Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Lasting Impact

Lasting Impact

CoGenerate Co-CEO Marc Freedman’s most recent book, How to Live Forever, was published by Hachette/Public Affairs in 2018, generating a lot of great attention. And it’s not over yet! Every week, the New York Times Sunday Opinion section includes a print-only feature...

Check Out Our Signature Event On Cogenerational Activism!

Check Out Our Signature Event On Cogenerational Activism!

On May 22, more than 1,100 people registered to learn more about the important cogenerational work our 2023 Innovation Fellows are doing. These 15 leaders are bringing generations together to solve problems and bridge divides. And each one has a unique and inspiring...


Laura Simms

The Life Force Project
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008

Helping children of war heal through the arts

After more than 30 years as a storyteller, writer and teacher, Laura Simms was an Artist in Residence at the Lincoln Center and traveling in Sierra Leone when she met a young orphan, a former child soldier. She adopted him. After watching her son, his friends and others recover from the trauma of their nation’s long civil war, Simms set up the Life Force Project in 2007 to give young people affected by war an opportunity to heal. Simms uses storytelling, photography and listening exercises to reawaken the youths’ resilience, help them find their voice and regain a sense of self-worth within their cultures. Each listener, drawing out the memories of trauma and fear, becomes an active participant in a process that builds empathy and self-respect. After the September 11 attacks, Simms published Stories to Nourish the Hearts of Children in a Time of Crisis and another book to benefit children’s education in Afghanistan. Her manual, Becoming the World, is used by thousands of teachers and psychologists worldwide in addressing issues of tolerance and resilience. “The two boys told horrifying tales of loss and terror; their soft voices belied the violence they described. It changed my life. The idea took root that I could move from being a performing storyteller to someone who worked for the benefit of children using what I had learned over 35 years of my career.”