#13, February 2023
What if adopting an intergenerational lens helped us to move forward?
We had the Silent Generation, then the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials (Gen Y), Gen Z, Alpha… and coming up now, Beta.
Far from sharing the demographic landscape on an equitable footing, these generational groups compete with each other to make their voices heard. Power struggles arise as a function of their aspirations, skills, experiences and biases. Gaps yawn between their radically different views on issues of identity, culture, society, economics and the environment. With several generations overlapping in the labour market, some are being isolated and neglected. Others, by contrast, vehemently brandish signs and slogans demanding action to reinvent a future that they know is compromised by actions taken in a previous era. An increase in life expectancy and a growing segment of people 65 and over seeking independence and an active life has led to a ‘new longevity’ that is changing all aspects of society. It has also created its share of paradoxes and challenges to which we struggle to respond with agility as the impacts of an ageing society gathers momentum.
We know, however, that diversity and mixity are vectors of well-being in our living environments; they reveal our biases and blind spots, and enrich our understanding of the world, of history and of the systems that structure coexistence. Can we go beyond the tensions caused by the clash of values, needs and expectations of different generations? Is it possible to cultivate mutually supportive strengths to foster collective resilience? Can we create a more inclusive and supportive society for future generations? Would an intergenerational approach allow us to do better, to imagine, even co-build a brighter future? The Raccords podcast looked at the potential for innovation at this moment in time when intergenerational perspectives converge.
THE INTERVIEW /
Reimagining reconciliation from the perspective of Indigenous youth
Respect, Reciprocity, Reconciliation, and Relevance. These are the four “Rs” at the core of the 4Rs Youth Movement. This inclusive, youth-led, Indigenous-centered movement aims to foster reconciliation in ways relevant to Indigenous young people across Canada. We spoke with Jessica Bolduc, executive director of 4Rs.
THE PODCAST /
We are living in an age-segregated society. From infancy to old age, our systems evolve in silos, grouping generations together, designing and modelling environments and public services according to the needs and issues of each age group. While these groupings have clear benefits, they also have unintended outward ripples. The new social norm that divides and compartmentalizes our living spaces, outlooks and modes of operation is also at odds with the systemic approach to solving the complex socio-environmental challenges of the 21st century.
In this episode of the Raccords podcast, we talk to Marc Freedman, author, leader and international expert on the new longevity. Our guest explains the transformative potential of a co-existence model based on bringing generations together, and some ways it can be achieved.
THE ART WORK /
Two generations shape the world together
Detail of the art work “Les rencontres”
The illustration explores the connections forged between generations through the depiction of its creator’s artistic vocation.
“Les rencontres” embodies the promise of a better world emerging from the cross-generational comingling of resources and viewpoints.
THE LIST /
Top picks from Raccords and our guests
Contributors to this thirteenth issue of Raccords – Jessica Bolduc, Marc Freedman, and Thaïla Khampo – share their top picks in line with our theme, hoping to encourage the normalization of cross-generational exchanges of perspectives and ideas.