David Gurteen has been running World Values Day Knowledge Cafés each year since the campaign began in 2016. This year with Hank Kune, the driving force behind Time’s Arrow, Global Lab for Social Innovation and other innovative social projects, he is planning something rather different – an intergenerational and international values-based conversation between “Elders” (aged over 60) and “Youngers” (young people between 16 and 18).
There will be two of these sessions – one a week before World Values Day on 12th October and one on World Values Day itself, 19th October. The sessions will start at 9am UK time (UTC/GMT+1) and last 2 hours. If they go well, there are likely to be more of these sessions over the coming months.
Would you like to be part of this interesting project? David, Hank and the WVD team are looking for people over 60 years old who are interested in joining one of these initial sessions, or a later version of them later this year or next.
If you are 60 years old or older, please indicate your interest in participating in one of these sessions by registering here. Registering will keep you updated on when registration opens for this and other future events.
There is already good interest from schools in several countries, but we will try to fit your school into one of these two sessions or into a future session later this year or next.
What are we aiming to achieve?
- Enhancing the capacity of young people and elders to understand each other
- Discovering what is important for both groups (young people and elders)
- Exploring new ideas about how values are important for renewing society
- Reducing Intergenerational Illiteracy
What do we really know about what other generations think? What do they think about? What’s important to them, when thinking about the future they want to live in?
Our two target groups – young people 16-18 years old and elders older than 60 – are groups in society rarely talk to and listen to – and learn from) – each other. We believe that they have lots to say to each other: sharing their questions about what’s important in life, and their ideas questions about what they value.
But how to support their conversations?
Many teenagers don’t know any seniors except their own family members. Most elders have little or no contact with teenagers; except for their own grandchildren.
And not only don’t they speak with each other, they are two groups in society whose voices very often don’t get heard in discussions about improving society; teenagers don’t vote yet, and haven’t yet been to university – and far too often once elders retire, their opinions no longer ‘count’, and they are put into boxes called grandparenting.
This initiative aims to put these two generations together. We want to help people in learning to dialogue: across ages, across cultures, and across continents.
On each of the two dates we want to target 50-60 attendees: 30 Youngers, and 30 Elders from several countries. As the Café will be during school term time, ideally, we are aiming to involve five or six schools from different countries to participate in each session, with each school contributing five or six students with a mix of genders.
A Knowledge Café is a conversational process that brings people together to share experiences, learn from each other, build relationships and make a better sense of a complex, rapidly changing world. It is a simple but flexible conversational events. At its purest the Café allows people to have a conversation on topics of mutual interest, in order to better understand an issue. It is, at its best, a powerful sense-making experience and is usually loaded with values.
What is different about the Knowledge Café, compared to similar methodologies ,is that no attempt is made to make decisions or reach consensus as part of the Café. The real outcomes are what people take away in their heads and the relationships that are developed
David is a writer, public speaker and conversational facilitator. The focus of his work is on Conversational Leadership – a conversational approach to the way that we live and work. He is the creator of the Knowledge Café – a conversational process to bring a group of people together to learn from each other, build relationships and make better sense of a rapidly changing, complex, less predictable world.
Hank launched Educore 30 years ago to support projects and people in user-centered innovation processes. Working from the Netherlands, he takes part in innovation projects throughout the world. These projects often involve the collaboration of ecosystems of multi-party stakeholders. The integration of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit characterizes this work which often aims at addressing societal innovation and supporting sustainable futures. Societal innovation requires thoughtful, dedicated collaboration across sectors, cultures, generations, and borders of all kinds, aspiring to discover what is needed to make ‘the impossible’ possible – and then do it.