HIDDEN VALUE OF INTERGENERATIONAL COLLABORATION: “My experience is that collaboration between the generations is easier than most people think and the generational differences are not that wide. Also, intergenerational teams are much more innovative,” stated Kate Rushton, UK-based community strategist

Note to Reader:

Each new generation lacks direct knowledge of the historical condition of the environment, and how this lack of understanding plays out as a ‘failure to notice change’. Every generation is handed a world that has been shaped by their predecessors – and then seemingly forgets that fact. New generations also have a habit of collectively forgetting how positive social change comes about through the dogged activism of minorities once shunned. There is another more subtle form of amnesia, the kind that happens when projects and programs are handed off from one work group to another. What if we could turn this situation around through intergenerational collaboration?  In the article below, Kate Rushton offers food for thought about The Hidden Value of Intergenerational Collaboration.

The Hidden Value of Intergenerational Collaboration

“Two years ago I attended my first intergenerational innovation challenge. It was not my last. Afterwards, I occasionally thought about this new way of working. It sparked my interest in intergenerational co-creation. Not only as a way to build bridges between generations but as a way to innovate in general,” wrote Kate Rushton, Community Strategist, in her article titled The Hidden Value of Intergenerational Collaboration.

“By using an older adult’s experience-based knowledge, which is known also known as deep smarts, and the younger generation’s fresh eyes and new perspectives intergenerational co-creation can help create more rounded solutions.”

The world is losing expertise through retirement

“When someone with expertise often retires their managers ‘don’t know what they have lost until it is gone’ and even then they might not know. That person has left with all their knowledge and connections. Now, what if this experience could be harnessed and made available in a way that is enticing and low effort for the retiree?”

Intergenerational Teams are more Innovative

“My experience is that collaboration between the generations is easier than most people think and the generational differences are not that wide. Also, intergenerational teams are much more innovative.”

“Innovation and creativity are incubated wherever you have the right combination of experience, enthusiasm, and curiosity, and an intergenerational team is a perfect way to foster the perfect mix.”

Many of the world’s biggest challenges are complex and intergenerational

“The final, but by no means, the last, point is that the biggest problems in the world are complex and cross generations. For example, climate change is not just affecting the younger generation and their future offspring; the older generations are affected too.”

“I would like to host an open, intergenerational, crowdsourced innovation challenge to answer the question – How might we better inform people on how to reduce, mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change?”

To Learn More

To read the complete article, download a copy of The Hidden Value of Intergenerational Collaboration.


About the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as a not-for-profit society on November 19, 2010 was a milestone moment. Incorporation signified a bold leap forward. The Partnership evolved from a technical committee in the 1990s, to a “water roundtable” in the first decade of the 2000s, and then to a legal entity. The Partnership has its roots in government – local, provincial, federal.

The umbrella for Partnership initiatives and programs is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, the Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments.

Conceptual Framework for Inter-Generational Collaboration

Technical knowledge alone is not enough to resolve water challenges facing BC. Making things happen in the real world requires an appreciation and understanding of human behaviour, combined with a knowledge of how decisions are made. It takes a career to figure this out.

The Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. To achieve the goal, the Partnership is growing a network in the local government setting. This network embraces collaborative leadership and inter-generational collaboration.

Application of Experience, Knowledge and Wisdom

The Partnership believes that when each generation is receptive to accepting the inter-generational baton and embracing the wisdom that goes with it, the decisions of successive generations will benefit from and build upon the experience of those who went before them.

The Partnership leadership team brings experience, knowledge, and wisdom – a forceful combination to help collaborators reach their vision, mission, and goals for achieving water sustainability. When they are successful, the Partnership is successful.

The Time Continuum graphic (above) conceptualizes the way of thinking that underpins the inter-generational mission of the Partnership for Water Sustainability.  Influence choices. Capitalize on the REACHABLE and TEACHABLE MOMENTS to influence choices.


TO LEARN MORE, VISIT: https://waterbucket.ca/about-us/

DOWNLOAD: https://waterbucket.ca/atp/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/11/PWSBC_Story-of-First-Decade_Nov-2020.pdf