardship in Appalachia, and so much more.   To learn more...

‘I Want These Girls to Know They Have Limitless Possibilities’

‘I Want These Girls to Know They Have Limitless Possibilities’

Gwen Johnson is the founder of Mamaw Mentorship in Eastern Kentucky and one of 10 awardees of the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity. Watch for interviews with all 10 of these innovators bringing older and younger people together to open doors to economic...

Need a Guide To Spark Productive, Intergenerational Conversations?

Try this companion to our report, What Young Leaders Want — And Don’t Want — From Older Allies

By Sarah McKinney Gibson | May 21, 2024

A group of young leaders who participated in the study after a focus group at AARP headquarters in Washington D.C.

In March, we released our latest report, What Young Leaders Want — And Don’t Want — From Older Allies, summarizing what 31 Gen Z and Millennial leaders had to say about working with older people to solve pressing problems — aka “cogeneration” — and how it can be improved. 

Many people told us that reading the report prompted them to start conversations with folks older and younger than they are, which is great news! To make it easier for more people to do the same, we created this Conversation Guide

The guide includes a brief overview followed by 15 discussion questions and a list of suggested opportunities to use the guide to start intergenerational conversations. The guide also includes links to resources for you to explore.

The report is a fairly quick read and includes eight key insights that stretch far beyond predictable stereotypes. They include: 

  1. Generational conflict? Not always.
  2. Personal connection before collaboration. Always.
  3. No one wants to be dismissed because of their age.
  4. Cash over compliments.
  5. Young leaders aren’t afraid to talk about mental health.  
  6. Productive conflict? Digital natives have few models.
  7. “Paying your dues” isn’t working.
  8. The future of leadership is cogenerational.

The report also includes dozens of thought-provoking quotes, like the one below, from the young leaders committed to working across generations for change. It concludes with nine actionable recommendations. 

“I’ve encountered older people unwilling to consider my perspective because ‘it’s the way it’s always been done’ or ‘it takes time and resources to make a change,’ or they don’t want to admit that what they’ve been doing isn’t very productive.”

— Emily Garcia-Green, chief youth development officer at BridgeUSA

We hope the report and companion Conversation Guide help you build intergenerational conversation, connection and collaboration in your community.

This research was funded by AARP with additional support from The Eisner Foundation.